WHEN I was younger, it was my dream that one day I would wake up and somehow become a Spice Girl.
Despite having a few tiny hurdles to overcome (the 15-year age gap and the discernible lack of singing or dancing talent to name a few), there was absolutely nothing that could steer me off course.
Even when a group of bullies chased me out the park for wearing Baby Spice-inspired attire, I took comfort in knowing it was my two inch-high, faux denim platform shoes that carried me safely home.
Despite the traumatic experience, I continued in my quest to becoming a Spice Girl – putting my hair in pigtails, learning the lyrics and dance routines and even using the same cheap body spray that they were peddling to the masses.
I threw every penny I had into their merchandise, which to be honest, at nine years old, wasn’t a lot.
But like many girls at the time, I willingly threw my pocket money in their direction because I wanted to feel like a popstar. I wanted to be one of them, and as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Most young girls will have had a similarly unachievable aspiration, selecting a seemingly arbitrary popstar or movie star to idolise.
One of my friends was so determined to looking like Avril Lavigne that she put up with continual conjunctivitis from the layers of heavy black mascara and eyeliner that she plastered on every day.
Regrettable fashion choices and make-up mishaps seem innocent enough but nowadays there are some who are willing to go to ridiculous lengths in order to feel like a star.
One young woman hit the headlines this week after busting her bank balance in a bid to look like Kim Kardashian.
Claire Leeson, 24, has shelled out a whopping £20,000 to look like her idol. Despite not having an A-list income herself, that hasn’t stopped her from splashing the cash on teeth whitening, a boob job, hair extensions, spray tans, nails and bum padding – not to mention a whole new wardrobe.
Claire, who used to be badly bullied at school, has now racked up huge credit card debts but insists she will continue to look like ‘Kimmy’, saying she enjoys living in the fantasy and dreamworld she has created for herself.
We’re supposed to grow out of these pipe dreams, not into them, and adults who spend every penny in a vain attempt to live the life of a celebrity is surely wasting their time – and money.
But apparently Claire’s not the only one.
According to official figures, young women who copy the lavish lifestyles of their celebrity idols are spiralling into uncontrollable debt – at twice the rate of men their age.
Women aged between 18 and 24 are the most likely to live beyond their means, according to recent figures.
It’s hardly a surprise that we look to the stars for inspiration when we live in a world where we’re bombarded with famous faces on everything, from billboards to bottled water.
Whether you’re buying that new perfume by Britney or taking tips from the latest TOWIE trend, it seems celebrities are starting to dictate our every move.
But even stars such as Kerry Katona, Charlotte Church and Martine McCutcheon are having well-documented money worries, with some filing for bankruptcy.
This is the part of a celebrity lifestyle that we should really be paying attention to.
It’s fine to be a wannabe while you’re still young, but if these examples are anything to go by, it’s clear that living the celebrity lifestyle doesn’t always pay off.