Molly-Mae Hague uses her 24 hours to say “sorry” but will it mend the damage of the toxic hustle culture she clearly embodies.

Molly-Mae Hague uses her 24 hours to say “sorry” but will it mend the damage of the toxic hustle culture she clearly embodies.

“We all have the same 24 hours” – Influencer & Creative Director of Pretty Little Thing’s Molly-Mae Hague comes under fire for comments on work ethic.

We all have the same 24 hours. This is what 22-year old influencer Molly-Mae Hague preached in an interview on the Diary of a CEO podcast, hosted by Steven Bartlett. Over the last week, a short clip of Hague talking about her work ethic went viral, causing Molly-Mae and Molly Thatcher to trend on Twitter. For a moment, it seemed that the whole internet had joined forces to argue that as a society we are far from having the same 24 hours and not all people have equal rights to the kind of success that the influencer entrepreneur has achieved. From think pieces to news reports and a less than flattering update to her Wikipedia page. Molly-Mae has received has had to bear a weighty level of backlash the last couple of weeks. Here is a breakdown of what was said and why it brings up such polarising debate on the internet. 

In a clip that has been doing its rounds on Twitter, Hague begins by stating, “I just think you’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it… you can go in any direction.” The influencer continues by saying, “When I’ve spoken about that before in the past I have been slammed a little bit with people saying ‘it’s easy for you to say that… you’ve not grown up in poverty, you’ve not grown up with major money struggles, so for you to sit there and say we all have the same 24 hours in the day is not correct’. Technically what I’m saying is correct, we do,” She goes on to say, “ So I understand that obviously we all have different backgrounds, and we’re all raised in different ways, and we do have different financial situations, but I think if you want something enough you can achieve it and it just depends to what lengths you want to go to get where you wanna be in the future.” She then concluded with, “I’ll go to any length. I’ve worked my absolute ass off to get to where I am now.”

The problem; despite what some may think is not with Molly Mae. The problem is with the ideology that she so clearly believes in, lives by and preaches to her 4.7 million followers and counting.  As stated in the podcast, the “We all have the same 24 hours” rhetoric is something that she has said before and has been “slammed {for} a bit”. Unfortunately, the former Love Island star has not achieved any self-awareness since. And the internet has not only slammed the influencer’s comments but called for a larger self-awareness amongst those who achieve a certain level of wealth and then quickly forget the harsh realities of those who are unable to do so. 

To put it simply; Molly-Mae Hague as a privileged 22-year old white woman who has gained visibility by monetising her desirability to 4.7 million of her western audience’s comments about hard work fall short of a world that unjustly depends on the gross exploitation of the hard-working people that could not achieve the net worth of Hague in their lifetime. The now-infamous clip where Hague discusses her journey to a £2 million net worth fails to account for the systematic inequalities that enable a woman like her; middle-class, white, young and conventionally beautiful to achieve the monetary success she has. One Twitter user wrote, “I feel like the prob with Molly-Mae is that she is equating effort with hard work. I’m sure she puts 100% effort into her job, but her job is still objectively easier than most.” 

Molly Mae

To add fuel to the fire, a second clip resurfaced on Twitter to further amplify Molly-Mae’s lack of awareness of the disparity of reality in everyone’s 24 hours during a visit to a Pretty Little Thing Factory. The newly appointed Creative Director; with no previous experience or qualifications, was shocked to learn that her shift being a factory worker of the day was going to be 24 hours. Molly-Mae was awarded a whopping £600,000 salary for a company that pays it’s workers as little as £3.50 per hour. The outrage escalated as more commentary came flooding in on the wealth disparity in the U.K and the participation of the influencer community. A day of vlogging does not quite compare to a 12-hour shift delivering PLT orders. Another tweeter wrote, “Yes, there are technically 24 hours in everyone’s day. Molly Mae’s fortunate that hers aren’t being used up dealing with the consequences of poverty, disability or discrimination – and then packages this unearned privilege as her own ‘hard work’.”

It is clear that Molly-Mae is a participant; if not, a leader in Instagram girl boss grind culture. A culture that is toxic in nature by asserting that climbing the socio-economic ladder can be made simple for everyone; often glossing over the countless positions in life that may hold people back, especially people with disabilities or from ethnic minorities.

Molly-Mae recently took to her Instagram to apologise for the comments made in the clip. The influencer said, “When I say or post anything online, it is never with malice or ill intent. I completely appreciate that things can affect different people in different ways, however, I just want to stress that I would never intend to hurt or upset anyone by anything that I say or do.” She concluded by saying “I apologise to the people that have been affected negatively or misunderstood the meaning of what I said in the podcast, the intentions of the podcast were only ever to tell my story and inspire from my own experience.” 

As a 22-year old influencer worth millions from fast-fashion and lifestyle, I do not have high expectations of her self-awareness and responsibility as the head of a platform as large as hers. However, the ideology that Molly-Mae clearly embodies and will most likely continue to, bring about a wider political and cultural problem with how our society fetishises “hard work” and “grind culture which is the real shame here.