Linda Colling: Wannabe Wags

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PRIMED from the pram by their mam, is it any wonder so many girls are growing up wanting to be a Wag?

 Being famous is their sole goal in life.

 The lure of wealth and glamour has gone to their heads, especially if you have no real talent, except having what it takes to sleep your way to the top.

 In our celeb obsessed society, the very fabric of life has been undermined.

 Thousands want to make a name for themselves on Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor, typifying a nation consumed by the desire of making an easy buck.

 That’s especially true of those who are totally talentless, who do the most bizarre routines, only to be pilloried and laughed off the stage after making a laughing stock of themselves.

 And so the solid foundations in homes where you grew up knowing you had to work for your living has gone by the board. Now it’s more about making a name for yourself in whatever way you can.

 Some children have never known anyone in their family work. We have three generations like that in this city.

 The substance we built the foundation of our lives on has gone. So many girls are groomed by their mothers in the fame stakes that they grow up dreaming of being a Wag.

 Too many children lack guidance on making the most of themselves in the real world of work.

 That’s why it was great news that 130 girls at Farringdon Community Sports College, this week listened to actress and singer Michelle Gayle, who was married to ex-footballer Mark Bright. She shared her life story with the pupils in the hope that those who dream of the glamorous Wag lifestyle may think again.

 Michelle told me: “What better way to tell them they have an option for their lives than saying I have been there and done that.”

 The former EastEnders star who has just written a book called Pride and Premiership, following the fortunes of a teenager who longs to be a footballer’s wife, hopes it reinforces her message of encouraging girls to reach their potential.

 “It’s just letting girls know there is an option,” she says.

 In contrast to the days when a woman had to secure a man with a fortune to secure her future, women can now secure their own.

 Yet, sadly, Michelle knows how many aim to be a Wag. She despaired when in Edinburgh on a celebrity TV panel, a psychologist told her two-thirds of girls she had met wanted to be one.

 Having met so many girls at workshops throughout the country, she encourages them to make the most of themselves and aspire to successs.

 As for the wannabe Wags, she says: “A lot of girls from a working class area want to get out of it and they long for a bit of glamour and what better way when they see in magazines and newspapers the stereotype, bleached blonde out shopping.”

 So hands up who wants to be a Wag? I asked four smashing girls from Farringdon College who had heard Michelle.

 Georgia Roberts, 14, from Ryhope, said: “I think it appeals to a lot of girls in my age range. It appeals to me as well but I think there’s all of the fuss you see in magazines. And it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be, like with Wayne Rooney. I think I would like to be a Wag but I would prefer to know I had made it on my own and perhaps become a Wag if I met the right person.”

 Georgia would like to make it in the dance world.

 Head girl Rhianna Hetherington, 14, of Tunstall, said: “If you are a Wag, it isn’t like you would complain. It isn’t something I would aspire to be. It’s ridiculous the amount of people who want to be. They should be successful on their own not just through their husband.”

 “Fake and shallow,” is how Stacey Porter, 15, of Tunstall, views the wannabes and definitely doesn’t want to be a Wag.

 Brogan Beensen, 15, from Doxford Park, said: “Yes, maybe. The money and stuff would be nice. That lifestyle is very appealing. I would like to go to college and be a writer.”

 That’s ambition for you.