Ex-Grazia editor wishes she could be more mediocre

Date

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.

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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.

 

 

 

60 comments

  • She's got her wish.

    Commenter
    Rubylou
    Date and time
    May 07, 2013, 12:29PM
    • "While outcry about the piece has been predictably rabid" I think Daisy Dumas and Sarah Oakes really mean that an interview in which comments are really click bait has worked. Anyone saying "I wish I was more mediocre" is either blissfuly unaware of the boorishly self-aggrandising nature of the comment or just trolling.

      Daisy Dumas and Sarah Oakes appear to want it both ways. There's either an 'outcry' or it has 'so far caused more of a ripple than a storm. An outcry is not a ripple.

      The woman sounds self-serving in her interests and someone who if, as she claims, she has few friends would appear undeserving of anymore. "However, I've also never made an effort to build bridges with those I see as less ambitious than I am". Oh dear. If that doesn't tell you everything you ever wanted to know.

      She became head of a gossip magazine. I hope none of my children aim so low.

      Commenter
      PatrickEB
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 07, 2013, 1:51PM
    • Yeh true. Maybe if she stopping looking in the mirror to bask in her awesomeness she could could get her wish.

      Commenter
      Dee
      Date and time
      May 07, 2013, 4:26PM
    • PatrickEB, this type of statement is guaranteed to be click-bait which is why the person made the claim and why the story about it appears. The people who make the self-aggrandising claim: Brick, Molloy etc get what they want - more media exposure. The media get what they want - more clicks. Those who comment get what they want - opportunity to vent against someone who is up themselves (although maybe they're only pretending to be up themselves. Everyone goes home happy.

      Commenter
      rudy
      Date and time
      May 07, 2013, 8:09PM
  • She's right. I saw what it was going to take to be a successful high achiever in my field and decided it wasn't worth the lack of a social life or personal interests or even my marriage, no thanks!

    Mediocrity is so freeing and fun. You might not have a flash car or designer clothes but I have all the time in the world after my enjoyable 9-5 job.

    Commenter
    cap'n crunch
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    May 07, 2013, 1:14PM
    • Exactly, some people just really don't like those who strive for success, whether or not this is important is up to the individual.

      Commenter
      Ailie
      Date and time
      May 07, 2013, 5:21PM
    • If you're smart enough, you'll realise that 'success' is not about getting the top job, or earning the most money. It's about achieving the things that YOU want to achieve - like having a healthy family, like having a great group of friends, or even getting through a week without the wheels falling off. In fact, I think you'll find that Ms Brick is saying what an incredible failure her life has been, as despite her 'brilliance', she has failed to realise what success really is, and has thus failed to achieve it. Time to start again.

      Commenter
      Ace
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 07, 2013, 11:25PM
  • ''I wrote it because I think it's the way a lot of successful people feel.'' - seems like she has a misguided definition of what being successful is. She has succeeded at not being happy, which clearly can't have been the outcome she hoped for. So perhaps instead of the arrogance "I wish I were mediocre" she should have said "getting promotions and a big salary doesn't make me happy. Thought it might but it didn't: I wish I knew that 10 years ago so I could have done something more satisfying".

    Commenter
    Doobes
    Date and time
    May 07, 2013, 1:32PM
    • You are so right, her definition of success is very different to mine! I remember when I was on maternity leave, first baby, hearing a comment that success for some women is managing a job they enjoy AND to have time with their children. Now I couldn't agree more, and for now I feel happy, and content, but we don't have the money we would like, but enough for a good life.

      Commenter
      Contented soul
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      May 07, 2013, 2:58PM
  • Just pointing out something: When Charlotte Dawson got involved in a Twitter Bullying controversy, Daily Life quite rightly condemned the idiots who bully people over the internet.

    And yet your parent masthead has just Tweeted a sarcastic comment about Amy Molloy, which I would consider snide and (frankly) a bit bitchy.

    There is an inconsistency there. Thought I'd point it out.

    Commenter
    Shane
    Date and time
    May 07, 2013, 1:38PM

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