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Britney Spears

by Bobby McHavens

Britney Spears is another high-profile mass media target (though one might suggest anyone entering celebrity village does so knowingly and of her own volition). Beautiful and entertaining pop star Britney Spears gets much coverage for her antics, attitudes, actions, and values, even. But what we wonder is this: which are intentional as contributions to her publicity campaigns and which are unintended leaks to the public?

Britney Spears - MTV Awards 2007

“Oops, I did it again/I played with your heart…,” smirks the cheeky, sexy Spears. But is it really an innocent faux pas? With the debut and platinum catapult to success of her first album, Baby One More Time, Spears was the school girl with sex appeal…and the singing/dancing star at the top of the pop charts. Innocent, cute, but Lolita-esque at best. So the information begins…or, that is, the rumors take up housing in her high-profile life: she’s only seventeen (read: still a minor), and she has had breast implants. The publicity has begun!

Next, with only three years (and many best-sellers and awards) to her credit, Britney drops the maulable baby doll persona, drops a few more yards of material, and picks up a giant albino snake to writhe about with for her performance at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, and picks up slack from PETA.

Next, a Razzie Award for worst actress ever later, Britney’s painful separation from Justin Timberlake exposes the possibility of infidelity on her part. Britney opens a restaurant; it closes a year later. Britney goes into hiding for a bit—fueling fires of chat about her loss of pop princess status…. Britney tongues Madonna, and sparks of media coverage resuscitate….

Britney then marries a boy from her childhood years, the marriage getting annulled three days later. Two months beyond this, she gets engaged to Kevin Federline, divorced father of two at 26 years old. Within six months, Spears is married; three smash (and a few not so) hits, a moderately successful fragrance, and a crashing five-episode reality show failure later, Britney gives birth to baby Sean Preston Federline.

And though Britney has purportedly an “Original Doll” album in the making, clearly suggesting her awareness that her Lolita image is what works (or worked best), it is that image that has incurred the disdain of many: Governor Robert Ehrlich’s wife, First Lady Kendel, would “like to shoot Britney Spears;” is questioned as a fit role model; and is, of course, likened to Madonna—though she is far less the savvy and knowledgeable one, and cannot claim anywhere near the struggles and creative challenges Madonna has earned the right to.

So, consider the latest kinds of coverage on Britney Spears: first, while a star-search online usually yields a Wikipedia entry on page one of Google, for example, when you search for Britney Spears, the wiki entry shows up half way down page two. Hmmm. Next, in the latest edition of Us Weekly (which is generous with Jessica Simpson shots or plastered with Angelina Jolie articles and features), the items that appear on Brit involve 1) a photo of her in a food-stained dress, which she wore, Us said, on March 14; 2) a photo of her coming out of a gas station bathroom sans shoes, August 04 [also shown in earlier grocery store rags, btw].

But where are the shots of the baby? In that same issue, motherhood (and father hood) is a predominant theme—a three-paged bit is done on Angelina Jolie, featuring a full-paged and an additional inset photo of Jolie with newly adopted Zahara; centerfold “Mommy & Me” photographs appear with Liv Tyler, Kate Moss, and Denise Richards hanging out with their kids; and in “The Stars are Just Like Us!” we even see monumental stars like the great Dustin Hoffman taking his son to a NY Nicks game.

So is lack of baby evidence to protect the baby as well? Is it to protect and endure Britney’s teeny-bopper image? Is it to protect the hearts of the wishful thinking fans who fantasize being with Britney without baby or happily married mate in tow? It may be we will never know, as the line between popularity (candid, serendipitous coverage) and publicity (intentional stagings) is paper thin.

Article Source: Articles of Note

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