Women have been tarnished with the naughty brush ever since the serpent tempted Eve to a piece of forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Saddled with the shame of the downfall of man, Eve’s story, has been re-written throughout history into countless cautionary tales of the dangers of straying off the straight and narrow. However, she wasn’t the first woman to take a bite from a dangerous apple and she won’t be the last. The story of Creation is one which has been manipulated into propaganda over the years, Eve has been subject to PR spin, getting more sexy and more seductive by the day.
What is it about a rule-breaking woman that makes such a great story? More is known about the controversial figures in history than the good ones. Take Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt who was smart and politically adept who manipulated her situation to bring peace to the country. The modern re-write of this story is a beautiful temptress, half naked, rolling out of carpets, with or without clothes and plenty of jewellery – I’m looking at you Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. We are continually intrigued by the power to allure or seduce, take Lady Godiva, Wallace Simpson or Bettie Page.
These days, we might still be trying to ensure equality and smash the glass ceiling but there are a few public figures who seek to push the boundaries of what is accepted. For better or for worse, these women are often using their words and actions to be controversial or speak out but sometimes they rely on being provocative and using their bodies as a weapon or to rebel against society. We’ve seen time and time again that sex sells and a controversial act can translate directly into monetary terms. The press love a bad girl and they can write endlessly about them, with their latest antics making the front pages time and time again. ‘Divas’, ‘promiscuous’, ‘raunchy’, the media love to create caricatures of controversial women. Very often, this is a facade, a fake persona used to grab headlines, and the can be left at the stage door. There are others who are themselves on stage and off, refusing to change their personalities even if an expensive contract is in the offering. So from Madonna to Lady Gaga, I’ve been looking at the characteristics that make up a modern celebrity ‘bad girl’. Click through for their best quotes and a round-up of their controversial careers. Of course they are not REALLY bad, this is about their image and their persona and I know that these bad girls are real people who do good things too.