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Thursday December 20, 2007 7:48 pm

The Rise And Fall Of Britney Spears: Who’s To Blame?

Posted by David Onda Categories: Editorial, Features, Gossip, Internet, News,

The Evolution of Britney Spears

Forget about and . The year 2007 belonged to . And not in a, “Hey, Britney Spears is the sexiest women alive and sold a lot of records” kind of way. No, it’s more like, “Hey, Britney Spears split from her back-up dancer husband, had her disgusting hoo-ha and c-section scar plastered all over the internet, shaved all her hair off, lost custody of her children and had a comeback performance/album that bombed.” Yeah, she’s had that kind of year. And frankly, I’m pretty freakin’ tired of seeing her face every time I turn on the TV or go online and having to listen to every step of the “Britney custody saga” reported as legitimate news.

This woman is a disaster. Let’s make that point very clear from the outset. She is clearly a very unstable woman in need of some very serious help, and she’s not getting it. And now that it’s being reported that yet another member of the Spears clan has her tin-roof rusted, I think we need to take a step back and take a look at the big picture. Who is really to blame for the downfall of one of the biggest names and faces in, not only music, but pop culture as a whole? Who is responsible for the destruction of Britney Spears?

The easy answer is: Britney Spears. And there is not a bone in my body that says that she isn’t her own worst enemy. But let’s consider a couple things. Ten years ago, Britney Spears was the hottest thing since Madonna. As the old saying goes, “women wanted to be her, and men wanted to be with her.” She was the biggest sex symbol since Cindy Crawford, and let’s face it, the woman had the entire world at her feet. But as history has told us, success, especially at a young age, has it’s price. Swamped by paparazzi, ever aspect of Britney’s life was closely scrutinized from her boobs,  to her music, to her virginity. Such is the life of a teenage millionaire.

But then Britney grew up. She flaunted the boobs, lost the virginity and the music … well, the music wasn’t quite as popular. Women start losing interest in the music because it stinks and men lose interest because she’s damaged goods who will eventually marry her freeloading back-up dancer, Kevin Federline. But even as Britney slowly started losing her footing in the areas that made her popular (music and sex), a good chunk of the world started to become interested in the slow backslide of America’s sweetheart. You see, we started to become interested in watching Britney in the way that we can’t help but looking at a car crash on the side of the road. She’s got a flat tire, and we all slow down to take a peek.

The one group of people who never turned their back on Britney was the paparazzi. They don’t just like her. They LOVE her! And I think what kicked off the 24/7 coverage of this media


train wreck was the day she married her high school buddy Jason Alexander. No, not George Constanza. The people demanded coverage, the media ate it up, and paps were there to supply the images. From there, there’s no need to really recap. Britney married K-Fed, she popped out a couple babies, got divorced and seemed to just snap. But all the while, there was the paparazzi - catching Britney holding her baby while driving, running a red light, picking her nose, getting fat, etc.

Who among us hasn’t ran a red light? Made a parenting faux pa? Gone over the speed limit? Picked our nose? Got fat? But now imagine that everything you do. Everything that you do every single day is being caught on tape for the world to see. None of us are perfect. Every single one of us makes mistakes at some point in our lives, but millions of people aren’t there to mock and judge you for it. Britney Spears is under the eye of public scrutiny every single hour of every day of her life and the camera catches everything that doesn’t happen behind closed doors. Don’t get me wrong, Britney Spears has knowingly put herself in the public eye - and she’s a millionaire because of it. But who would ever ask for that?

I know very well what it’s like to get to a point in your life where you are so bogged down with stress and anxiety and depression and pressure that you could just rip out your hair. Well, Britney actually did. Well, she shaved it. But once again, there were the cameras to capture it all and show the world. Things that the rest of us do in private might make us look a little nuts, but Britney has it out there for the whole world to see. And is it just the media’s fault? No, not at all. Because when most of us get to that point where we just want to take an umbrella to someone’s car door, we usually have someone to talk us down. Where is that person for Britney? Who is her voice of reason?

Who is the person who says, “Hey, you’ve got a court date today, and it is deciding the custody of your children. You need to go to that.” Why is Britney Spears claiming she’s sick and missing a court date, (which could help her get her kids back) but is then out on the town partying that night? This woman needs a chaperone! She needs a mentor! She needs family! She needs her freakin’ mother! And where are these people? Who sits back and watches someone they love throw away their life and career and just does nothing about it? Because that’s what Britney Spears has done. She will never revive her career because of all this. As a musician she is as good as finished. And if she doesn’t get herself cleaned up, who knows what her ultimate fate could be. Does it really take jail for some of these Hollywood women to get it?

It just seems so obvious to me that Britney is not mentally stable. And that’s not to say that she is insane or is some kind of lunatic. She is simply a product of her environment - a young starlet who grew up too fast and has had no one around her to keep her grounded. She is simply no long capable of handling the spotlight. It’s too much pressure. Perhaps if the people around Britney (managers, agents, record executives, etc.) had treated her like a human being during her rise to fame, rather than a meal ticket, she would have some sort of sense of reality. This is the reason Kevin Federline is proving to be a better parent for those kids! The guy has common sense that stems from a world other than that in the lap of luxury. Britney has been living with the silver spoon in her mouth since the age of eleven.

This week, we get another interesting look into the world of the Family Spears with the announcement that Britney’s 16-year-old sister, Jamie Lynn, is pregnant by her boyfriend who (depending on the source) is anywhere between the ages of 17 and 19. Let’s not get into the moral issue of the age difference or the topic of pre-marital sex. I’m not about to judge someone for having sex before they are married, and let’s face it, you probably aren’t either. But one can’t help but wonder, again, where was Jamie’s mother? Where was Lynne Spears? Having a teenager who engages in pre-marital/teenage sex does not make you a bad parent, in my opinion. But having a kid who doesn’t know enough to protect herself is. Clearly someone wasn’t around to teach little Jamie how to use a condom. Too busy fussing over big sister Brit, perhaps?

It just seems to me that eventually someone is going to have to step up and take control of this family. For Lynne Spears, it’s time she got her priorities straight. Instead of cashing in on the family name and writing a - of all things - “parenting book,” maybe she should be looking out for the mental and physical well-being of her children. For Jamie, she needs a role-model. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Jamie’s date of conception matches up with the period of time in which she was spending a lot of time with her big sis. A period of time in which Britney and Lynne were supposedly having a spat.

And for Britney, somebody - anybody - needs to be looking out for this girl’s best interests. Somebody needs to be the person who guides her back onto the right track, because somewhere in her development she lost a couple life lessons. Britney needs to learn what should be most important to her and right now there is no one around her but a hundred paparazzi and more people looking to make a buck off her next big faux pa. She’s only human, she’ll make mistakes - but one person can only take so much. And they can’t do it alone.

So as we approach 2008, I can only hope that it will be the year with a whole lot less Britney Spears. I’m sick of the names K-Fed, Jayden James and … eh, that other one. I’m sick of seeing pink wigs. I’m sick of hearing “the new Britney single” that sounds like some bad techno thumper that Madonna put out five years ago. I’m sick of hearing the news report on missed court dates and custody hearings. I’m just sick of Britney Spears. And somebody needs to take responsibility.


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Gallery: The Rise And Fall Of Britney Spears: Who's To Blame?



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