Katie Hopkins has criticised the ‘seize the day’ slogans on bags being sold through River Island that aim to raise awareness of epilepsy for attempting to normalise life for people living with the condition.
Hopkins spoke of her own experiences with epilepsy for the first time in February, where she described being hospitalised 26 times in nine months.
In a blog for the Huffington Post, the usually acerbic columnist took on a more a serious tone as she discussed the bags, which have been released in conjunction with the Epilepsy Society and Young Epilepsy to mark National Epilepsy Week.
Sarah Vibert, the director of external affairs for the Epilepsy Society, said the ‘seize the day' slogan is intended to be an empowering message for everyone.
But Hopkins claimed there was “something odd” about the bags in her piece. “They don't sit well with me," she wrote.
“I can see the gang at the Epilepsy Society thinking this continues their ambition to make epilepsy mainstream. But good intentions have translated into a language we don't understand.”
Hopkins said people with epilepsy want to own the parts of their lives where seizures are not happening instead of perceiving seizures as “part of our narrative of life”.
"We never view life through the lens of the seizure. We view our lives as all the bits where seizures don't happen and we are being the best we can be. And we wish everyone else could see us the same way."
She described seizures as “ugly” and terrifying for the people who witness them, while reminding readers that epilepsy as a condition is widely misunderstood.
Katie Hopkins' most offensive moments
Katie Hopkins' most offensive moments
1/16 Katie Hopkins on 'plus size'
'To call yourself 'plus-size' is just a euphemism for being fat. Life is much easier when you're thinner. Big is not beautiful, of course a job comes down to how you look.'
2/16 Katie Hopkins on naming children
‘I think you can tell a great deal from a name. For me, there are certain names that I hear and I think ‘Urgh’. For me, a name is a shortcut of finding out what class that child comes from and makes me ask, ‘Do I want my children to play with them?’ There’s a whole set of things that go with children like that and that’s why I don’t like those sorts of children. ‘Hi, this is my daughter Charmaine’. I hear: ‘Hi, I am thick and ignorant.’’
3/16 Katie Hopkins on gender equality
'Women don't want equal treatment, they couldn't handle it if they got it. It's a tough world out there. What a lot of women are actually looking for is special treatment. What women need to realise is that they have to toughen up.'
4/16 Katie Hopkins on immigration
'I've always said if you go into a school playground and shout Mohammad, you'll probably get 100 children running towards you!"
5/16 Katie Hopkins to Benefits Street's White Dee
'Do you not feel like the patron saint of druggies and dropouts?'
6/16 Katie Hopkins on tattoos
'Are tattoos just a badge for the stupid? For me, and for lots of people like me, when you see tatoos you think of someone who is just looking for attention, who hasn't managed to find a way in their life through conventional means and who is just shouting 'I want attention! I want to be looked at!'
7/16 Katie Hopkins on addiction
‘I don’t believe what Russell Brand says about addiction. I just don’t buy it. Gazza likes drinking, let him crack on. He is enjoying himself.’
8/16 Katie Hopkins on The X Factor
'The X Factor 2013 has ended in a painful showdown between a fat mum in a jumpsuit (Sam Bailey) and a small boy in whatever his mum laid out for him on his bed (Nicholas McDonald)'
9/16 Katie Hopkins on the Egyptian uprising
'The difference between most mothers and me is that I didn’t sit around drinking coffee at baby group for 12 months after the birth of my baby. No, in three weeks I was back in my suit, back at my desk earning profit for my business and I don’t see why other women shouldn’t do the same.'
10/16 Katie Hopkins on maternity leave
'Egyptian uprising continues to look like Bonfire Night. Protest fireworks. Right up there with angry cup cakes.'
11/16 Katie Hopkins on 'gingerism'
'Ginger babies. Like a baby. Just so much harder to love. A ginger person with tattoos called Jayden? The triumvirate of horror!'
12/16 Katie Hopkins on affairs
'I lied to get someone else's husband because I wanted him. I give myself 8 out of 10 for ruthlessness for that one.'
13/16 Katie Hopkins on the elderly
‘Personally I hate mobility scooters. I find their owners intolerable. Ran past a mobility scooter going up hill. Made me giggle. I need to grow up and stop being an arse.’
14/16 Katie Hopkins after the Glasgow helicopter crash
'Life expectancy in Scotland is 59.5. Goodness me. That lot will do anything to avoid working until retirement.'
15/16 Katie Hopkins on Ramadan
'Channel 4 broadcasts Islamic calls to prayer for Ramadan. A 30 day reminder that minority rules in the UK. Any more PC, it'd be a bloody laptop.'
16/16 Katie Hopkins on self-harming
'I am advised by the Twitterati to 'cut myself'. I grazed myself on my house gate yesterday. Will that suffice?'
“I know the feeling of coming round, surrounded by people - wholly freaked out because you have just done bonkers stuff with your eyes open even though you weren't behind those eyes to see.
“I've shuddered, flapped, slammed my legs against tables until they bled and dislocated joints - without even breaking into consciousness. And then had to reassure people around me it’s ok. It's nothing. I'm just epileptic. I'm fine.”
“I don't need to be told to seize the day,” she went on. “Hundreds like me do that every day we wake up and find the courage to live life like everyone else in the knowledge we are not.
“We don't need to laugh at ourselves to fit in. That is a defence mechanism and never puts you on the front foot.”
Ms Vibert defended the campaign as a way of encouraging a wider discussion on epilepsy, a condition she said is very common yet rarely talked about.
“Yes the slogan might be bold - but it's got people talking," she said. "And I think the responses to Katie Hopkins' tweet have opened up a very balanced conversation.”
A River Island spokesperson said: “River Island has longstanding relationships with the Epilepsy Society and Young Epilepsy and this is a cause that is very important to us.
"We are very proud supporters of the great work that they do and will continue to help them with raising funds and awareness.”