Celebs like Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears and Heather Mills are excessively condemned by the media because of their sex, according to a female academic.
Kirsty Fairclough of the University of Salford will argue at a conference on June 25th that female image has been undervalued through tabloid journalism and paparazzi photography.
Giving the examples of Winehouse and Spears, whose troubled lives have been heavily publicised in the media, she will argue that female celebrities are "routinely condemned for their perceived excessive lifestyles and their disregard for the apparent rules of femininity through extreme diets or weight gain, drug abuse, supposed lack of fashion sense, and an 'unfeminine' need for fame and attention".
According to Fairclough, there is a "paradox" in society's views of women in the limelight.
"On one hand female celebrities crave freedom, but on the other hand they still pander to conservative ideas of sexuality through what's been called 'raunch culture'," Contactmusic quoted her, as saying.
"Women are routinely condemned for their behaviour in the media but this isn't just misogyny - the bitching culture tends to be about women against women. It's a real step backwards.
"The media circus may have reached saturation point with Britney Spears, but I predict it will get worse with other celebrities before it gets better," she added.