Poor, Poor Britney

I feel sorry for Britney. I really do.

After her MTV VMA appearance, the airwaves and Internet were burning up with vile condemnations of her. Like sharks smelling blood, the feeding frenzy by these commentators was horrific. Some of the remarks literally made me cringe.

Some of the personal insults were just nasty and unnecessary. You think she’s fat? Puh-lease. In a nation where young girls have horrible self-image problems and where anorexia and bulimia are wreaking a terrible toll upon their health, do we really want to send the message that someone who has the barest hint of a belly, who is just a few pounds overweight, and somewhat out of shape is the defacto definition of fat?

You should all be ashamed.

Reminds me of the time I was working in an elementary school and a first grade girl, average sized, came in and said, “My parents are sending me to a fitness camp (read: fat farm) over the summer to help me lose weight.”

A 7-year-old should NOT have image problems. I thought of responding, but didn’t, “Maybe your parents need to be sent to a sensitivity camp and have some sense beaten into them.” At the moment I would have been more than happy to wield that club. She was a normal child, for Pete’s sake.

I’ve never been a Britney fan. Never really considered her a very good singer, and only an average dancer, but even I can see the girl is in trouble. Beyond her career, which is close to over, I’m talking life troubles.

Look past the poor lip-syncing. Look past the stilted dancing. Check out the deer-in-the-headlights look. There was a girl afraid on that stage.

She’s been out of the limelight (but not out of media scrutiny) for a couple years now. It could be rust. But it could very likely be fear. A fear instilled in her by a media that just won’t leave her alone, that feels the need to report every single event in her life, and childishly points out any troubles she has with an shrill “Ha ha!” like that kid on the Simpson’s.

But why? Why do we, the public, need to know any of this?

When someone becomes a celebrity, they open themselves up to a level of scrutiny that is undeserved. Do we, as the public, really need to know what these people do every single minute of every day? At what point does it stop becoming nice to know information and crosses that line to none of our business and an invasion of privacy?

Many years ago in Hollywood’s heyday, movie stars were worshipped, celebrity columns thrived on gossip, but they still had their private lives, moments to themselves. The media wasn’t everywhere, it wasn’t instantaneous, and it seemed to respect them. They certainly didn’t camp outside their homes 24/7 hoping to catch them with their pants down.

But today’s vultureratzi have no respect for the stars. To them the stars are simply their gravy train, their meal tickets. One picture of Britney sans panties probably fetches upwards of thousands of dollars. A drunk mug shot of Lindsey Lohan, thousands more.

Why do we need to know this? Why do we care? Are our own lives so empty and shallow and boring that we have to get our thrills through the antics of the celebrities?

Or are we so full of self-pity and self-loathing that it makes us feel better to see the rich and famous dragged through the mud? Are we gleeful when they are knocked off their pedestal to crash down to our pitiful level?

One of the most repulsive traits of human beings is the visceral joy they get from the suffering of another human being they feel inferior to. It’s class envy at its ugliest.

I’m disgusted by all the gossip rags on the grocery store shelves.

But not at the rags themselves, no. I’m disgusted by the people who buy them and read them. I’m disgusted by the people who tune into Entertainment Tonight or who watch E! Entertainment Television. They are the ones who are perpetuating this appalling cycle.

Yes, I do think the media are nothing more than professional voyeurs, the equivalent of paid stalkers, but they wouldn’t be doing it if there wasn’t a market for that kind of trash.

I’m especially appalled at the treatment of many of the celebrities. They became stars because people built them up, wanted to know more and more about them and then when the stars showed a chink in their shining armor, when the people realized they had feet of clay, those same people who built them up turned on them like a pack of rabid pit bulls and tore them apart.

Just a few years ago Britney was at the top of her game. Now she’s been pulled off her pedestal as the mob tears her apart with shouts of “fatty!” and “bad mommy!”

Did Britney bring a lot of the criticism upon herself? Sure. That’s undeniable. She has constantly done stupid things culminating with her appearance on MTV half-drunk and unprepared for her number.

But does that still give us the right to invade her privacy? When someone signs on as a celebrity, do they also sign away all rights to ever again have a free moment to themselves? Is it fully expected that we will be informed every time they go to the bathroom, pick their nose, or get drunk and forget their panties?

Do we have the right to badger them every waking minute?

Las Vegas has a slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

In regards to celebrities, it should be: “What happens in privacy, stays in privacy.”

In other words, get a life, people. Preferably one of your own.


2 thoughts on “Poor, Poor Britney

  1. I’d love to see a new law passed that says before anyone can make a comment about someone’s weight, they first have to post photos of themselves, in their underwear !

    One minute the tabloids say the stars are too fat, then the next issue says they’re too skiny.

    Thank goodness authors aren’t even noticed 😀

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