Feature

The death of Jade Goody

Looking back on the very public life of the British reality-TV star

British reality-TV star Jade Goody, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in August of 2008, said Anita Singh in the London Telegraph, died from the disease on Sunday at the age of 27. “As with every other stage in her life over the past seven years, Goody's dying days were played out for public consumption.”

From the moment Goody entered the spotlight as a contestant on Big Brother in 2002, said Razia Iqbal in BBC News, she displayed “an ability to be utterly open about everything.” And because of that, the media “loathed her” and “laughed at her.” But the real tragedy “at the heart of her story as a celebrity is that she really wanted to be loved—and that only really came as she lay dying.”

Goody was “the poster girl of the curious contemporary cult of talentless celebrity,” said Stuart Jeffries in Australia's The Age, but she also had her fair share of genuine admirers. She was “no victim,” and managed to transform herself “from tabloid whipping girl to millionaire multi-platform brand.” And she said she did it all “to assure the future of her two young sons,” which has to count for something.

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