Juliette Bains: Crash courses in celebrity are aimed at Wannabes

The Spice Girls.
The Spice Girls.
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Call me a sad Wannabe if you like, but to me, The Spice Girls will always be the epitome of cool.

You can keep your Kanye Wests and Katy Perrys – Ginger, Posh, Scary, Baby and Sporty taught me everything I needed to know from the moment they burst onto the scene and ran riot in their first music video.

So, when the chance came to shoehorn my idols into the longest university assignment of my life, I was all over it.

Whilst most people on the music course were writing about the history of the trumpet or the perfect pitch of a piccolo, I grabbed the chance to do something a little more me.

Making the subject of the famous five fit into a 10,000-word dissertation proved more difficult than Geri squeezing herself into that Union Jack dress.

But eventually, I settled on the subject of the girl group, and female popstars since their rise to stardom.

Sitting in the library with a smug grin on my face, I remember tapping away on that computer chuckling to myself, thinking how I’d got away with writing about something so awesome (to me, at least), and felt safe in the knowledge that my opus would see me inevitably crowned the coolest kid on campus.

But fast-forward a few years and there’s a new degree that makes my pitiful attempts to be clever seem more dated than my 90s-dominated CD collection.

One American university is now offering students the chance to enrol on the Miley Cyrus course.

Yep, that’s a whole course.

About Miley Cyrus.

‘The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media,’ will be taught at Skidmore College in New York.

Students will get to track the pop tart’s journey from squeaky clean Disney tween to non-stop twerking machine.

It’s quite niche, to say the least.

But if tests on tongue-waggling and coursework on crotch-grabbing doesn’t appeal to you, there are other equally useless celebrity-based degrees out there.

Earlier this year, Rutgers University, also in the US, launched a course all about the booty-shaking queen of pop, Beyonce.

The ‘Politicizing Beyonce’ course compares the diva’s lyrics with texts and work by black feminist writers, apparently.

Well, when you put it like that, it sounds almost credible.


Back on this side of the pond, Staffordshire University caused controversy after setting up a David Beckham module.

Riveting. Although, if it was anything to do with Golden Balls, I might have given it some thought.

Seriously though, it’s surely not worthwhile spending thousands of pounds on these courses when you could just scour some glossy magazines instead.

Just as I thought celebs had finally taken over our education system and future generations would be twerking all the way to the job centre, one group of Leeds youngsters gave me a tiny twinkle of hope.

Earlier this week, the YEP featured a story on pupils at Sharp Lane Primary, who are demanding that provocative pop stars ditch their dirty videos and instead become respectable role models.

The youngsters have launched a campaign to encourage their fellow classmates to say ‘no’ to the power of twerking, and find more inspirational role models.

As long as we don’t forget about Girl Power altogether, that’s fine by me.

In a world saturated by celebrities, it’s quite amazing that these pupils haven’t got swept up in it, and it’s a breath of fresh air to see young people with their feet firmly on the ground.

Over-exposure eventually leads to the end of lads mag

It’s time to say goodbye to something that was once considered by a few (not me), as somewhat of a national treasure.

Lads mag Nuts is finally being shelved after months of struggling sales figures.

Back in its heyday, the magazine, aimed at 18 to 30-year-old, men was flying off the shelves, selling 300,000 copies.

Featuring such high-brow articles as the Street Strip Challenge and plastering page after page with glamour models, it’s not difficult to see why it was popular.

Obviously, it wasn’t my cup of tea and, truth be told, I’m quite glad to see the back of it.

Some are heralding the closure as a landmark moment and are suggesting it could mean the end of page three girls as well.

But before we crack open the champagne and party poppers, we need to step back and look at the bigger picture.

Regardless of what you may have thought of Nuts, its demise is something we should all be paying attention to.

As with most things these days, the magazine’s closure has a lot to do with the internet.

After all, why would men walk to the shops and fork out a couple of quid on a magazine when they can get thousands of movies for free, all from the comfort of their own home?

But there’s the more serious issue here that the slightly cheeky nature of the magazine is being swapped for something much more graphic and extreme that anyone can access online.

If lads mags are no longer enough, who knows what future generations will think is the norm.

Pop star’s pecs appeal isn’t music to my ears at concert

Last week I found myself staring at a team of 10 topless men as they worked up a sweat on stage.

I had no idea this was about to happen though, I might add.

When I was invited to the Jason Derulo concert at the O2 Academy, I was expecting to bop around to some cheesy pop tunes with my friend.

But after the all-singing-all-dancing Derulo stripped off his vest to reveal his hairless chest in just the second song, I had a feeling it was going to take a turn for the worst.

And it did.

Half-way through, the 24-year-old took it upon himself to turn the stage into a gym and show us all how he worked out, performing countless press-ups and pull-ups.

Maybe the gym gods are trying to tell me something after cancelling my membership the other day.

But if they tried to guilt trip me, it didn’t work.

It didn’t seem like the audience was impressed either, as most people went to the bar during his workout sesh.

Maybe put the pecs away and stick to the pop songs, Jason.

Spectators at Edgewater Park in Cleveland watch the sun set as the planet Venus crosses the upper right portion of the star, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The next transit of Venus won't be for another 105 years. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Could Venus have started its life as a comet and have been responsible for the Biblical plagues?