THE BLOG

Perrie Edwards Is No Victim, And It's Time To Stop Treating Her Like One

03/12/2015 17:29 GMT | Updated 03/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik split up over the summer. Remember it? Presumably you do, because for about four solid weeks afterwards, it was all anyone could talk about.

"Why did they split?" "What did he do?" And, more importantly, "how was poor old Perrie coping with it all?"

Poor old Perrie, eh? Getting dumped by Zayn off One Direction. The poor lamb. The shame of it all. However was she to cope? Poor. Old. Perrie.

It didn't matter that 'Black Magic' was number one for about a hundred years, and she was travelling the world with three of her best mates to promote their latest album, which was becoming one of the year's most anticipated. The 'victim' label had stuck, and it was showing no signs of going anywhere.

That was four months ago now, and unfortunately, we're still seeing stories that portray Perrie as a victim every single day. Despite her protestations that she's doing fine and moving on with her life, celebrity news websites still seem to want to paint her as being hung up on the split.

According to these sites, Perrie Edwards is incapable of just putting on clothes, she has to "show Zayn what he's missing in revealing outfit". She can't just leave the house, she has to "put on a brave face amid latest Zayn Malik rumours". And now that Zayn is dating Victoria's Secret model Gigi Hadid, Perrie doesn't even have to do anything to find her name in the headlines.

Just this morning, I saw one celebrity news website tweet "Poor Perrie, this must be SO hard for her to see", about a news story that had literally nothing to do with her.

Now, listen. I write celebrity news stories for a living, so I know how it works, and sometimes, yes, you have to do a tiny bit of reaching, in order to make a story work. I get that.

But constantly attaching Perrie to stories about Zayn, is just not giving her enough credit. It's creating a narrative that she isn't moving on from the relationship, when there's absolutely nothing to suggest this is the case, and I find this all a bit dangerous.

This narrative that journalists have created is making out that she's the victim and Zayn is the one who broke her heart (and, depending on which trashy gossip site you read, is still breaking it now). He's holding all the cards, and she's just passive, unable to get over it. In other words, it's some good old-fashioned sexism playing out right in front of us.

And more to the point, when does it end? We're already four months down the line, so at what stage does every move Perrie Edwards make become a statement to Zayn? At what point can she start going to the shops to buy a loaf of bread without that being a "veiled dig" at her ex-fiancé?

Well, the answer to that is obvious. When she starts seeing someone else again, of course! How else are we meant to write about women? As independent beings, with their own thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams and fears? Let's not go crazy.

Don't get me wrong. Break-ups are shit, even if you are two of the biggest pop stars on the planet. And, do you know what? Perrie Edwards probably isn't jumping for joy about the thought of her ex going out with one of the biggest models in the industry.

But what are we achieving by adding to the "poor Perrie" narrative? Who's benefiting from it (other than gossip sites using her made-up misery as clickbait)?

Perhaps in future, we should allow Perrie Edwards - and all famous women going through a highly-publicised split - the chance to speak for herself. And until she does, I'd like to see celebrity journalists take some responsibility, and stop filling in the blanks on her behalf.