Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague has come under fire after making comments on a podcast about privilege and poverty.
Speaking to the Diary Of A CEO podcast last month, Hague said: “You’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it.
“When I’ve spoken about that 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 that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s not correct.'”
Hague added: “And I’m like, but technically what I’m saying is correct. We do – so I understand that we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I do think if you want something enough, you can achieve it.
“It just depends to what lengths you want to go to get where you want to be in the future.
“And I’ll go to any lengths. I’ve worked my absolute a*** off to get where I am now.”
The influencer, who is also the “creative director” of fast fashion brand Pretty Little Thing and is paid a reported sum of £500,000 a year, has been criticised for the comments.
Ellie-Mae O’Hagan, head of left-wing think tank CLASS, said: “The Molly-Mae thing goes beyond influencers.
“I’ve listened to people who have two jobs and still can’t pay the bills make similar arguments.*
“Most people are emotionally attached to the idea that hard work reaps rewards. How to address that is complex and not easy to answer.”
BBC presenter Jess Davies tweeted: “I respect Molly Mae for making the most of her opportunity & grabbing it with both hands, but I DESPAIR at the quote about everyone having the same time in a day as Beyonce.
“The reality is that social inequality means there’ll never be an even playing field.
“Race, Health, Gender, Social class, Sexuality, Mental Health, Disability – the list goes on. Society is not designed to give everyone equal opportunity and this is unfortunately just tone deaf straight out of a Girl Boss meme.”
Dazed journalist Anna Cafolla also added her voice to the criticism, saying: “Influencer culture is tacitly right-wing. Social platforms bank on individualism championed by girl boss stock characters so young people don’t have the tools or space to educate + self-critique – not algorithm-friendly.”
The term “girl boss” is a used to describe women who are seen as successful business people – but it has recently become a meme.
Other social media users turned to calling Hague a “Thatcherite” following her comments, with one calling her “Thatcher with a fake tan”.
Away from social media, users of Wikipedia edited Hague’s entry to name her “Molly-Mae Thatcher”, changing part of her entry to say she is best known “for having worked harder than anyone less successful than her”.
The changes have since been removed.
Sky News has contacted Hague’s representatives for comment.