For What ‘It’ Is Worth

This week the nation was blindsided by the news of the death of Hollywood heartthrob Heath Ledger, while all bettors had tabloid staples Britney “multiple personality” Spears and Amy “crack” Winehouse in their death scope. Ledger, whatever the cause of his death, will presumably be canonized alongside the likes of James Dean and Curt Cobain as a troubled talent. Maybe the reason is that he kept his demons relatively private, unlike say, Pete Doherty, who wears his fuck-ups as a mask, an act for public consumption.

While the coverage continues apace, ultimately its not these men whose lives (and deaths) move tabloids like In Touch and OK! and US Weekly. It’s the ladies. It’s the struggles of those whose ups and downs, break-ups and hook-ups, pregnancies and diets, dresses and messes, whose very existence teeters on the precipice, that fuels the tabloid machine. Really, what good is a dead celebrity? They’ll never be spotted dining with a model, canoodling in the dark corners of the latest club, or even shopping for ice cream, “just like us.” Six feet under will never be worth six inches of column space.

Anyway! Veering off topic (or trying to find one at any rate), the point is the public likes its celebrity commodity candles burning, not snuffed out in the wind. Or something. So its with historical interest one should read the Mental Floss piece on “It” girls, the trailblazers who preceded, and laid the groundwork for, the high profile shenanigans of Paris, Nicole, Lindsay and their ilk. While news of these self-destructive stars now plays out in a 24-hour news cycle, the song, alas, remains the same. Read The History of “It” Girls (And Their Predictable Downfalls) for the tales of some proto-Britneys and Lindsays.

The History of “It” Girls (And Their Predictable Downfalls) [Mental Floss]

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