Here we go again. Another celebrity in the news. This time, Britney Spears.
Spears appeared on yesterday evening's MTV Video Music Awards at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. She appeared onstage in black sequined bra and panties to kick off the show with her new single, "Gimmie More." Fans and media alike lost no time commenting on both her appearance and her performance.
The headlines go on and on:
- Why Was Britney So Bad?
- Bloggers call Britney "a train wreck"
- Britney's comeback is just toxic say critics
- Britney Spears doesn't dress, doesn't impress
- Britney's worse than bad -- she's boring
- And more ad nauseum...
Enough. You get the idea. I could easily go with the last one -- she's boring, she's tedious. What's even more boring and tedious is all the media coverage.
Yet, some of the coverage of Britney's performance bring up once again the issue of celebrity privacy. (See Shameful Media and Public Scrutiny May Hinder Recovery: an Example.) Some of the so-called news stories about her recent stay in a rehabilitation center were laughable. Whose business was it if she was taken from the center to a spa? Why do we care? It can't be that her life is so good. It appears to be a shambles. Still, there must be an audience for that kind of sensationalistic coverage to continue.
Celebrity or not, Ms. Spears is a human being. If she is ill and seeking treatment, the media and her fans need to back off and leave her to the business of recovery. The attention could actually be adding to her problems, overwhelming anything said to her by family and friends as she stays in the spotlight.
Publicist Michael Levine commented,
Sadly, we see more about young celebrities' behaviors and possible mental health problems than we do about their producing quality work. I'm familiar with spears and Amy Winehouse as singers and of Lindsay Lohan and a talented young actress, but I honestly don't remember when I saw anything that was focused on Spears' singing or Lohan's acting. As for Paris Hilton, does she sing, act, or what? I don't remember seeing anything about her except about her behavior.
Does that contribute to their "fall" as shown in Spears' performance last evening? One has to wonder. Even with the most solid of foundations formed during childhood, the constant media attention would have to influence a young person's perception of her- or himself. It could well create a stressor of feeling as if they can't slip or fail. That kind of pressure can't be healthy for anyone.
Another thought that occurs to me is that maybe some of the outragious behaviors we see exhibited could be perpetrated deliberately to catch and maintain the attention of the media in some kind of perverse attempt to "stay at the top." Could this be true? Maybe, but that's a question for another time. Stay tuned.
For more thoughts on this topic, check out Britney Spears: The Ups and Downs of a Struggling Pop Star
(1) Marikar, Sheila. "Why Was Britney So Bad?" ABCNews.com. September 10, 2007.
Image: Screen shot of Britney Spears - the Official Site.