© Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the Golden Globes pre-show party (13/01/07)
Our celebrity rebels are all extraordinary characters with extraordinary lives that contain all the Footballers' Wives-style ingredients we love: sex, money, glamour, boundless luxury, gorgeous men and beautiful women, all with larger-than-life characters. We may criticise them for their excesses, but we've all dreamed about living la vida loca (Ed: being a millionaire with the world at your feet can't be all that bad, right?!)
Today's starlets have simply cottoned on to the fact that notoriety sells and getting yourself talked about makes you marketable. All the top brands and designers are falling over themselves to get their brands associated with the image that comes with names such as Kate Moss and Paris Hilton. If you're a media darling you can turn your hand to pretty much anything: modelling, acting, singing and designing, as well as partying. Simon Cowell once said he wouldn't think twice about offering Kate Moss a record contract even if she couldn't sing a note, because everything she touches just turns to gold.
Victims of their own success?
The most recent example of her own media downfall is, of course, Britney Spears. Her name was the most popular Google search in 2006, yet she didn't even release an album. But anyone who can read a newspaper probably knows more than they want to about her marriage to Kevin Federline, her pregnancies, her fluctuating weight, her divorce, slightly bonkers behaviour, wild nights out with Paris Hilton and the meltdown that cuminated in Britney being taken to hospital and losing visitation rights over her two young sons.
Why the feverish interest in the lives of troubled young women like Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse? Maybe, in their ups and downs, trials and tribulations, happiness and heartache, we see a little of ourselves - suddenly people who were impossibly perfect and talented pop princess seems just like anyone of us going through a bad patch. Knowing celebs have their weaknesses and mistakes makes them more accessible and more human. Read any magazine and you can tell we're returning to the age of the not-so-angelic icon: pefect celebs just aren't interesting enough anymore! At the most banal terms, it's reassuring to know that celebs also get dumped, have fat days, get hammered and make fools of themselves, just like everyone else!