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May 30, 2006 - Image 43

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-05-30

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The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2006 - 27

In defense of Mammy Spears
f there's no experience in a woman's Curious scent. We're just confused at culture diva, Madonna, did little more
life as sacred, fulfilling and life- the moment because, for all the media than make headlines that nobody read.
affirming as the profound act of giv- hype surrounding the birth of your little With album sales down and her tantaliz-
ing birth, then the ubiquitous princess of progeny, all the continuing speculation ing little-girl routine three years past its
pop should be feeling a cozy inner glow about what the Spederline offspring will prime, Spears did the least logical thing
this week. Britney Spears, our culture's be christened (US Weekly's call of PMS in the world.
primary source of male fantasy, female Federline sounds pretty good), no one is She got married. In fact, she wed
adoration and preteen anorexia brought entirely sure why you're still here. her multimedia empire to just about the
forth a sweet little new fragrance this past When Spears first hit airwaves scrubbiest, scruffiest, sketchiest and all-
week. And she popped out a kid to boot. across America, she was decked out in around skeeziest man you could imagine
On Wednesday afternoon, US a naughty schoolgirl uniform with pink into existence. Kevin Federline, backup
Weekly was the first to call the pop poofs in her plaited hair, a dancer and expectant father,
singer's first successful step toward cheerleader routine and a despite all objections of
overpopulating the earth (her musi- somewhat unorthodox plea morality, sanity and basic
cal attempts at world destruction now for domestic violence. As hygiene, won the heart of
foundering). Her website boasted an fetish novelty acts go, Brit- America's most famous pop
exuberant Spears kissing a doo-rag- ney was a hit and an over- tart, and the joyful couple
donning Kevin Federline with baby- night superstar. The moral embarked on a career-
blue letters proclaiming to the world, implications of her image crushing whirlwind of pub-
"It's a Boy!" and a statement as touch- were discussed ad nauseum, lic adoration.
ing as it was grammatically incorrect, with outraged soccer moms If that weren't enough,
"We are ecstatic to announce the birth decrying the singer's coy the whole circus was docu-
of our son! Everyone is happy, healthy and subversive sexuality. AMANDA mented for the spectacu-
and doing wonderful." Then came the hits ANDRADE larly unsensational UPN
It's been a long journey for Spears, and - "Crazy,' "Oops, I Did it reality show, "Britney &
America has walked every mile by her Again," "Stronger" - and they kept com- Kevin: Chaotic." The tedious celebra-
side: From media reports of her dalliance ing. And the schoolgirl that everyone knew tion of love failed in its debut, and only
with the family man Federline, to short- was a fad became a pop-culture icon, the got worse in subsequent airings. Com-
lived outrage at his desertion of pregnant definitive face, moniker and, for better or bined with sagging album sales and a
girlfriend Shar Jackson, to her over-the- for worse, voice of a generation. She sings, nonexistent film career, Britney's only
top wedding (hey, it's her prerogative) she acts, she peddles perfume and an unat- profitable venture remains her perfume
and finally to rabid media reports of her tainable image of perfection. line - where, as J.Lo so thoroughly
reported pregnancy. And in the home She even remains famous when all the proved, the famemongers go when
stretch, we've seen a photographer shot at substance of her empire has crumbled they've only got fame left to sell.
her baby shower and enough photos of the around her. Britney hasn't headlined So what exactly happened to Spears
bikini-clad, barefoot, baby mama to turn a major hit since "Toxic" and that was in the past few years to reduce her from
us off celebrity gazing for a week. only a punctuation of an even longer dry kittenish sex goddess to public punching
So, Britney, congratulations. We loved spell for the one-time hit factory. Even bag? A string of bad songs didn't hurt, and
you circa 1999, and we totally dig that her overhyped duet with that other pop- her pregnancy weight suggested she was

Uh oh, Britney, there's another pregnancy behind you.

preparing to deliver a small village, or, at
the very least, maybe twins. But above any
of this was the simple fact that the illusion
of Britney Spears has been irrevocably
shattered. The Britney Spears that head-
lined sold-out concerts but demurely pro-
claimed her virginity; the Britney Spears
who dated Ken-doll-Justin Timberlake
and always had some excuse to show off
those impeccable abs - that Britney is
gone forever.
But Spears is unique among the image-
obsessed, fame-hoarding universe of
cardboard celebrities. In a world where
Tom Cruise has to brainwash a cookie-
cutter starlet to pose on his arm and where
Brangelina play peek-a-boo with the public

to plug their umpteenth bad movie in the
hopes of mutual career salvation, Britney's
personal life is completely, absolutely her
own. No publicist anywhere, in any state
of mental disturbance, would have sug-
gested this path. Sure, her new perfume
line launched a day after her son's birth.
I'll give her a pass. That baby and that hus-
band are ravenous parasites slowly drain-
ing her of every last ounce of goodwill and
fame she's ever accumulated. And as far as
I can tell, she couldn't be happier about it.
- Andrade needs a reality check of
epic proportions. Go ahead and give
it to her at aandrade@umich.edu.
Sept. 19, 2005

II

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