Cassandra Thorburn should listen to Ariana Grande
Cassandra Thorburn has copped a bit of a walloping in the last couple of weeks.
The ex-wife of Karl Stefanovic has found herself thrust back into the spotlight as her former husband partied through a wedding to Jasmine Yarbrough that was, by any measure, over the top.
It was beachside, at a fancy resort favoured by celebrities, in Mexico, and high-profile wedding attendees were easily photographed as they jetted of to join the nuptials.
And as for the ceremony and reception itself: there was some kind of spaceship canopy that lit up as the sun went down, Julie Bishop on the wheels of steel, fireworks, a wedding hashtag and Mexican marines and armed guards on standby just in case any interested onlookers got too close. A few days later, despite Stefanovic earlier stating there was "no media deal", he and his new brides' wedding snaps were on the cover of Who magazine.
It was the opposite of a quiet affair. It screamed out for attention.
It's ridiculous that it needs to be pointed out, but Thorburn didn't ask for any of this. She split up with Karl just over two years ago, and has rarely appeared in interviews explicitly discussing the demise of her marriage. She's also a journalist who put her career on hold to raise kids, and has said she's trying to re-establish herself professionally, and wants find her "place back in the world".
And yet, it's her being called a "mouthy ex", being advised to "stop talking publicly", warned to "think of the children". She's also been called a "bitter ex" - a term that only ever seems to apply to women.
To which I would like to say, on behalf of women all over the world who have been through a messy breakup or divorce, please rack off.
Is there a person alive who wouldn't be raging at such tone deaf antics of a former spouse? (And who's to say what their kids, who are 19, 13 and 12, with minds of their own, actually think of the whole situation.)
If celebs like Margot Robbie and Jesinta Franklin can manage to keep their wedding out of the spotlight and away from prying eyes, so can Karl. But that isn't what happened, and Thorburn's reaction was naturally of interest. She was asked her opinion by journalists, and she responded. It's entirely understandable.
But it's now time for Thorburn to throw the rule book - if there even is one - out. It's time to embrace singledom, opportunity, and dare I say it, follow the lead of Ariana Grande.
Grande is a US pop star who recently summed up her personal life with the words: "I still have no idea what the f**k I'm doing."
But at just 25, she's rewritten the way we can look at breakups, and given those facing heartbreak hope.
The video for her smash hit single thank u, next, has only been online for just over three weeks, but it's been viewed more than 180 million times. It's number one in the singles charts in Australia and the US, and has broken records on streaming service Spotify. The song deals with her past boyfriends, but unlike other kiss-off songs, she doesn't sing about wanting revenge.
Grande, in her lyrics, shows a maturity well beyond her years, and reviews her former flames as having taught her valuable lessons: "One taught me love/One taught me patience/And one taught me pain … Look what you taught me/And for that, I say/Thank you, next … I'm so f**kin' grateful for my ex."
Grande's song transcends the ephemeral nature of pop music; her sweetly sung words create a new, generous narrative through which to review your past relationships.
But there's actually one more nugget of wisdom that Thorburn should heed from Grande - thank u, next is not just about moving on with your life.
It's about finding a new bond, but in a satisfying twist the lyrics reveal it's actually about nurturing self-love, and a relationship with yourself: "I met someone else … I know they say I move on too fast/But this one gon' last/'Cause her name is Ari/And I'm so good with that."
It's great pop, but it's so much more than that. Taken to heart, Grande's lyrics offer a gateway to freedom from the pain of a marriage that's ended. And it's a song Thorburn should listen to - on repeat.
Victoria Hannaford is a writer and producer for RendezView.