As an openly bisexual female, my short-lived Britney Spears obsession had little to do with her voice. However, now that she’s had two children, been through one divorce and one annulment, lost the love of her life (the one who thinks he’s Michael Jackson, not the one who thinks he’s Fitty Cent), gone out partying sans undergarments, shaved her head, and checked herself into rehab for the superfast rush therapy (it’s just twenty-four hours of nothing but Redbull detox and episodes of The OC, then you’re free to go), I think we should all just leave the poor girl alone. Because really, nothing we can say can damage her reputation any more than she already has.
My inspiration to write on the topic came after reading Elizabeth Wurtzel’s essay on why she likes the pop star, although hers was written in 2000, far before any real notions of insanity were to rear their ugly heads. Wurtzel, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Prozac Nation and one of my favorite writers to date, wrote said article for Guardian Unlimited and it can be read here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,351645,00.html
In the seven year interim, Britney has committed a whole slew of irresponsible, salacious acts that would land most teenagers in their rooms without supper. But wait, she isn’t a teenager now, is she? She’s twenty-five, and the mother of two kids! So, why don’t we all leave the poor girl alone with her bald head and poochy tummy and let child services handle her, if need be. Let’s all stop complaining that she’s a bad role model for today’s young growing female adolescents. Because, come on, teenage girls are always going to aspire to be like the Britneys and the Paris Hiltons; it’s never going to be, “Mommy, I wanna be like Maya Angelou.” At least not much.
According to Cyber Journalist, an online news association, the top 2 Google search queries for 2006 were “Paris Hilton” and “Orlando Bloom”, with “cancer” coming in at a distant third, and “hurrican katrina” dragging its ass at number five. It’s blatantly obvious that society as a whole has its priorities ridiculously shoved up its own keenly tanned keester, so why are we surprised when Britney shaves her head, or when Anna Nicole Smith dies?
The sad sad reality of fame (not like I would know, but I think it’s blatantly obvious), is that these people (usually girls but I’m sure it happens to boys as well), they crave fame. It’s like a drug to them, they need it, want it. Anna Nicole Smith wanted fame, notoriety, beauty, wealth, — she wanted it all, since she was a little girl named Vickie Lynn back in Texas. Britney too, born and raised in Kentwood Louisianna, was desperate to become famous. And everyone can understand the desire for fame, I mean who wouldn’t want to be a multi-millionaire who can rent a jet for an afternoon to fly across the country to buy the good coffee in New York because they just don’t have it in Los Angeles. Who in their right minds wouldn’t want to be sexy and rich? No one. That’s why the lottery and Botox have become multi-million dollar industries. However, unlike Britney and the late Anna Nicole, the majority of us will never achieve the fame, sexiness, or wealth we so desire. Britney gets her dream; she gets the famous heart-throb boyfriend, the multi-million dollar recording contract, every straight guy with a heartbeat and eyes wanting to do her, the famous friends, the drinking, the drugging, the galavanting at all the hottest spots, the VIP, the bouncers, the security, the make-up people, the Prada, the Gucci….and THEN what? Once you’ve reached the top of the mountain, where do you go next? That is, in my somewhat humble opinion, the problem with these young(ish) famous females today. The Paris Hiltons, the Nicole Richies, the Britneys, the Anna Nicole Smiths, etc. They think fame and fortune will be the safe haven for all their woes, and then they get it and they still aren’t happy. In an interview, Angelina Jolie said that when she had it all she realized she still wasn’t happy. But I doubt Britney will be backpacking it through Namibia to rescue poverty-stricken orphans any time soon. They realize that they have everything they’ve always wanted and they’re still unhappy. When this happens, some turn to drugs, some try settling down and starting a family, and sadly, some die. The unfamous, regular, every-day, run-of-the-mill teen girls try to emulate these famous female icons because they too live under the false notion that all this glitz and glam will be the sweet sweet nectar the alleviates all of life’s terrible woes.
Fortunately for Britney, she seems mind-numbingly clueless about any of these things, or any of her follies. She’s barely educated, and if her open profession of a few years ago that we, as a country, should just listen to whatever our president says because he knows what’s best is of any indication as to what is really swimming around underneath that newly bald head of hers, it’s not much to go by. This is the reason most teenagers aren’t millionaires – it isn’t safe to put that amount of financial freedom in the hands of someone who is barely old enough to vote. Oh wait, I keep forgetting, Miss Spears is twenty-five now. She is – legally – an adult.
Besides, we all know who the fuddy duddies are who keep bad-mouthing her decision to de-hair herself. All the old farts that grew up in the 40s and 50s (like my father) keep spouting off their crotchety opinions on how if you shave your head and have tattoos and piercings it means you’ve got bats in your belfry. This is 2007. Shaving your head, getting your navel pierced or your neck tattooed, these are all just modern trends, they’ll come and go like hippies or disco.
If you want to mouth off about negative role models and poorly raised youth, you should start looking in your own house. While you’re watching Entertainment Tonight and yelling at the television that someone needs take Britney’s kids away from her, your teenage daughter just walked out of the house with drugs in her purse…and possibly no underwear on.