Suri Cruise is six years old and very, very rich. My eldest child is nearly five and has but a few quid stored away in a lonely Child Trust Fund.* Neither of them have done a day’s work in their lives, but Suri Cruise is loaded and my son isn’t. Still, at least my child can have a tantrum in the Disney Store without the Daily Mail writing him off as a precocious brat from hell.
As the entire world now knows, Suri Cruise’s parents, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, are getting a divorce. That’s a bit sad, probably. I wouldn’t know (I have as great a fear of Tom Cruise as the next person, but hey, let’s not judge). As you’d expect, the tabloids are loving this news. The Daily Mail, however, has taken a particularly vicious slant. It’s all very well rubbing one’s hands with glee at the end of TomKat, but it’s also a bit boring, isn’t it? Instead, wouldn’t it be far more interesting to launch into a full-on character assassination of the offspring of this failed union?
We are used to the Daily Mail being horrifically spiteful towards famous people. Often we might shrug our shoulders and say “well, if you sell yourself to the press, you get what you deserve”. With the Daily Mail, though, this is clearly bollocks. You don’t have to be famous for how you look; you don’t even have to be famous yourself. As long as you have some vague, tenuous association with fame and fortune, your cankles are public property. The Daily Mail might suggest that mocking the cankles of the almost-famous makes us mere civilians feel better, but it doesn’t. It makes is realise we are inadequate, too. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I can hear the commentary I’d get if ever I happened to do anything of the remotest import: “she may be bringing the patriarchy to its knees, but has she noticed the wrinkles on her own?”
All this is completely and utterly rubbish, but at least I am an adult, as are most of the celebrities whom the Mail has in its line of fire. Today, however, they’ve decided to gun for a little girl whose parents are getting divorced. A little girl who is six and who – horror of horrors – behaves like a six-year old. The custody battle between Tom and Katie (if such a “battle” is indeed taking place) has become an excuse for a whole article devoted to analysing what a total brat Suri Cruise apparently is.
Almost as famous as her high-profile parents, the tantrum-prone six-year-old is at the centre of a fierce dispute. [...] Shortly after the news was announced Friday, TMZ claimed that Katie, 33, was asking for [...] a “suitable amount of child support”.
Of course, this being Suri, the figure is likely to be a staggeringly high one. Despite her tender age, the youngster has become known for her extravagant fashion choices.
I mean, give her a sodding break! Despite my son’s tender age, he has become known, in our small circle, for his extravagant Star Wars Lego preferences. She’s a child! Children are meant to like frivolous crap! It’s the grown women paying a fortune for designer handbags we should be worrying about!
Of course, “many might accuse Tom and Katie of having spoiled their little girl”. That would be many people who know sod all about what goes on behind closed doors in the homes of billions of people across the world. Still, we do know for sure that Tom Cruise is a follower of Scientology, and that might offer a route into establishing, beyond any doubt, why Suri is a total failure as a child:
Scientology expert Rick Ross explained to the Daily Mail’s Alison Boshoff last year: ‘Scientologists treat kids as if they are individuals capable of making their own decisions’
Actually, I do that. Perhaps, unbeknown to myself, I am a Scientologist.**
Despite this whole “being treated as an individual” lark, “evidence of public temper tantrums reminds us that Suri is not always so measured and polite”. The Mail then treats us to pictures of Suri having what I, as a mother of two reasonably well-behaved children (I reckon), would in no way call tantrums. I mean, does Suri herself think that’s what she’s doing? Jesus, girl, you need to come round here and learn from the masters! Who the hell has a tantrum while standing upright? I tell you, I have had what I’d consider a good day with my two and it’s still involved several major performances.***
Of course, ultimately, like all famous people, she brings it on herself:
Just last week, an evening of pizza and ice-cream with her mother ended in tears when Katie took her daughter’s cone away.
As usual, Suri seemed to have little regard for the ever-present paparazzi, bursting into angry sobs.
To be fair, I can well imagine that Suri Cruise may have been being a bit of a sod, what with her being six and all. But for god’s sake. A six-year-old is crying about an ice-cream while having to face the added stress of flashbulbs popping in her face and all the Mail can see fit to comment on is her lack of nous when it comes to dealing with the press. How can anyone think this is acceptable? Perhaps not even the Mail itself. Because towards the end of the piece we get the following observation:
Any other child would perhaps attract less attention. But as a child who has grown up in the media glare, Suri’s life has become subject to public opinion.
Well, yes. So why not leave her the hell alone for once?
The Mail piece ends with a quotation from a spoof website set up in Suri’s name, plus a spiteful final dig:
‘I will be vacationing in the Cayman Islands for the Independence Day holiday with my financier, and going over my plans to seek sole custody of myself.’
Given the real-life Suri’s precocious nature, one imagines that – if she had her way – it wouldn’t be too far from the truth.
Bloody hell. You know, I read this and I am glad – glad! – that I turned down that role in Dawson’s Creek.
* We did, however, get double the usual Trust Fund amount due to the fact that my partner was claiming JSA at the time our son was born. Truly, 2007 was another country. I imagine these days people like us get sent to the workhouse.
** Funnily enough, I was pretty quiet both times I gave birth. Is that enough to make me one of them?
*** My favourite tantrum of the day involved the following exchange:
ELDEST: I want a whole banana now!
ME: No, there’s only one, so you need to share it with your brother and you need to say please.
HIM: But I said please.
ME: Well, I didn’t hear it. Please say it again.
HIM: I’m not saying “please please”. No one says “please please”. You only say “please” once, Mummy. “Please please” is a nonsense. [those are his actual words]
ME: [trying not to laugh at the transformation of howling four-year-old into etiquette pedant] No, I just want one please and then you can have your share.
HIM: No! This is my house and you’ll give me the banana now!
Needless to say, there was no Star Wars time this evening, but I am increasingly convinced that my son is in possession of true genius, the purpose of which I have yet to work out.