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Thank God for bad gals

The Hollywood veneer encases most of its leading ladies. They are meticulously groomed, frustratingly PC and ritually boring when it comes to divulging tales of their private lives.

For most of them, a night of excess involves eating a portion of carbohydrates and two glasses of wine, washed down with copious amounts of San Pellegrino water.

Take Mariah Carey and her tired claims that she has never had a one-night stand. "I'm Mary Poppins: I'm what the buttoned-up girls are supposed to be," she once trilled.

She'd find an ear in Katie Holmes, who claims she was a virgin before she married Tom Cruise. The actress described herself as "boring, boring, boring -- if you want dirt, I'm not your girl".

Elsewhere, there's the serially smug Gwyneth Paltrow, whose waking hours consist of working out and talking about working out. In a break from form, the actress recently admitted that she -- shock horror -- has a fault. She failed to concede that she's a self-consumed anal retentive who flaunts her organic lifestyle like a gold digger would a wedding ring. No, her fault is, wait for it, that she's a "perfectionist".

Most female celebrities sell the wholesome, butter-wouldn't-melt image to protect their career or their brand. The truth is that it only serves to ostracise fans.

We all know perfection is impossible and their acts are inimitable. We want the dirt that Katie Holmes insists she can't provide.

Thank God for the lunatic fringe. They sleep in their make-up, advertise their one-night stands and consider McDonald's and diet pills a balanced diet.


Bad, mad and unrepentant, they are, in the words of the original wild woman, Tallulah Bankhead, "as pure as the driven slush".

Lindsay Lohan has fast transitioned into "that girl" at the party as her nocturnal antics have alienated her from the acting fraternity and ensconced her in the nightclub scene. We've all experienced the morning after the night before when we wonder whether immediate emigration is a viable option. That's Lohan's permanent waking state. Worse, her tales of debauchery are internationally documented while she's still searching for her handbag. Drink driving, theft claims, rehab -- she has ticked all the boxes of the girls-gone-wild brigade, but good old Lindsay always gives us more.

Falling flat on her face, flashing her genitalia, intoxicated Twittering . . . In the latest instalment from her downward spiral, she's been banned from an LA nightclub for throwing a drink -- glass and all -- at ex-lover Samantha Ronson.

What, one wonders, would incite such an action? Lohan claims Ronson spat in her face at the Coachella festival. People often ask what became of the Hollywood hellraisers -- they've just been replaced by women.

Lohan's penchant for self sabotage is beginning to resemble another of Hollywood's legendary wild women, Courtney Love. The capricious singer's erratic behaviour has given her the tag of the loosest canon in Hollywood. According to Lily Allen, she's a "drug-addled lunatic".

It's easy to see why Allen would reach that conclusion. After all, this is the woman who flashed David Letterman when she was a guest on his show, grabbed Quentin Tarantino's Oscar at a party and threatened to hit a journalist with it and threw a make-up compact at Madonna at the MTV VMAs.

Her finest moment came this week, though, when she casually mentioned that she had an affair with Gwen Stefani's husband, Gavin Rossdale. While he was with Gwen, you ask? Oh, sure yeah.

"But man, he was such an Adonis in his day," she drooled. "He got good in bed . . . something happened. Maybe Gwen taught him, for all I know." The wild girls have little regard for whose feelings they hurt along the way. Take manufactured punk singer Avril Lavigne, who has a habit of spitting on paparazzi photographers.

In 2002, she was kicked out of the Roxy nightclub in Vancouver for fighting. Twice in the same night. Only a celebrity would have been allowed back in the first time.

Lavigne was launched as a complete antithesis to the plastic pop of Britney Spears and Christina Aquilera, so her boozy antics aren't unpredictable


It's good girls who go bad that we find the most intriguing. Former Mouseketeer Britney Spears said she was going to remain a virgin until marriage and thanked God in her acceptance speeches.

That was until the wholesome image shattered in spectacular style. Fast forward five years and she's pictured romping topless in a swimming pool with a man she had just met at the Standard Hotel in Los Angles and gyrating around stripper poles in all manner of nightclubs.

There's no doubt that these women are on the path to self destruction, but every step they take is watched with intense scrutiny. It's a vicarious pleasure we draw from them: they break the rules on our behalf. Bad girls make the increasingly homogenous world of celebrity interesting. At the very least, they make us feel better about ourselves. Bad girls -- you make us feel so good.