January, 2007. The Kidlet turned -- sweet Jeebus -- thirteen years old.
She's been going through a tough time lately, teenagerness
. Home chaos. Peer pressure. Health issues. Frustration and anger. Fucked up family dynamics. So this summer, The Husband-Type Man and I are going to be pseudo-foster-parenting her for a while. In the meantime, I stay in touch with her by writing her letters every week.
Letters to the Kidlet aren't anything new, though. Every year for her birthday, it's tradition for me to send her a missive of some sort. This year, aware of what's going on in her life, and with the inspiration and help of the Greecies, I came up with something different.
This year, we giggled over the following:
“Oops, She Did It Again”: Why You Are Lucky to Live in the Britney Era,
Twenty Things Every Girl Can Learn From Britney Spears
She’s not just America’s Sweet Pop Princess... or even America’s Former Sweet Pop Princess. Rather, she’s a shining, golden example to us all about what people, especially teenaged girls, need to learn as they grow to adulthood. Spend a little time looking at Britney’s life and choices, and suddenly, a whole lot of things become clearer, and pivotal life lessons – especially for young women – become more obvious. Like, smack-you-upside-the-head obvious. For example:
1. For Pete’s sake, think before you do things! People make a big fuss, in general, about being impulsive and spontaneous. Why, you’re so free if you aren’t constrained by icky rules! Just DO it! Woo!
OMG BRITNEY + JASON =
TOTAL TLA 4-EVAH!!!!1!
But what makes a great antic for a romantic comedy or Jackass or a cute sit-com B-plot doesn’t work so well in real life. Just jumping in, especially with huge, life-altering decisions, like getting married, quitting your job (or multi-million-dollar world tour), getting tattoo’d, committing certain things to digital recording, getting a dog, hooking up with a guy, having a baby, or flashing your cootch for the cameras, isn’t cute and free and exciting and wild. Actually, it’s pretty irresponsible and stupid. You aren’t somehow less free or joyful or fun if you stop to really weigh a decision like a mature human being or behave like one.
Besides, your decisions and your actions, no matter what you think, will affect everyone around you. Not to mention they’ll come back to haunt you for the rest of your life. Britney may have thought it was “what you do in Vegas!!!” to run off and get married to some old boyfriend after a fun weekend of partying, and for the first few hours, it might’ve been a whole lot of excitement and giddiness. But what about after? That “fun!!!” thing she just impulsively did started the real downward spiral of her career, and she became a total laughingstock. She ended up hurting her family, Jason Alexander and his family, her friends, the people she worked with, and looked like an immature idiot as a result. Even though she thought it was a fun little thing to do and she quickly tried to “undo” it, it can’t be undone, and keeps coming back to haunt her in every way from dumb jokes on late-night television to legal repercussions of Jason giving interviews and spilling her secrets. Stupid Britney.
Dear Stupid Britney: A Baby is
NOT a "Golden Ticket" to Happiness!
2. No one magic thing – a hit song, a guy, a doggie, a baby, a night out – will “make” you happy. Happiness, true happiness, comes from truly knowing, accepting and loving who you are. If you feel like something is “missing” in your life or your self, it’s something within you, something you need to explore. Having a baby, getting married, going on a big shopping spree, fitting into a hottt outfit, running away on a vacation, winning a Grammy, hanging out with a couple of the popular girls, re-decorating, or any other thing isn’t going to solve the problem. Britney’s done all sorts of things, usually impulsively, from chopping off her hair and dying it, to buying puppies (four different ones at last count) to getting boob implants put in or taken out, to hooking up with this guy or that guy, and then claiming that each thing was “OMG, SO AMAZING!!!” or “OMG SO AWESOME!!!” and made her soooo happy and liberated and all that cool stuff! Then she rushed out and got married to Kevin “Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel” Federline, quickly had two kids, and babbled in the media about how she’d discovered that being a wife and a momma was JUST what she needed to be happy, not all that other silly stuff! But then, just two years later, she decided that ... wait! That wasn’t making her happy after all, so she ditched Federshizzle and the babies to go out and party with Paris and Lindsay, drinking until she passes out and/or pukes all over herself. Sorry, dumb Britney... you’re looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. You’re looking for stuff outside yourself to make you happy and fix whatever problems you have, when you really need to look inward for what is lacking. (Like self-esteem, a sense of purpose, true joy in living, and maturity, for starters...?)
3. Getting married and/or having a baby does not make you a grown-up. Poor, dumb Britney. She was so fed up with being “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.” What did she do? Declared that getting married would “make me realize that I am growing up, becoming a woman, and things need to be different.” Sweetie, no. You don’t get married or have a baby in order to somehow magically turn into a grown-up or prove that you’re a grown-up! That kind of thinking only proves that you AREN’T growing up. If things needed to be different, look into family therapy and solve your problems instead of creating new ones! And having a baby in order to be taken seriously as a grown up is just stupid and selfish and about as un-grwn up as you can get.
Insecure Britney Puts on A
Show for the Paparazzi... and
Grosses Everyone Out.
4. There are some things that should be kept private, out of respect for yourself and others. Frankly, some things are no one’s business but your own. Your virginity or lack thereof, for one. Your relationships, for another. With Britney (and with Jessica Simpson, too), there was such a media kerfuffle about “She’s a virgin! She’s waiting for marriage! How wonderful!” when it’s NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS! (Hey, how come no one’s out there interviewing the guys about their virginity?!) Then, when she hooked up with Federshizzle, Britney had to do the whole “Look at me an’ my maaaan!” stuff. She even foisted all this on the public in her stupid “reality” show, Chaotic, which only showed the world what immature and selfish sleeze-balls they both were. Dude. No. Have some pride and keep personal things personal! (And that means don’t record it on your digital camera, either!)
5. Accept responsibility for your actions and your mistakes. We all make mistakes. Learn from them. Don’t try to run away from them,
WAH! Y'all're so MEAN to meeeeee!
like Britney did when she and her momma were in a car accident, and the cameras caught her telling her mother to just drive away. Don't shift the blame to others. Don’t shrug it off with a blasé “That’s just the way I am!” And don’t make stupid excuses; you’ll only look like a moron if you do. Like Britney with Lil’ Sean Preston Federshizzle. First, she nearly breaks the poor kid’s skull more than once, what with him falling out of his high-chair and getting a concussion but she didn’t take him to the hospital until days later (which was so freakin’ irresponsible that Child Protective Services did a follow-up visit). And then "Oops! She did it again" because she’s tripping along in too-long jeans and carrying a cocktail. If it wasn’t for the manny/nanny-bodyguard dude, poor Lil’ Shizzle would’ve been a damp spot on the sidewalk. So then she goes to a restaurant and sits where the paparazzi can take pictures of her crying and looking distraught, but when she was questioned later about the mishap, she claimed nothing happened, it was no big deal, and she was crying because she “was just hungry.” Right, that’s it! And she’s been caught driving around more than once with Lil’ Shizzle on her lap or improperly strapped in his car seat. Instead of saying, like a mature adult and concerned parent, “You know, I DID make a mistake, and I’m not going to let it happen again,” Britney instead shifted the blame everywhere else she could. First she claimed that she was running from the paparazzi (even though the pictures made it clear she wasn’t), then she said “We’re country, y’all! I drove around on my dad’s lap all the time when I was a baby an’ I never got hurt!” like that’s some sort of real reason for behaving like an idiot and endangering her child. Then she ended up blubbering on TV like a Professional Victim about how everyone else is to blame for all this icky, bad stuff and “It is what it is!” Now, really... what kind of stupid thing is that to say?! “It is what it is”? What does that even mean on a rational and logical level?! She actually might’ve earned some respect if she’d responded in a proactive way – “I appreciate that people are concerned about my child’s safety” maybe? – instead of whining like a spoiled brat about how it wasn’t her fault and people were just being mean to her.
Or look at her dogs. She rushes out to buy a cute lil’ Maltie-poo named Lacy! Then she gets a cute lil’ Chihuahua named Bit-Bit! Then she gets some fluffy Pomeranian! (Ooh, just like ALL the other popular girls have!) She buys the doggies cute little sweaters and doggie houses and doggie beds and collars with rhinestones on them! How cute! She takes the cute lil’ doggies to photo shoots and award shows for a couple months. Awww! Then she’s interviewed in People magazine complaining that there’s dog shit all over her house – including in her closet – because the doggies... well, it turns out the doggies can’t seem to learn to be house trained properly. So what does she do? She gives the doggies away! Problem solved! Then Kevin gets a pit bull, because all tough guys need pit bulls, don’t they? A month later, no sign of the pit bull. And then this month, after endless weeks of partying (and not seeming to pay attention to her own two children), she goes out and buys Sean Preston a puppy, because he wants a puppy! Awww-
For Pete’s sake! Does Dumb Britney have any sense of responsibility? She doesn’t even manage take care of the dogs she gets. Heck, she doesn’t manage to take care of her own children! Why does she keep getting more dogs? Answer? She’s a stupid, selfish idiot.
The latest in can’t-accept-responsibility – and perhaps the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard for anything recently – is the one that she did not, in fact, get drunk and puke all over her new boyfriend at a nightclub. Oh no. Her new boyfriend Isaac was – get this! – carrying a JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER IN HIS POCKET AND IT BROKE! That’s what it was! Peanut butter! I- huh?
That’s the best she and her PR team could come up with? And they expect us to believe it? Gimme a freakin’ break.
What's the difference between Britney
and Barbie doll...? A Barbie doll doesn't
say and do stupid things.
6. Don’t buy into the media’s notion of “sexy” or “feminine” or “beautiful” or “cute” or “hot.” It’s all smoke-and-mirrors. Even Britney’s whole “Pop Princess” thing was just something manufactured by a bunch of skeezy (usually) old guys in suits, sitting in an office somewhere, looking to create the next “big thing” and make a whole lot of dough from it. Sadly, it has little to do with talent or ability. It even has little to do with beauty. Rather, it has to do with who you know, and if it – whatever “it” is – is marketable. Little Britney did not just walk into some producer’s office and blow him away with her amazing talent and personality. Rather, when she was signed to her record deal after a whole lot of meetings and schmoozing, the guy at Jive Records, Jeff Fenster, said: “She looked like the sweet, All-American girl that you just wanted to defile and do bad things to, and that appealed to me.” Holy crap! THAT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT! THAT IS NOT STRENGTH AND POWER! THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING! That is gross! That is exploitation.
Jive Records took a girl who was easily malleable as “the sweet, All-American girl that you just wanted to... do bad things to” and made her into just that. They coached her on how to do interviews and giggle and be sweet and charming and cute and non-threatening. They paid for the best musicians and song writers and dancers and choreographers and techs and fashion stylists to work with her. They used computer technology to Pro-Tool her songs and airbrush the hell out of her photos to make her look and sound how they wanted her to... and none of it was really real. They didn’t care if they were fair to her, turning her into some wind-up teenaged sex-kitten. They dressed her up, and because they let her write the occasional song lyric or pick out the occasional outfit, she could babble on MTV that she was “in charge of herself and her career!” even though it was increasingly clear that she wasn’t. How could a 16-year-old girl be in charge of her career, anyway?
The wonders of technology! Britney before and
after airbrushing for a magazine photo spread.
And Britneywas so dumb and so easy, and wanted to be “a superstar!” – kinda like the American Idol kids – so it was easy to make her into what they wanted her to be, an empty vessel of sex-appeal, and to make billions of dollars off her for it. She was a pose-able, animated dolly. They put her in revealing outfits and set off a whole bunch of fireworks around her and had her shake her ass and fling her hair around and told us, “Look! THIS is what’s sexy! THIS is what’s hot! THIS is what a strong woman looks like!”
It worked for a few years. It usually does. But fame is fleeting and pop princesses and princes don’t have a long shelf-life. Pretty soon, the “sweet, All-American girl that you just wanted to... do bad things to” image backfired, as it always will, and there wasn’t anything left under the surface but a pork stupid, irresponsible 25-year-old bratty child-woman who had already done “bad things” and had “bad things” done to her and say, maybe those “bad things” weren’t as awesome and fun as all those folks made it out to seem at first. The “sexy, hot, strong woman!” was an absolute fabrication. It’s like the fairy tales. The emperor’s clothes weren’t real, but at first, no one was willing to say, “Hey, he’s not wearing anything!” Like Britney has famously (and stupidly) said, “It isn’t that deep, y’all!” So obviously, being famous, rich, on a magazine cover, a popular party person, etc. doesn’t mean someone is a good person or talented or special. It means that some corporate pig who’s out to make a whole lot of money thought that whoever, like Britney, was a marketable product, the same way that cute bubble-gum scented glitter or diet chocolate soda is marketable: you can sell it to a lot of people for cheap, and make millions ‘cos people will buy that shit.
Bottom line: What’s portrayed in the media isn’t real! It’s as pre-packaged and commercial and made-up and unnatural and bad for you as a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Develop your critical thinking skills and your own sense of taste and don’t just blindly accept what some magazine or TV show or movie or your friends say is “hot” or “gorgeous” or “awesome” or “fun” or “strong”!
7. Children are permanent. They are not dolls to dress up and play with. They are not a ticket to understanding life. They don’t give you this awesome glow or a special twinkle in your eye. They are not what will fill your life with meaning and reveal “God’s whole plan” to you (as per Britney’s song "Someday I Will Understand”). They are not fun and cute. They will not define you or provide you with identity as “a mommy!!!” They aren’t something that “just happened! Whoops!” They are not the purest essence of truth. They do not prove that you love your man and are committed to him and want a future together. They are not “cool.”
Babies are a demanding lifelong responsibility that will change your life forever, and you damned well better be good and ready before you have them!
Even before she found out she was pregnant, Britney wrote this schlocky, overly-idealistic song about how “And I'll finally see/See it all in my baby.” She went on and on in various interviews about how she wanted to be a “young, hot mom!” and a “MILF” (and even ran around in a t-shirt that said MILF-in-Training).
Three years later, how’s it all going for her?
It’s like it was fun and exciting and new and neat to play Mommy for a while, and give breathlessly happy interviews about how wonderful having this new little baby was. (From People: “I find being pregnant empowering.... I think it brings out a pure side of you, and I think that's cool.”) But then Britters just didn’t seem to understand that, even with a husband (as if K.Fed would really do much anyway) and a nanny and a professionally-decorated nursery and lots of gifties and baby clothes from cool designers and being a “young, hot mom!” and all those pictures in Vanity Fair, that being a parent is a grueling, unending, life-long, constant, high-pressure responsibility.
Brit just didn’t get that babies do not = Automatic Love!
Stupid Britney has millions of dollars, two nannies, and all the advantages in the world, but even she can’t pull it together with her own kids. And now that she’s done with Husband Number Two, it’s like she’s decided that she can’t even be bothered with the babies anymore. She leaves town for days on end. She’s out until 2AM almost every night. She takes Lil’ Shizzle to the pet store for a puppy or to the park, but doesn’t hold him or even interact with him at all during the whole trip... instead it’s the bodyguard who carrying him around and buckles him into his car seat or pushes him in the swing. No one’s even seen her with Baby Number Two! Heck, no one’s seen Baby Number Two in the first place! Yet I’m sure in another month or two, she’ll trot both kids (and the new doggie?) out for another photo shoot or two about how devoted she is as a mom, and she plays with the babies and loves them sooooo much. She treats them like dress-up toys, and doesn’t even seem concerned in the least that she’s leaving them with hired strangers all the time.
Granted, considering the kinds of parents Britney and Federshizzle have shown themselves to be time and again, maybe the kids are lucky that way.
8. Just because someone says something, doesn’t mean it’s so. Or, in other words, you are defined by your actions.
"There will be an "Ooops number 100." There'll be plenty
more oopses. I'm not perfect. I'm human. " -Britney
re: parentng. How reassuring.
Britney says a lot of stuff. “I know I’m a good mom!” “I am now more mature and feel like I am finally ‘free’.” “I’m hard at work on my next album!” “I love my fans so much, and I appreciate everything you have done for me!” And the public is supposed to buy all of this... despite all evidence to the contrary? There are huge differences between what she says, and what she does/how she acts.
The cycle is regular: she does stupid things, and then posts some whiny babble on her website or gives a tearful interview that’s supposedly “straight from the heart!” and that’s supposed to make everything all better. Like she thinks crying and saying “I know I’m a good mom!” makes up for the fact that most of her actions indicate she’s a pretty lame mom, at best... ignoring her kids, endangering them, heck, even sticking them with the crappy father they have! Or she insists that she be excused because “I’m not perfect! I’m human!” No one’s asking you to be perfect, dummy... just don’t be a complete moron. Or Britney gets drunk and passes out at a party, and her PR guy, Larry Rudolph, goes to all the paper with a press release that says “She was just tired and fell asleep!” Bullshit. If she can party for several nights in a row and manage to stay awake, how come she can’t do so at a public appearance for which she’s being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars? Supposedly, Britney’s been “working on a new album!!!” for three years now. Where is it? She claims to love her fans so much, but constantly bails out of charity events where she’s promised to appear and even cancels her world tour because she’d rather hang out with her new boyfriend instead of doing the job she’s supposed to do for the fans she supposedly loves.
Again, develop your critical thinking skills and look at the evidence you’re given in situations. Don’t just blindly believe what someone says because they say it. If someone says “I care about you!” but they treat you like they don’t, then saying it makes no difference. If someone says, “I’m a really nice and caring person!” but they keep doing things that are not nice and caring, then they aren’t nice and caring. Just because it’s printed in People or In Touch, or reported on TV, doesn’t mean it’s 100% true.
And don’t do crappy things, and then say, like Britney did, “I know not everyone will like me, but this is who I am so if you don't like it, tough!” or “People can take everything away from you. But they can never take away your truth. But can you handle it? Can you handle my truth?” Sorry, Britney... if you keep doing stupid and immature things, the truth is, you are being stupid and immature. (What does “can you handle my truth” mean, anyway?! If we look at her actions, her “truth” is that she’s an idiot!)
America's Pretty Pop Princess!
9. Have self-respect! Despite everything that Britney says in interviews, her actions and choice make it obvious she has no respect for herself or her body. All you need to do is look at any of a dozen different pictures of her, of how she presents herself, what she does, who she does it with, and how she reacts. If she sees a camera, she hikes up her skirt or sticks out her boobs and mugs like a cutsey-poo sex kitten. She pouts and whines that she’s “ugly” in order to get reassurance that she’s not. She repeatedly hooks up with guys who are drug-dealers, cheaters, bad fathers, irresponsible, and immature. All of these things just scream that she has no sense of self-worth, that she doesn’t think she deserves better, and is content with just being a media pop-tart and having fun!
Even more, she’s usually photographed not just in casual garb, which is one thing, but looking like an absolute mess... with matted and unwashed hair, in filthy, dirty, ill-fitting, holey clothes, running around barefoot on public streets (and in gas station bathrooms, which is totally disgusting and gross and unsanitary!), her underwear (or worse, her vagina) hanging out for everyone to see.
"Look how cool I am, hangin' with the
The way you carry yourself in public is a reflection of your own self-worth and, for better or worse, affects how others see you. Be clean and presentable if you expect others to treat you with respect. Take care of yourself physically. Don’t just eat fast food and soda; it’ll catch up with you in no time, and you’ll look and feel like crap. Get regular exercise and sleep. Wash your face, and if you start having problems with acne, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Wash your hair. Don’t lie out in the sun and bake yourself. Get regular check-ups with a general physician and dentist and gynecologist (and if you notice something that might be a health problem, don’t pretend it doesn’t exist or isn’t important; see a doctor or a therapist right away). Don’t pick your nose or your butt in public. Wear clean underwear. Heck, wear underwear! Wear clothes that cover you.
But this is way beyond the surface “what you wear” or “how you look” thing, though. This is about how you value yourself. So don’t hook up with losers and jackasses and attention whores, either as friends or romantic partners. You deserve better.
If you don't respect yourself, no one else will. And just because people are talking about you doesn't mean they like or respect you.
10. Treat other people respectfully as well. Don’t be narcissistic. Treat other people with courtesy. Put forth effort. Don’t just respond with “Huh?” or “What?” or chomp on gum and look blankly at them. Don’t assume that the person behind the counter or at such-and-such place exists to wait on you. Don’t assume the world is going to give you stuff or you deserve something, just because you’re nice or cute or said something funny or are friends with someone or know someone. Honor your commitments, be it a job (or a world tour, Britney?) or an activity (like actually showing up to the charity camp you supposedly help run, Britney?) or your family (er, Britney? Remember them?). Say please and thank you and mean it. Show people you appreciate them and what they do.
11. Get an education! I mean, der. Britney is the perfect case study for why someone should get a decent education, because really, if she hadn’t had a couple catchy pop songs and then managed to make a million dollars selling pictures of her babies to tabloid magazines, the girl would be dunking fries in grease at the local Rally Burger until she’s 70. Dropping out of school and becoming a big star might’ve seemed like a smart move when she was 16, but now that she’s 25 and has no common sense or understanding about the world and has missed out on a whole chunk of life and is just stumbling around asking idiotic things like “They look just like boobs. But they're not. They're my knees!'” and “...is it possible... to time-travel speed? Huh? Yes it is!” it doesn’t seem so smart after all.
There are all your usual statistics about why you should go to college. Blah blah blah getting a bachelor's degree can mean 74 percent more income than just a high school diploma blah blah blah. But education is not just about getting a better job for more money. It’s about challenging yourself, learning skills, taking steps to adulthood, having life experiences you can’t even begin to fathom yet, and ten million other crucial things that you never get to experience if you decide to just sit at home and watch TV in between concerts and shopping trips and boyfriends/husbands, like Britney.
OMG I AM SOOOO HAPPEEEE!!! SEE!?!
12. Real happiness shows. Whether it’s your career choices or your romantic status or your family situation or your friends or your physical health, if you are unhappy or dissatisfied, it will show, and it will eventually be unavoidable. Whatever you do with your life, make sure you are interested in your career and not just out for a quick buck or doing something because someone else convinced you it would be a good idea. (Remind me to tell you about the time I decided I should be a bank teller. Oy.) And if you aren’t happy, take active steps to make changes; you aren’t just “stuck” with things. It doesn’t mean you are bad or a failure if something doesn’t work out. Admitting you made a mistake is better than pretending nothing’s wrong.
And if you are truly not happy in your heart, then no forced, donkey-braying laughing will be convincing enough.
13. People aren’t remarkable and don’t deserve massive props for doing what any decent (or even semi-decent) human being would do. Britney, for the first time in two years, manages to comb her hair and show up in public looking put-together, and the whole world goes crazy. “WOW! Look, Britney’s back! ALL RIGHT! You go, girl! All you hatin’ haterz were WRONG! Woo hoo!” as if she’s accomplished something big. (And a few days later, she’s drunk out of her mind with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, doing cocaine in a Hollywood club bathroom, dirty and disheveled again.) K.Fed and Britney spend a token afternoon playing dunkie-dunkie with Lil’ Shizzle in the ocean, and the headlines and fan message boards go crazy with “They’re such GREAT parents! Look at how much they love their son and each other! He’s such a cutie-pie! Isn’t it awesome?!” Britney carts Kevin’s oldest kid, Kori, around for some public appearance and tabloid photo opportunities, and it’s like she’s done something super-special. “Look at what a great stepmom she’s going to make! Kori looks so cute and happy with her!” Britney goes to the grocery store to buy Cheetos and Red Bull or drives through Taco Bell, and fans gush “OMG, SHE’S SO DOWN-TO-EARTH AND REAL!” She signs an autograph and poses for a picture with a fan, and “SHE’S SOOOO SWEET! You are being too mean to her! She’s a nice person, you can just tell!”
"See, all you haterz! Look what great
parents we are! Yeah!"
Please. She isn’t fierce and righteous because she got new, clean hair extensions and put on a dress that fits for the first time in six months. She isn’t “such a wonderful mommy!” because she manages to carry her kid out of a restaurant or stop for a photo op at a local park. She doesn’t deserve “me!” time after the last three years of pretty much doing nothing but bouncing from vacation to vacation and shopping trip to shopping trip, in between popping out kids with Feddy. And she’s not just going through a “rocky time” right now... she’s behaving like a stupid asshole, and she has been for years on end!
Most human beings should be able to do their job, play with their children, shop for groceries, fix a meal, take care of a dog, wash their hair, have breakfast with their family, or attend a child’s birthday party! Doing everyday things shouldn’t cause people to react with a standing ovation and “What a WONDERFUL human being she is!” Chris Rock once pointed out that there’re some people who “always want credit for some shit they supposed to do. [He’ll] brag about some shit a normal man just does... like ‘I take care of my kids.’ You supposed to you dumb ****! What kind of ignorant shit is that! ‘I ain't never been to jail!’ What do you want, a cookie?! You're not supposed to go to jail you low expectation-having ****!”
Britney shows up for an awards show, says three lines, giggles, and we’re supposed to think that’s the greatest thing ever?! Like with the other current celebrity girls – the Olsen twins, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Jessica and Ashley Simpson, the Pussycat Dolls – you just gotta ask... why is Britney even famous? “She’s funny!”? “She’s sweet!”? “She’s cute!”? So’re ten million people. “She wears cute clothes!” “I liked her in that one video!” “She dances good.” “She seems like she’s having fun!” Dude, Britney had a couple hit songs six years ago (which is more than most of the other aforementioned girls, I guess). But that’s it. She didn’t graduate magna cum laude from anyplace. She didn’t discover anything special. Hell, she didn’t even WRITE those hit songs! What does she want for managing to stumble through even the most basic activities, a cookie?!
14. Smoking and drinking and drugs are not fun ‘n’ cool. Sorry. Wrong.
Smoking is disgusting. It’s addictive. It ruins your skin and teeth, gives you wrinkles around your mouth, destroys your sense of smell and taste, makes you stink, and causes all sorts of health problems, from asthma to emphysema. (My mother-in-law is dying slowly of emphysema. It’s horrific.) There is NOTHING good about smoking. Try thinking of one benefit of smoking. No, really. Name something good about smoking. “You get this cool head rush!” Try hyperventilating. Or jogging. Or yoga. You can get the same effect without addictive substances. “If it’s so bad, why is it legal?!” Because tobacco corporations have no sense of ethics, and are out to make bigbucks on an addictive substance! “It makes you look older and sophisticated!” Er, no. Case in point:
|OMG!!!! We look sooooo totally cool! We're cooler than all y'all! We live life on the edge! We CAN'T BE STOPPED! Woot!!!!
Maybe things were different in previous generations, but in this day and age, if you start smoking, the only thing it indicates is that you are pork stupid.
I'm having' SO MUCH FUN, y'all!
Ditto drinking. “It’s fun to get buzzed!!!!” “I’m relaxing and having a good time!!!” Really? Getting trashed and doing things you don’t remember and puking and passing out and making an ass of yourself is fun? Getting bloated and bleary and red-eyed is fun? Messing up jobs that you were hired to do and looking like an irresponsible fool is fun? Drinking does not make you a “hott party girl!!!” like Paris and Lindsay and the rest of them. If you can’t have fun and relax without drinking, then you have some serious insecurity issues.
Besides, drinking makes you look like complete crap. Dig Britney’s Booze Bloat.
Doing drugs is even more stupid (and don’t doubt that Britney did and does drugs... [****], who was an Undercover Narcotics Officer here in Los Angeles used to track both Britney and Kevin; he was her meth dealer, and although she supposedly quit meth before she got pregnant with Sean Preston, there are strong rumors that she was using again when she got unexpectedly pregnant with Jayden, and that there’s something wrong with him). Drugs are not something you can do once and a while at a club just for fun, or with a couple friends, or just for a little while to help you get over a rough patch or lose weight. It might start like that, but you cannot control it. You even think you can at first, but that’s how drugs work. They’re stronger than you. Don’t even try. It’s not worth it.
15. It’s okay to be single. In fact, in a lot of ways, it might even be preferable. But poor, dumb Britney-poo hasn’t figured this out. She was with Justin Timberlake for years when she was a teenager, but after they split up, she bounced from guy to guy with barely a time to take a breath between flings and hook-ups... including a married back-up dance with a pregnant wife! Then it was just a couple months after her infamous Vegas wedding when she showed up with Federshizzle proclaiming that THIS was her Prince Charming and she was totally in love for KEEPS! And now that she’s dumped Shiz, how many guys has she been photographed making out with or out on dates with or hooking up with...? There’s been a different one almost every week, including Brandon Davis, the greaseball friend of Paris Hilton,some football player that Paris
HA HA ON YOU, KEVIN!!!! I GOT
ME ANOTHER MAY-UN!
already hooked up with last year, and now another backup dancer, some Kevin Federline look-alike. Even if she didn’t have two babies at home, Britney would be better off taking some time to take care – really take care – of herself, to figure out what went wrong, why she made such bad decisions, how to be the kind of parent her children need, where she’s going with her life, what her real interests are (and “shopping” and “partying” are not interests!), and if she even needs to be in the glare of the spotlight any more. However, stupid Brit-Brit seems to think she needs some guy by her side, like it proves she’s sexy and lovable and wonderful, when all it proves is that she’s insecure and weak and needy.
If you’re constantly bouncing from relationship to relationship, hook-up to hook-up, like Britney does, you never have an opportunity to know yourself as an individual. Instead, you flail around like this empty thing looking for a “missing piece” to complete you, and that is NOT healthy. Take some time to really grow up and learn who you are and what you want out of life before you worry about all this “Prince Charming” bullshit.
Douchebag: (n). An individual who has an over
-inflated sense of self worth, compounded by
a low level of intellegence.
16. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck! Or in Kevin Federline’s case, “If it walks like a skeezy mooching loser low-life asshole....” Some folks may think the whole “bad boy” thing is sexy, but... yeesh, don’t ever do anything permanent like marry them or have a kid with them. No, Britney, your situation was not special or different. You were not the one K.Feddy RILLY loved! Rather, you overlooked every possible screaming sign that Federshizzle was a complete and total douchebag greaseball mooching dickwad, not some magical Prince Charming!
Kevin Federline is like the poster child for What Not to EVER Hook Up With, and Britney was too dumb and insecure to question anything. Have a list of deal-breakers (and I mean REAL deal-breakers, not, like stupid things like “doesn’t have such-and-such car” or “can’t dance”) and stick to it. If he’s got a pregnant girlfriend/wife, don’t date him. No. I don’t care if he’s “sweet” or “treats [you] nice”... that is not nearly enough. If a guy cheats with you, he’ll cheat on you, as the old saying goes. No high school drop-outs. PERIOD. No. NO! Anyone who identifies himself as a “thug” or a “pimp,” or a woman as a “bitch” or “ho” is not someone you want to hang around with, no matter how nice or charming or cute you think he is. If he makes jokes at your expense or laughs at you or says mean things to you, then he doesn’t care about you, despite what he says. If he acts like he doesn’t care about you (or anything), that’s not him being “cool”... that’s him being an uncaring person. No. If he never seems to have a real or regular job (and he’s not in college), then he’s irresponsible. If he is covered in tattoos and piercings, then he doesn’t respect his own body. If he thinks he’s entitled to everything good the world has to offer – fancy cars, jewelry, the “good life” – because he “worked so hard” for a couple months, he’s an asshole. If he treats your parents or your friends rudely, he’s a jerk. If it’s always someone else’s fault that a previous relationship/job/activity/career move didn’t work out, he’s a brat. If he spends all his time drinking and gambling and partying with his friends, he’s a loser. If he wears flip-flops with socks and man-capris that hang off his ass and show his underwear and hats that say “Rock Out With Your Cock Out” and never manages to shave or wash his hair, then he’s stupid. You can’t fix him or heal him or save him or make him better. It’s not worth it to try.
But this whole “if it walks like a duck” thing applies directly to Britney, too. If you can’t be arsed to wash your hair or wear clothes that fit, you’re trashy and stupid and gross. If you think it’s funny and cute to act like a skank and run around in short skirts without underwear (and be photographed that way numerous times), you’re trashy and stupid and gross. If you hook up with guys who already have (pregnant) girlfriends or wives (and don’t immediately cut said guy off the second you find out!) you’re trashy and stupid and gross. If you refer to your fans in a print interview as “motherf***ers,” you’re trashy and stupid and gross. If you go out with your hair (or extensions) a matted mess and last night’s eye makeup still smeared all over your face, and your hooters hanging out of your shirt and your underwear hanging out of your skirt, you’re trashy and stupid and gross. If you chomp gum when you’re presenting an award or being interviewed, you’re trashy and stupid and gross. If you leave your kids at home every night for weeks in a row to go out and drink and party and puke and stumble home with this guy or that guy, covered in your own vomit, at two in the morning, you’re trashy and stupid and gross. If you constantly stuff your face with fast food, you’re trashy and stupid and gross. And if you do these things repeatedly without seeming to grow or learn at ALL from them? You’re trashy and stupid and gross. And if you’re trashy and stupid and gross and think that being trashy and stupid and gross is cute? You’re even trashier and stupider and grosser.
And being trashy and stupid and gross is not a good thing, even if it DOES get your pictures in magazines.
This is not "sexy!" and "edgy!" and
"pushing the envelope!" this is just
an attention-getting antic.
17. Lesbianism is not something cute, cool or trendy. If you are genuinely attracted to women, not men, that’s one thing. That’s your private and personal business. That’s who you are. However, if you’re kissing a girl or doing stripper moves because someone dared you to or because some guy said he thought it’d be hot or because someone said “You never know until you try!” or because you’re drunk, or because you want attention or want to try to shock someone, then you aren’t a lesbian, and you aren’t cool. You’re a performing monkey.
18. See the world. No, REALLY see it. Get out beyond your comfort zone. Go places that might be intimidating or scary or far away. Try new and different things. Don’t just cling to the familiar places and stuff. Britney got to go on tour all over the WORLD, and rarely made an attempt to venture out and about beyond her hotel suite, and keeps falling back on this whole small-town “I’m COUNTRY, y’all!” excuse. With her contacts and money, she has more opportunities than most people, and does diddly-squat with it. She could arrange private tours of everything from a Kenyan safari to a ferry trip down the Nam Ou River. She could have private tutoring on any subject of her choosing from the experts in any field, from the greatest sous-chefs to world economics scholars to art critics. She could get yet-unpublished books sent to her from anyone she asked. She could easily come into contact with everyone from the President of the United States to Oprah... a veritable Who’s Who of the most influential people in this country. She could probably get into Harvard or Yale quicker and easier than you or I could (which is both infuriating and terrifying, but also typical). She could get out and visit just about any cathedral, national historical site, fashion atelier, tourist attraction, school, restaurant-
Instead? She can’t even manage to haul herself out of this or that hotel room, and just sits around watching DVDs and eating junk food from the same places she could go to back home and getting stoned and making dumb home movies with her latest dude. She goes to the Sundance Film Festival, like all the popular and famous people do, but bails out early because “Sundance is weird. The movies are weird. You actually have to think about them when you watch them.” Like, God forbid you should have to THINK about something! She’s so ill-informed about the world and where she’s going that she says stupid crap like: “The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff” and “ Where the hell's Australia anyway?!” Has the child ever looked at a map of the world before?!
19. Just because someone says something you don't want to hear doesn’t mean you should discount it. It doesn't mean they're wrong, or jealous or hate-filled or don't want you to have any fun. It doesn’t mean an adult is assuming you’re just a dumb teenager and don’t know NEARLY as much as we do. When people offer criticism of you, your behavior or your decisions, they may be genuinely concerned. They may be looking out for your interests. They may even have some worthwhile advice or past experience they can share. Don't dismiss it because you don't like it, or it's difficult to hear. (And I don’t mean the friend at school who says “Look, I’m telling you this because I’m your friend... you dress really gross” or something of that ilk.) After all, you may be mature about a lot of things, but, when you look at the general trajectory of your life, you’re still very young and inexperienced.
Britney’s notorious for ignoring what everyone around her suggests, because she wants to be her own person. To wit, some of her lyrics for “Overprotected”:
Say hello to the girl that I am!
You're gonna have to see through my perspective
I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am
And I don't wanna be so damn protected
There must be another way
Cause I believe in taking chances
"I do not care what people think" - Britney Spears.
Well, that's obvious!
So when someone says, “Spit out the gum before you present an award” or “How about a professional makeup person for the interview,” or “Maybe you should change out of your grubby crotch-length denim mini-skirt and put on a bra and wear something a little less hootchie-mama for this TV appearance,” Britney pooh-poohs it as “I'm so fed up with people telling me to be/Someone else but me!”
There IS a happy medium, stupid Britney!
"I'm sorry you don't have what I have,
so nyah nyah nyah!"
And a good rule of thumb is, if more than three different people say the same thing, maybe it’s time to pay attention to what they’re saying. Like when Britney proposed to Kevin, bought her own engagement ring, and started gushing to the world that it was totally twu wuv and she was so happy, everyone from her mother to her publicists to even some of the reporters interviewing her said, “What’s the rush? Why not wait a year to get married?” “Maybe a guy who left his pregnant girlfriend for you isn’t the greatest potential husband.” “Didn’t you marry some other guy just 6 months ago?” “Don’t you think you guys should take your time first? After all, you’ve only been together for four months.” And Britney the mental giant didn’t say, “Hm... maybe if a whole bunch of people are saying this stuff, there might be something to it” or anything like that. Instead, she snipped (via People magazine) “I’m sorry you don’t have what I have” and later, on her Matt Lauer interview, said of people questioning her marriage, “that’s sad. I think everybody should be ‘pro love.’”
Wait! I mean... of course, Britney! No one was raising valid points about you and Kevin... they were being mean haters who were jealous of everything you and he had and just didn’t understand your wonderful powerful and amazing love! (*eyeroll*)
As someone who believes very strongly that people should think things through and be allowed to make their own mistakes, even I have to insist that “independence” and being an adult doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for and accept advice from people who have your best interests at heart, or people whose opinions you respect. That doesn’t mean you can’t make up your own mind in the end, after all.
"Decision, decisions... the pink
doggie sweater or the red
20. Don’t be stupid. Despite the recent spate of Vapid Girls featured in the media lately, stupid is not cute. Anyone who is put off by or threatened by a smart person is not worth your time. Don't be ashamed of your intelligence or knowledge or education. People that prefer you to be dumb and ignorant aren't the kind of people you want around you.
And “don’t be stupid” is way beyond going to school and passing tests. Know things. Know how to balance your checkbook and check your car’s oil and fill out a tax form. Read a real newspaper and find out what’s going on in the world. Know what things like “paradigm” and “infrastructure” and “xenophobe” and “acumen” mean. Pay attention to what’s happening in your community and your country. Learn about things like civil rights movements and The Holocaust and media bias. Find out about the differences between deism and Christianity. Write with maturity. Be able to halve a recipe or figure how much to leave for a tip on a restaurant bill. (And BTW, shopping is not a hobby/interest/pastime! Learn about the world and develop interests broader than just shopping and boys and all the other stuff that the same people who marketed Britney Spears try to market to girls your age.)
Especially, don’t just accept everything at face value. Britney will do stuff like see a play, like Wicked, or hear about Kabbalah from Madonna, decide quickly that it’s the greatest, most life-changing thing EVER!!!! and she totally gets it and understands it and relates to it, because it’s like it’s speaking right to her! WOW! And then two months later, nothing. She’s on to the next new surface-oriented thing that catches her eye and she totally relates to. Take the time to learn and research and think about things before you just start babbling about them, so you don’t sound like Britney on her website about the “false tabloids” or on camera talking about some painting that she decided was all about someone “believing in love” and her magical relationship with Kevin, when it was actually a picture of the mythical god of the underworld, Hades, kidnapping Persephone from her mother. And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t EVER think, much less say, anything as dumb as what Britney said about the war in Iraq: “Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.”
BONUS: Finally, did I mention...? Don’t ever do this!
"Do I go now, Paris? Huh? Now?
"No, wait just a sec... hold on.... trust me, everyone's gonna think this is the best thing you've ever done
and your timing has to be perfect....! Okay, now, let 'em have it!"