Acerbic, funny, to-the-point (only one word needed), Elaine Lui is my writing hero. I don’t know what she gets up to in her private life. That’s up to her. I’m not judging my heroes on their overall character. Which is funny since it’s Lainey’s business to wonder about other peoples’ private lives.
This is because Elaine Lui is a gossip writer; mama of the long-running gossip blog Lainey Gossip. I discovered her six years ago, looking for something that wasn’t drier than my leftover vegetable rice and not the watery bullshit propaganda that floods our lives. Somehow I found her, and I’ve never stopped cheering since. This is because Lainey manages to be honest and dirty and off-the-cuff and doesn’t-give-a-shit all in one go. It’s the equivalent of a refreshing lemonade and tender, fried chicken.. strange too, since Lainey always maintains how her mother says she should have given birth to a piece of fried chicken instead of a daughter.
With her tasty offerings, Elaine Lui gets to the bottom of celebrities’ lives. She dissects and uncovers their real motives. Not an easy task in our media-driven modern world. Ha! This is my own naive bullshit. Reading Lainey, she reminds us that celebrity is the age-old game of looking good. Gossip is its measure of acceptance. From the ancient Egyptians and before, we’ve been discussing scandal and figuring out as a society what is and isn’t acceptable.. and if you want to know the real story; ask the servants and the film crew! They always know the real story.
Still, reading this stuff is not the biggest reason I love Lainey though. I mean, the reasons above should be enough. Right? Firstly, there’s the cut-glass writing. Followed by the juicy bullshit removal. But wait… Lainey has entered my family’s lives on a deeper level. This is because Lainey comes with a mantra… about work. Work, she says, is the great human leveller. People can say what they like, but our ability to work ultimately levels us out. Our work ethic is the most important thing about us. People may be born in a variety of different circumstances but we are all able to work… and this ultimately transforms and supersedes our positions in life.
Lainey’s approach reminds me of a burgeoning concept in education called growth mindset. Growth mindset is believing you can improve. So, here’s an example. Remember that problem at school that was too hard for you to solve? The bang-your-head-against-the-wall stuff? Well, can you imagine looking at the problem now and believing you can learn to solve it, no matter how hard the problem is? I know, me neither. Still, Lainey’s work concept is a close relation, in that it’s not how difficult it is. It’s how you see the problem.
Alongside growth mindset, I use the unlikely source of Lainey the gossip queen for my go-to mentor. I tell my girls about her belief in work and how she’s right, how it is the great equaliser among us. So show your work and be proud of your work Lainey. Your work for work should save us all.