We’re all Team Nigella

We’re all Team Nigella

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Cerys Thomas fights Nigella’s corner, and evaluates why Team Nigella has become a nationwide phenomenon.

She may have admitted to cannabis and cocaine use in court last week, but that hasn’t stopped hoards of Nigella supporters swarming to the forefront.

Supporters took to the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook voicing their support for the Domestic Goddess identifying themselves as #teamnigella. Even a graffti artist in Stoke Newington decorated a council estate wall with ‘TEAM NIGELLA’; although Hackney council were swift to paint over it after the image went viral online.

So what is it about Nigella that makes it impossible for the general public to dislike the TV chef? Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s because, like The People’s Princess, Nigella is our Domestic Goddess. She is a staple part of our upbringing, and for that reason she has won a steadfast place in our hearts. I’m sure that you, like myself, remember around this time of year, watching a Nigella cookery show with your family, with your mum taking notes on Nigella’s Christmas pud, with your Dad attempting to read the paper next to her, and you and any siblings sitting crossed legged on the floor staring up into her sparkling eyes.

She’s a beacon of perfection. Women love her, they want to be her, they want to look like her, they want to cook like her, and frankly they’re lying if they say they wouldn’t want to sleep with her. You’d think that any man would be lucky to have her on their arm.

Apparently her soon to be ex husband Charles Saatchi didn’t feel the same way. When those infamous photos were released earlier in the year, with Saatchi’s sausage fingers wrapped around Nigella’s swan-like neck, there was public outcry. And when he attempted to ruin her reputation by denouncing her as a junkie, his transparent accusation predictably backfired in his face. Because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t mistrust a man who assaulted his wife in the public eye?

The fact that Saatchi also looks like a cross between a terrestrial gastropod mollusc (better known as a slug) and a large distended scrotum certainly didn’t hinder public sympathy for Nigella.

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It is of no surprise then that after a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, 39% of the British public backed Nigella whilst Saatchi abysmally won over only 2%. Interestingly, she has also become a figure of strength against domestic abuse; contemporary feminist artist Kate Nash tweeted: ‘tweet about how much you love Nigella, show support for someone who is brave for speaking out against abuse’. Is it possible to argue then that Nigella’s drug use was an understandable reaction to the ‘emotional terrorism’ she was supposedly subjected to?

Could we then see the conflict between Nigella and Saatchi as a massive middle finger to the abusive patriarchy? Whatever your take on the situation, I imagine you would agree with me that there was no real excuse for Saatchi’s physical abuse. And so, in spite of everything, she will forever remain in our hearts as: Nigella, our Domestic Goddess.

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