When you're famous, your entire life, warts and all, is entitled to become public knowledge — at least, that's what some people seem to think. So when a celebrity couple splits up, there are those that ruthlessly demand answers, wanting to know every painful detail as they try to determine whether that relationship is over for good. This is exactly why Caroline Flack's engagement ring is currently causing such a commotion on social media, and to be honest, it's so unhealthy.
On Sunday night's Love Island: The Reunion, the 38-year-old presenter dared not to wear her engagement ring. That's no surprise considering she and fiancé Andrew Brady called their five-month relationship off last month. So why all the fuss? Well, The Sun published photos of the pair apparently enjoying a mini break in Ibiza last week, leading to rumours that the engagement is now back on.
This, in turn, resulted in plenty of tweets making fun of Flack's lack of ring. While it's obviously not nice to revel in someone else's heartbreak, this scenario has a more important function. It's an exact reminder why we, the public, need to back off when it comes to celebrities' private lives.
Firstly, Flack has not confirmed that she is back together with Brady. And no, a photo of her in a pool in Ibiza with the caption "an oasis of calm in the middle of crazy" doesn't count. In fact, a representative for the presenter tells me that Caroline is definitely not back with her ex. So can everyone just chill?
Secondly, even if she's not single (and just doesn't want to tell the public because, why should she?), she still has no obligation to wear an engagement ring. Put yourself in her shoes for a second. You've broken up with your fiancé but are thinking of rekindling things. You want to take yourself away from it all and enjoy a few days talking things over in absolute privacy.
You and your ex-partner may decide that you want to try it again and probably want to take things slower than before. So the last thing you're going to do is chuck on your engagement ring for all the world to see. (And considering how many people watch Love Island, that isn't too much of a dramatic statement.)
Thirdly, a ring doesn't really define your relationship status. OK, so an engagement ring is traditionally a sign that you're going to get married in the near future. But some people just don't care about wearing a piece of jewellery. They and the people closest to them know what's going on, and that's all that matters.
But it seems as though the world is obsessed with that left ring ringer. If a famous person wears a ring on it, they are definitely engaged, getting married, and planning to start a family within the next six months. If they are already engaged or married and leave the house without their precious ring, they are then considered to be on the brink of a divorce and/or maybe having an affair with another A-lister. I may be exaggerating a little but you can see how ridiculous it all sounds.
Relationships are tough enough as it is without having the eyes of the globe on you at all times. Imagine having a little (or even big) argument with your partner and the press getting hold of it, turning a dispute over someone forgetting to put the rubbish out into a huge relationship-ending deal.
Social media doesn't help either. While celebrities from years gone by had to cope with incessant paparazzi, they managed to get by without having to look at what people were saying about them 24/7. Nasty comments on Twitter or Instagram affect people's self-esteem, no matter how famous they are. Seriously, why would anyone want to do that to another human being?
At the end of the day, just because Flack is on the telly and shares pics on social media does not mean that we know her personally. If she wanted to tell us her engagement was back on, she would. If she hasn't text you to fill you in, then get the hint already, she doesn't want you to know. And we should all respect that because there is probably a reason she's not sharing that information right now.
In my opinion, actress Mila Kunis summed up the whole problem perfectly. Telling Australia's the Daily Telegraph why she has steered clear of social media, she said: "What I do and who I am are two different things and, to me, it was always really important to keep those things separate. I don’t want people thinking they know me to the point where they feel comfortable coming in my house without being invited."
And that's exactly it. When a person seems available to us all of the time, we automatically assume that it's OK to comment on — and criticise — their every move. It's like people think that celebrities appear to float above the rest with a seemingly invisible shield blocking them from being affected by any hate. but it just doesn't work like that.
So instead of wasting time, wondering whether so and so are still together, let's focus our energy into something more positive. It's perfectly OK to be a fan of a famous person but it's vital to remember that everyone is human, everyone has real-life emotions, and everyone is entitled to keep certain things private if they want. Flack has been through enough hurt over the last month or so. Why add to it?
If Flack is trying to get over Brady, every time somebody questions her about that ring, it just makes the break-up ten times harder. Put yourself in her shoes; if you had just split up with your partner, would you want a complete stranger saying their name to you every five minutes? No. Exactly.
Flack and Brady might be back together. They might not. At the end of the day, it's really no one's business but their's.