Mr. Carroll is an object of national fascination in part because of his apparently pathological criminality, and in part because he represents a kind of Briton known as a chav. Chavs, whether rich or poor, tend to favor gaudy jewelry and expensive-but-tacky clothes with big logos and to behave in a way that others find coarse or obnoxious.
Male chavs wear tracksuits and baseball caps; female chavs pull their hair tightly back in buns or ponytails, a style known as a "council house facelift," from the term for public housing.
Chav behavior - outrageous spending sprees, drunken brawls, inappropriate public displays of affection, screaming matches with loved ones in bars, destruction of property, late-night stumbling and/or vomiting - provide celebrity magazines here with much of their material. Among British women, Coleen McLoughlin, the girlfriend of the soccer star Wayne Rooney, is seen as a celebrity chav.
Ms. McLoughlin - whose new house with Mr. Rooney reportedly includes its own spray-tanning booth - is rarely photographed without a variety of designer-store shopping bags and a thong showing above her pants....
Others in the greater chav universe are David and Victoria Beckham, who would hate to be considered chavs but who nonetheless wore matching purple outfits and sat on matching thrones at their wedding; and Jordan, a former topless model who recently traveled to her own wedding in a Cinderella-style carriage shaped like a pumpkin and pulled by six white horses.
It's good we don't have anything like this in the States.