Rachel Glucina: Why Sally Ridge should be mum not best friend

Sally Ridge and her daughter Jaime. Photo / Janna Dixon
Sally Ridge and her daughter Jaime. Photo / Janna Dixon

"Jaime's always been there for me, and we are much more like friends than mother and daughter," said Sally Ridge in a paid-for story in a tabloid magazine last week as the pair smiled back from the pages wearing little more than a few tulle wisps and kohl-rimmed eyes.

I couldn't help thinking, grow up, you silly woman. Only Fergie, the Duchess of York - who has boasted of going on the pull with her royal daughters - would think the role of mother-as-best-friend is something to aspire to.

Most mums lay down boundaries and limits for their children. They teach them lessons and allow them to form their own identities. They don't play the role of the ageing best friend who parties with them at nightclubs. Not unless they're Dina Lohan.

Ridge, 40, made headlines earlier this month when she was snapped with her teenage daughter Jaime at an inner-city nightspot after a Fashion Week show.

A brawl broke out after a freelance paparazzo tried to take a photo of the teenager tongue-lashing a guy at the bar. Shirts were ripped, tempers were frayed and a variety of pictures were taken.

Questions were asked as to why Sally was partying with her 18-year-old daughter while her other three children were at home presumably being cared for by their respective fathers.

Was Sally playing the role of the tragic grown-up - not prepared to hang up her party shoes just yet?

The mother-of-four has copped a lot of disparaging flack over recent months for her incessant need to be in the media. She has appeared in numerous tabloid stories in exchange for cash - but at what expense?

When the story being sold is inevitably one built on personal relationships, rather than hard work or talent, it's understandable that it may come under the microscope and provoke criticism and mockery.

Sally has made a celebrity name for herself playing the eternal plus-one: first to league star husband Matthew Ridge, then to cricketer-turned-businessman Adam Parore, and on-again/off-again bestie Nicky Watson.

Now her relationship with her teenage daughter is up for exploitation.

We understand how hard it is to get off the fun ride of stardom once you've hopped on, but we sincerely hope Sally isn't pushing her young, impressionable teen in the direction of fame to fulfil a celebrity ambition she dreams of for herself.

The party's over, Sally. Play the role of mum. It's a role you signed up for eighteen years ago and it's a role you've got for life.

- Herald on Sunday

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