Faye Nottage thinks the latter.
To quench my thirst for knowledge and inspiration it’s my unrelenting hobby to trawl through the pages of monthly glossies. The October issue of Cosmopolitan in particular caught my eye. “Cosmo’s Best Dressed of 2010” voted for by a panel of ‘experts’. Well this is sure to interest and inspire. Or so I thought. Jameela Jamil, Blake Lively, and Victoria Beckham, no real surprises there. Who could be number one? Who has that innate sense of style that most women can only dream to possess? Kate Moss perhaps? Or even Sienna Miller? You can only imagine my shock, disappointment, and even disgust, when I turn that glossy page. The lady who has brushed aside some of the world’s most beautiful and stylish women is none other than Cheryl Cole. Again. The mind boggles.
Now I am begrudgingly aware of why she has such a dedicated following. When Miss Cole first appeared on our TV screens in 2002 with the popular Popstars: The Rivals, she was nothing more than a teen with a dream from Newcastle. Crooked teeth and ‘Croydon Facelift’ in tow she really was nothing to write home about. Skip eight years forward, she now has a number of strings to her bow. Three consecutive platinum albums with Girls Aloud, is the face of L’Oréal, a judge on one of the most popular TV shows and has been voted ‘The World’s Sexiest Woman’ by FHM readers. She has well and truly risen from obscurity to become the nation’s sweetheart. Yes, she has that special “Mojo”, to quote that bothersome advert. But does all this really validate her fashion icon status? With many a young girl tuning into The X Factor with beady eyes and bated breath to get the first glimpse of Chezza’s clobber all in the hope of dashing to their nearest high street to emulate this pop star’s alleged ‘style’, I can’t help but feel majorly underwhelmed.
I very much doubt you could find Cheryl rummaging through the shops to find the perfect outfit. She has TWO stylists. Victoria Adcock, hired in 2005 to give Girls Aloud their much needed revamp, and Frank Strachan who is responsible for Cheryl’s latest look. For their services alone she spends within the region of £45,000 a year. That’s before the £750 she spends every three months on hair extensions and £8,000 a year to whiten those pearly veneers.
With all the money she puts into achieving her look, does she evoke a sense of individuality, charisma and style? The truth is, it could be any pretty young thing on our screens. Just add hair extensions, false lashes and the latest ‘must have’ dress and yes, even you could look as good and be just as ‘groundbreaking’ as she who reigns supreme. The glitz, the glamour and razzmatazz conceal the fact that she is merely a Chav done good.
The countless followers, devotees and magazines putting Cheryl at the top of their best- dressed lists are merely blinded by the frenzy surrounding this very ordinary woman. Whatever happened to celebrating the style of true individuals and nonconformists? We seem to have slipped into a never-ending cycle; one, which I fear, will not end for as long as the media hype lives.