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ENTERTAINMENT / Celebrity Gossip

Role models for celeb bad girls

Erin Kilian is a freelance reporter, often covering entertainment topics.

Girls Gone Good

Our tabloid fixation with troubled celebrities is at a fever pitch. The top stories on the news each day inevitably include the latest blunders of hot mess starlets. Though they have managers, publicists, and assorted hangers-on, they don't seem to have any real guidance in their lives. Maybe all they need are mentors, stars who are doing it right.

Celeb girls gone GOOD

They don't have to search hard to find models of exemplary behavior. Here are some celebrities for Hollywood's bad girls to look up to:

Natalie Portman

Why she's good:
1. She took time out from an already busy career to attend Harvard University.
2. She's well-regarded as an actress in both big budget action movies (the Star Wars prequels, V for Vendetta) and quirky indie films (Hotel Chevalier, Garden State).
3. Though she's been rumored to have dated high profile stars (Jake Gyllenhaal, Moby, Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg), Natalie Portman's relationships rarely go public.

Who can learn from her:
Fresh off a DUI, Mischa Barton could benefit from emulating someone like Natalie. Though she doesn't quite have the serious actress cred that Natalie does, she could. They have the same background, having both worked in film since adolescence. Maybe if Mischa starts studying her craft or goes back to school, she'll be in blockbusters too.

Christina Aguilera

Why she's good:
1. Remember when we all thought that Christina was the bad girl of the Mickey Mouse Club alum? Now she looks just as at home singing "Dirty" as she does duetting on an old standard with Tony Bennett.
2. She's cultivating a happy family life with a civilian husband and an adorable new baby.
3. She gets credit for being a great vocalist.

Who can learn from her:
We get the feeling Christina Aguilera has wisdom to impart and obviously Britney could use a lesson or two. Christina could teach her how to keep turning out number one hits while maintaining a relatively quiet private life.

Drew Barrymore

Why she's good:
1. She reformed her own bad girl tendencies and embarked on a thriving film career.
2. She's one of the most successful young producers in Hollywood.
3. Her image is fun, affable and a little risqué without being scary or pathetic.

Who can learn from her:
Lindsay Lohan needs a big sister right about now. Their reputations are strikingly similar: problems with drugs, alcohol, men, and a general lack of supervision. Drew could lecture Lindsay on how to turn child stardom into adult success.

Nicole Richie

Why she's good:
1. Not far off the hot mess list herself, she seems to have settled into a stable relationship with Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden.
2. She told Vanity Fair in 2006 that she was getting professional help for her eating issues, saying, "I know I'm too thin right now, so I wouldn't want any young girl looking at me and saying, 'That's what I want to look like.'" Today she's not the frightfully skinny shadow of herself that she once was.
3. She's rumored to be considering a new career challenge: appearing in "Chicago" on Broadway.

Who can learn from her:
Her old friend Paris Hilton has already said that she admires the way that Nicole has turned her life around. Though we don't recommend that Paris jump right into family mode, spending a little time around Nicole's new family (including baby Harlow) might mellow her out.

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