It’s…. Rebekah Vardy’s account. That little sentence at the end of a suspense filled tweet that brought the nation together on twitter over the united love of drama and especially, WAG drama. In case you don’t know, we are in the middle of a WAG war. But what is a WAG? WAGs are Wives And Girlfriends of footballers. The WAGs became culturally iconic in the 2006 World Cup, when they turned out to support their other halves in a fierce flurry of Dior sunglasses, spray tans and Louboutin’s. Enter Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole, Abbey Clancy, Alex Curran and Coleen Rooney. Whilst much of the country was watching the football, others were watching these women, especially as England particularly were none too successful. Watching these women was a real-life soap opera. There was bitching, gorgeous outfits, luxurious holidays, parties, and cheating. The lives of these women were constantly splattered across tabloid front covers. These ladies were superstars. But whatever happened to them?
Just as everyone had almost forgotten about WAGs; Coleen Rooney reminded us why we loved them so much. Coleen Rooney is the wife of former England striker Wayne Rooney and mother to their four boys. The debate started when she noticed that a series of stories about her personal life had been given to everyone’s favourite bog roll, The Sun. Instead of ignoring the stories, she decided to do some digging and put on her Poirot hat. Coleen suspected, as her tweet details, that the leaks may have been coming from her private Instagram account. She mentions in her tweet, that she had a feeling of who the culprit might be. Then she explains that she blocked everyone, except that person, from her Instagram stories and she proceeded to make up content, to see if it would end up in the press. Her suspicions were correct. Right at the end of her tweet, she reveals to the audience, who were gagged with anticipation, that the snitch was none other, but new WAG on the block, Rebekah Vardy. Well, not totally new, but Leicester striker Jamie Vardy’s wife is relatively less well known, as she missed the WAG train of 2006.
But what happened next? After Coleen’s tweet went viral and all fingers were pointed towards Rebekah, she furiously responded, claiming she was hacked, and she could not believe the audacity of Coleen to drag her into such drama when she was heavily pregnant. She was said to be seeking legal advice, but since the original hit back, she hasn’t really mentioned it since. Although the girls themselves are seemingly quiet, Twitter took to Coleen’s revelation and ran. This Halloween saw Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy costumes aplenty, kids analysed Coleen’s tweet in English lessons and after the incident many TV shows started debating it, with panelists taking sides and adding their own opinions. This begs the question, why do people care so much?
I would argue that for once, the internet was laughing instead of moaning about politics. We welcomed something else to talk about. Having a distraction for a while was needed and also, brought back lots of feelings of nostalgia – WAGs were icons; they influenced music, clothes, makeup, and hair of the early 00s, people liked being reminded of those days. We should also care because this incident illustrates perfectly how the culture of celebrity has been changed by the internet forever. In the time of the 2006 WAGs, people were hooked on knowing about their lives and although tabloids constantly wrote about them, they were private. This could arguably be part of the phenomena, the WAGs were an exclusive club that we wanted to be a part of. But now this has all changed and everyone is open to scrutiny. Coleen, likely due to negative comments she was receiving regarding those stories about her personal life, was prompted to release that statement and find out who it was. However, since Coleen’s tweet, Rebekah has been plagued with abuse. WAG culture is different now, wars are waged online and in public and everyone can have a say. What we can take from this is that celebrities are much more easily accessible than they were 10 years ago, but this doesn’t mean they can be abused. Just because you feel like you know them, you don’t.
Now Wagatha Christie has simmered down, but the nation won’t forget. Coleen provided a light break from the doom and gloom of normality, but nothing has changed. WAG culture still captures our imagination, but I would argue that their time is up, influencers and reality TV stars are the new WAGs and we must remember this time, to treat them kindly.