Thursday, 28 January 2010

I love to hate you

Call it the fickle finger of fame. One minute you're on top of the world, celebrating the title of 'Celebrity Mum of the Year' with a frozen king prawn ring, the next you're named as the most reviled person in the UK. Katie Price and Kerry Katona (both one-time holders of the prestigious parenting prize) have finished in first and second place (respectively) in a poll to determine the 'Most Hated Women in Britain'.

Voted for exclusively by women, this study is another shamelessly misogynistic attempt at encouraging women to fight amongst themselves. For example, check out today's Mail which features a deceitfully disingenuous article about Elaine Paige and Susan Boyle, claiming that Paige said "Susan Boyle is a virus".

As for the 'most hated woman' poll, a spokesman for the market research firm which conducted the study, said of the winner, "Just when she seemed to have endeared herself to the British public again it has gone wrong. Jordan has put her foot in it time and time again." Funnily enough, I think we're all well aware that it's Dane Bowers who put his foot in it, where Katie is concerned.

To be fair though, the top ten line-up is, collectively, about as appealing as a dose of SARS. With Peaches Geldof, Fiona Phillips, Gillian McKeith and Sadie Frost all vying for the top spot, it's like Sophie's Choice in reverse - Meryl Streep would be grabbing the gun and begging for a couple of extra bullets.

Curiously, the winner and runner-up have also managed to bag the most magazine covers and newspaper headlines in the last couple of years. So why is it that we're all so fascinated by the lives of people we just can't stand? Perhaps they're like cream cakes - we know they'll clog our arteries, but we find it hard to resist.

Look at Katie Price. Despite having all the warm likeability of Dolores Umbridge in bondage gear, she's convinced herself that she's a national treasure because her TV show is the most popular broadcast on ITV2 (I guess that means an audience in double figures). The problem is, she remains oblivious to the fact that the majority of viewers may well be tuning in just in case she happens to fall into a threshing machine.

Maybe once we understand why we're able to exalt and abhor at the same time, we'll be able to explain the greatest mystery of our time - Jedward.

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