At our most charitable, we can call the comments naïve.

In the cold light of day, Molly-Mae Hague’s much-criticised remarks on the recent Diary of a CEO YouTube series, when she said that “everyone has the same 24 hours in a day”, smack of a privilege that should spark an overhaul the national curriculum, ensuring every child is taught about societal differences and structures.

Twitter has painted the former Love Island contestant, who is now creative director of clothing brand PrettyLittleThing, as having fallen from the top of the ignorant tree and hit every branch on the way down. In about 100 words, she has been exposed for not understanding class, race, ableism, health, education, wealth and the inevitable postcode lottery that dictates which way our life goes.

I wouldn’t go so far to eviscerate her intention. Hard work gets results, sure. But for anyone outside of the 0.1 per cent who go from zero to hero, great results are built on a solid foundation of society letting you crack on (yes, that is a Love Island pun).

We are but a product of our upbringing and surroundings. So, let’s take a little look at what that involves. There’s a blend of toxic and inconsequential influence bubbling away at the crux, which is causing warped commentary of how success looks and is achieved.

We’re in the era of the #hustle and it spreads like wildfire across social media. Step aside ‘just woke up like this’ posts, it’s now all about stepping out of a Bugatti (still in the rental showroom) and an off-the-cuff snap from the inside of a private jet (which is still on the tarmac). It’s about crypto success, NFT millions and TikTok annotations reducing an entire business empire to a pithy caption.

But it would be very easy to navel-gaze at the Gen Z creators. Look at all us older millennials and Gen Xers who have salivated over LinkedIn posts spouting the virtues of working relentless hours. Corporate back-slapping at its finest. And I am not even going to talk about Gary Vee.

Piers Morgan has openly mocked Love Island stars, asking them: “Do you know Pythagoras’ theorem to the nearest five decimal places?” live on air (note: he got it wrong). No wonder they feel a need to prove themselves.

Frothy and unrealistic social media channels clips are then fused with our innocuous cultural consumption.

At home, we’re watching Real Housewives, Succession and Selling Tampa, shows dripping in gold. Amazon’s best-selling book of 2021? Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, which is about how one can magically change their life overnight. Music acts Self Esteem and Little Simz have produced critically-acclaimed works that riff off themes of backing yourself.

As Government campaigns scream This Girl Can, we tie up our laces for a trainer brand that tells us to Just Do It.

And as we head out on the commute to make our fortune, we find our way back to where Molle-Mae stumbled, the must-listen podcast of the now: Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO.

As the pandemic rages on, there’s a febrile energy in 2022 about not taking no for an answer, of progress, of optimism, of breaking down barriers that get in the way of us achieving.

Molly-Mae has been off-message and off-brand this week. I hope she gets the calm, considered, thoughtful education she deserves.

You could be excused for thinking she has jumped ship from PrettyLittleThing, as everything points to her being misguided.

Originally published in PR Week