So, the latest news item centers around Britney Spears’ “comeback” on the VMAs (9 Sept). Everyone’s talking about how lip synched (badly), how out of it she looked (she seemed to be going through the motions without feeling her music), and (this is the biggest criticism)–how “FAT” she looked in her black sequined bikini.
I’ve never liked Britney Spears. Pop princesses were never my thing–especially when they went from ‘innocent’ schoolgirls to an all out vixen role…As an older sister, I couldn’t help but to be concerned that young girls looked up to her. However, my dislike for her does not mean I’ll use this performance to further make fun of her.
In fact, I believe the crap she’s getting because of it is absurd and rude.
Seriously, when was the last time you’ve heard someone speak critically about a male musician’s weight? Let’s take actor (and a musician of sorts) Jack Black. Who–when Nacho Libre came out–spoke out about how fat he looked in the costume? Who do you know that said something like “Ew, Black needs to lose some weight before he puts on something like that…disgusting…”
So what’s with the double standard? Why must women be small/petite (but preferably with rounded curves…and if she doesn’t have ’em…why! that’s what cosmetic surgery is for…but that’s another story…) Why is it that we as women are brought before the judge and jury when we are found lacking in appearance? Why is it we must fear wrinkles when men can proudly brandish theirs and say, “hey, look at me! I’m distinguished!” Why is it we must buy into a culture that says women can’t be happy and look how we want to look/how we naturally look? This look does not a good woman make, for she must shave, put on makeup and follow the other rites of beauty. Women who are too fat, too old, too calloused are exposed to the world as frauds, as imposters.
Male performers don’t experience this.
To be sure, Spears was wearing an outfit, which according to general consensus, requires a specific body type. But who says you have to be that body type? Yoplait? (With its ads featuring the “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” song, women don’t seem to have a lot of choice in feeling good about themselves. They’re either hot…or they’re not…and they gotta hide if they aren’t…)
Relegating beauty to physical shape is unreal. Women come in all different shapes and all different sizes. If NME can realize this, so should everyone.
So here’s the questions Britney Spears needs to start asking herself. (btw, she looked damn good for having had kids-the ‘fat’ thing is ridiculous): What was she trying to accomplish with that outfit/song? Is she still trying to regain her years as pop princess? Is she even comfortable with herself yet, as a human being?
Personally, I think Spears has some work to do on herself…and w/ the paparazzi waiting for the next “Brit screws up!” story, it’s kinda hard. The media needs to give her a break and let her find herself.
I also believe that if Spears wants to remain a celebrity, she needs to revamp herself. She isn’t 18 anymore and trying to reclaim those years is impossible. If she wants to stay true to music, then she should! But, she should roll with the changes.
Life is change, and to try to keep a dead image is futile.
So Britney-here’s to you…may you accept that change happens and take the popular criticism of you with a grain of salt. I may not love you as an artist, but as women we are in this together…and you don’t deserve any of what the media is saying. Be who you are, not who pop culture presses you to be.