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Stars go hunting for the model boyfriend

It's tough being an alpha female. Sometimes you need something pretty on your arm to make you feel feminine and fluffy. Kate Winslet is the latest A-list female celebrity to get herself some arm candy -- by dating a sexy male model.

She's following Madonna, Halle Berry, Sienna Miller and Kelly Osbourne, who have also chosen sexy men over designer handbags to drape on their arms during their leisure time.

Even Kylie is in on the trend, dating hunky Spanish model Andres Velencoso.

The 42-year-old All The Lovers singer recently said of the 32-year-old model she has been seeing since October 2008: "He's a very stable, honest, fun guy. He's part of the family."

Four months after her marriage split, Titanic actress Winslet (34) is said to have struck up a relationship with British model Louis Dowler, also 34.

Ethan Hawke lookalike Dowler has modelled with Kate Moss for Burberry and has also worked the catwalk for Paco Rabanne and Paul Smith.

Oscar-winning actress Winslet is said to have been introduced to Dowler by mutual friends at a party. She is thought to be smitten by the six-foot dark and smouldering model.

"They've been desperate to keep the relationship under wraps so they've been a bit low-key so far," a friend of the couple has revealed.

It's a turn up for the books for Winslet watchers, following the actress's disappearance after the break-up of her marriage to American Beauty director Sam Mendes. The couple was considered one of the most stable unions in Hollywood. The demise of their marriage was blamed on the filming of Revolutionary Road, in which Mendes directed his wife alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, and which is said to have caused tensions.

Immediately following the end of their marriage last spring, Winslet travelled to Mexico to avoid media attention in the company of the couple's son Joe (6) and daughter Mia (9) from her previous marriage to Jim Threapleton.

Now, Kate and Dowler are said to be planning to spend as much time together as they can this summer.

A friend of Winslet's is reported to have said: "Louis has been spending a lot of time with Kate recently and they were in New York together while he was shooting an advert. They've been on lots of dates and get on really well. It's early days for them but they enjoy each other's company."

Models are often intelligent, yet what are the chances that they don't have the same cerebral angst as someone trying to make it in the cutthroat worlds of cinema and music?

So could the new attraction of male beauties for busy, successful women be about wanting a break from complicated and high-maintenance men?

Madonna took up with the photogenic Jesus Luz after separating from British film-maker Guy Ritchie. While Kylie started dating model beau Andres Velencoso after splitting with Spanish actor Olivier Martinez.

Meanwhile, Halle Berry took up with model Gabriel Aubry after her marriage to American R&B singer Eric Benet collapsed on the heel of her Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball.

Or perhaps there's a shortage of alpha males for alpha females of a certain age -- Madonna is 51, Halle Berry is 44, and Kylie is now 42.

Male contemporaries go for younger women it seems -- George Clooney (49) is dating Elisabetta Canalis (31) and Bruce Willis (55) has married model Emma Heming, aged 32.

Or is it that they don't want to go down the same route as Hollywood actress Calista Flockhart (45) whose new husband, Harrison Ford (68) is 23 years older than her.

Factory Girl actress Sienna Miller (28) once dated Northern Irish model and part-time musician Jamie Dornan, also 28, which suggests that the trend is working its way downwards.