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Cheryl’s hair-raising start to life in US

Apparently someone told Cheryl Cole that the way to conquer America — and maybe distract bemused US audiences from her impenetrable Geordie dialect — was to go for big hair.

So she did — and how. Mega-bouffant, they're calling it. Cole’s locks look like they’ve taken on a weird, Medusa-like life of their own.

Her small, pretty face peeks out like an afterthought from the middle of that riot of hair. And it’s not just Cole that’s pumping up the volume. Sarah Jessica Parker, Elle Macpherson and even British artist Tracey Emin have been getting busy backcombing too, sporting the same lush, rampant styles. At the same time that hair has gone massive, so too the ‘power platform’ shoe — featuring a super-high heel supported by a thick platform concealed beneath the toe — has taken off. Pregnant Victoria Beckham wore a pair of frightening-looking Louboutin power platforms with a 16cm heel to the Royal wedding — her poor knees, her poor back! — and the likes of Kate Hudson, Eva Mendes and Gwyneth Paltrow are all aficionados too. But it’s not a coincidence that big hair and big spiky shoes have celebrities going gaga.

Like the corresponding craze for outsized fake eyelashes, they’re just the latest part of a trend in which grown women feel compelled to turn themselves into living Barbie dolls.

It’s all about exaggeration: tiny bodies that look like they are teetering under the weight of all that big hair, skinny coltish legs struggling to stand in those ridiculously souped-up shoes.

This is now the ideal of modern womanhood, caught somewhere between princess and porn star.

Spare a thought for our young daughters, growing up in a world where a fake, pantomime version of being female is valued more than the real thing.

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