Ex-Grazia editor wishes she could be more mediocre


Daisy Dumas and Sarah Oakes

The Daily Mail piece that started it all.

The Daily Mail piece that started it all.

There's nothing quite like a Daily Mail bleeding-heart confessional about the tedium of one's position in life to trigger a barrage from the internet's comment snipers. To wit, Samantha Brick's comically out-of-touch cannibalisation of her sad experiences as a prettier-than-average woman, Isabella Dutton's regret that she had children and, now, a former Grazia Australia editor's lament of the lonely, joyless life of a high-achiever.

In a piece published yesterday in the UK – and widely reported by Australian media - Molloy describes her giddy rise to the top of the Australian magazine industry and the personal turmoil it created.

''It's hard being a lonely and joyless high-achiever. I wish I could be mediocre,'' the 28-year-old writes.  

Amy Molloy.

Amy Molloy. Photo: Supplied

''Being successful is torturous. It's isolating - you lose weekends, holidays and (if you're not careful) your social life,” she continues.


Molloy got straight-A’s throughout school and university, secured a book deal at the age of 23 and worked her way up through the ranks at Grazia magazine – editing the title, and managing a team of ambitious young women, by the time she was 28.

In an interview with Fairfax, the ex-editor says, "It's not all accolades and floating around thinking you've got a God complex. The most successful people often have the most self doubt." And this means being plagued by a different kind of stress compared to her 'mediocre' friends: "As opposed to not failing it's about not striving so much... I never feel like I have a moment of contentment. I'm very aware that what makes me successful is also my failing."

She wrote on the Daily Mail, ''I could use the excuse that women are jealous of me, but it's not that simple. It's true I have been the victim of envy, with supposed friends accusing me of getting 'too big for my boots,”

“However, I've also never made an effort to build bridges with those I see as less ambitious than I am.''

Molloy goes on to describe her exit from her high-profile job as the Editor of Grazia when Bauer chose to close the title in February this year.

''I texted my husband and parents with the news. I went for a jog, alone, to plot my next course of action.'' That plotting has landed her squarely in the crosshairs of the trolls.

Despite an avalanche of negative comments, Molloy insists the reactions on Twitter and Facebook have been ''about 80 per cent positive''.

''Daily Mail headlines always overegg the pudding a little bit. I wasn't trying to cause a big reaction.”

''I didn't think it would be that sensational or that dramatic. I thought it was quite an interesting psychological piece,'' Molloy told Fairfax.

While outcry about the piece has been predictably rabid, recent comments include, “I'm surprised she has any friends at all” and “I know just how she feels. I also lie awake at night and grieve at how wonderful I am too.” The piece has so far caused more of a ripple than a storm. While media interest in the story abounds in Australia at the time of publishing the story had only 300 comments and a paltry 73 Facebook shares on the Daily Mail site – hardly warranting cries of it ‘going viral’. By comparison Sam Brick’s  Daily Mail confessional on the difficulties of being drop-dead-gorgeous clocked up 5265 comments and 22,000 Facebook shares.

''I wrote it because I think it's the way a lot of successful people feel.'' Molloy told Fairfax.

It's certainly one way to launch a freelance career – and after the closures of Grazia and more recently Madison by Bauer you can only imagine it’s more important than ever to try and stand out from the crowd.