The Coke Scandal That Never Was

STORY BY Emily Kirkpatrick

Published: May 22, 2013

In 2005, pictures of Kate Moss doing cocaine in, then boyfriend, Pete Doherty’s recording studio were published by the Daily Mirror. A short 5 days later, Moss lost a four million pound contract with H&M, an advertising deal with Burberry, and all relationship with high fashion brands for a year. Besides the financial loss, Moss was also publicly shamed and berated by every news and gossip source for her drug addiction. Although, as it turns out, the leaked pictures actually ended up doing her more good than harm. In 2010, her annual earnings from modeling were four million pounds, double what she was making before the debacle. Everyone loves a comeback.

In 2013, however, drugs in modeling no longer seems to be an issue. On May 5, Cara Delevingne, model of the moment, was looking for her keys when a small plastic bag filled with white powder exploded out of her purse onto the ground. Unphased, Delevingne laughed, covered it up with her foot and skillfully swiped it back into her purse. Although, she never did find her keys and had to go to her modeling agency, returning with two men who let her in. Not the most unsuspicious conclusion to your first media frenzy.

This time around, though, everyone has turned a blind eye. The universal answer throughout the fashion world seems to be that the whole situation is too inconclusive.  H&M, who expressed outrage in the past and promote a zero tolerance drug policy, told the Daily Mail that they would “evaluate the evidence.” She’s also the face of a fragrance for Burberry, who have made no comment. And unlike Kate, who issued a public apology, Cara has not spoken once about the event. So, it was left to Women’s Wear Daily to run to her aid, accusing The Sun of “doorstepping celebrities’ homes, scouring for scandal.” While technically true that The Sun was “doorstepping” and the actual article is pure gossip from start to finish, it’s hard to argue with photographs of what to all appearances is a pretty scandalous situation.

The problem isn’t really whether or not Cara was using drugs or if she should be punished for it. After all, if you looked behind fashion’s closed doors, I’m sure you’d find more than a few users. The real troubling question, for me, is what do these people owe us? Why is she, or any celebrity, responsible to live by what the general public deems the “right” kind of moral or ethical code just because they are a product of the same public’s fascination? And what gives us the right to humiliate and berate them when they don’t live up to our random assortment of projected unachievable characteristics? As the adoring public, I think we too often forget that the beauty of fame is it’s as easy to give as it is to take away.

Other Stories by Emily Kirkpatrick
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