kim_columnpic.jpgKimberley Foster writes...

In these, showbiz-obsessed, celebrity-soaked, times that we live in, the tall-poppy syndrome seems more alive than ever before. One day we're building them up, the next day we're tearing them down and stomping all over them.

But what struck me as a little worrisome this week was a picture in the Daily Mail depicting Burberry's latest face, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, amongst a group of models, clutching a rather questionable item. Described by the paper as a 'very suspicious pipe' it seems, upon first glance, a case of 'here we go again'... or is it?


As the article points out, this wouldn't be Burberry's first brush with a drug scandal (cue the 'Cocaine Kate' episode of 1998) but can we really be so quick to judge? According to the rest of the report, the photograph is two or three years old, and was first posted on a fashion industry website -

"She is aware of the picture's existence, but she was 18 or 19 when that was taken," a friend of the model confirmed to the paper.

I'd hate to think what sort photos someone could dig up of me when I was 18, before the days of Facebook, when we weren't quite so liberal with our snaps. While I don't wish to dismiss the photo as nothing, it certainly doesn't paint the 21-year-old in a favourable light, history does not necessarily have to repeat itself. Models aren't infallible, nor are they unaccountable. It is us who perch them up on such high pedestals, then rip them down whenever we feel like it.

Of course drugs isn't an issue to sniff at, but surely we have moved beyond the scandal of 1998, which seems to have spilled over to Jodie Kidd, to support our models just as their careers are starting to take off. After all, the world forgave Cocaine Kate.