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Melanie Morris: If I have my wish, this could be the end of the Chav...

Could it be so? Has the time come to retire the chav? I'm beginning to think my wishes might have come true.

I first heard of chavs at the end of the 1990s. A London PR girl told me all about the new phenomenon of blingy birds and boys -- something unknown to us incubating Celtic cubs.

Then that famous picture of Danniella Westbrook appeared. No, not the one of her coke-eroded septum, but of her, dressed head-to-toe in Burberry check, pushing her Burberry-clad baby, in a Burberry buggy.

A decade of obsession with the cheap and nasty ensued. Suddenly the likes of Jodie Marsh, Callum Best, Jordan and Kerry Katona were the role models for a generation.


The latter even won Celebrity Mother of the Year not once, but twice -- in 2002 and 2005. If only we knew back then, what we know now, eh?

But finally, our obsessional interest in the lowest common denominator seems to be ending and I'm hoping it'll just be a matter of time before the slapperazzi fade into insignificance.

Because, in all honesty, who cares about the next chapter in Jordan's love life? And who wants to 'get her look'? Puffed- up face? Nylon hair? Clumpy false eyelashes? Odd velour-based ensembles?

No thanks.

Look back at those photographs from her first wedding -- the fact that poor fool of a husband even got hair extensions for the occasion screams 'too much' long before the crystal carriage appeared. As for Alex Reid ... Alex who?

Perhaps we've finally grown up, and are beginning to see the light. Because although we're having trouble totally weaning ourselves off it, these days we seem to be trying.

We know bling is bad.

Even at the Oscars, Hollywood stars played down the glam factor, opting for more natural hair, and going without the usual millions of dollars of borrowed jewellery around their necks.


And in the run-up to the big night, even before the Galliano furore, Natalie Portman was spotted in an H&M maternity dress at a big Vanity Fair party. How times have changed.

Back in Ireland, we're growing up and copping on. It's the little things that say the most, like how maybe we can't give up fake tan completely, but we're happy with a subtle shade of apricot, rather than the full-blown orange of former years. And we no longer need giant logos emblazoned across our shirts, our handbags or our cars to define ourselves by.

Sure, we can't afford endless designer goods any longer, but it's a matter of taste, too.

The brightest light of hope came to me when wandering around Grafton Street's stores.

Instead of gaudy gold hoop earrings, glittery hairbands and acres of strappy sequinned embellishment, high street fashion seems to have gone more feminine. Cute floral hairclips, pretty ballet pumps and dresses with sleeves seem to have replaced the more in your face alternatives of seasons past. Even the 'Kings of Bling' Dolce & Gabbana sent models out on their spring/ summer catwalk wearing demure white lace, and the result was impossibly beautiful.

I'm interested to see how much longer the stalwarts of chavdom remain on the covers of the celebrity weeklies.

They can't still be shifting magazines. I can't remember last time I bought a copy of Heat, Closer or Now, because I'm allergic to Michelle Heaton's fitness regime, Cheryl Cole's romances and Stephen Ireland's gaudy gaff.

So, what do I want to see? Something that will make me feel good. A celebrity with a (shock, horror) talent that's inspiring, who also has great taste in clothes ... and perhaps a hot husband to admire.


Who might they be? Well, they could be anyone, because the media has the ability of creating a star out of anyone they want.

But this time, please let them choose stars who are the real deal, with taste, and -- shock, horror -- maybe even a moral code. No former chavs need apply.

Melanie Morris is editor of IMAGE Magazine