So, those of you that know me (which is both of you) probably know that I've spent an inordinate amount of time over the past 10 years, thinking about Britney Spears. I think it's fair to say that Britney had probably more to do with the let-loosening of my inner feminist than anyone else.
When "Hit Me Baby, One More Time" burst onto the scene, Britney Spears was 16. The video for that song (and a series of songs after) spotlighted Britney's nubile fuckability despite their little pitiful patina of sweetness. And that girl was 16 years old. 16 years old with middle-aged men leering at her and the entire American media ob-fucking-sessing over the state of her hymen.
Let's take a look:
Have I mentioned that the girl in the above picture was. a. child?
And we were shocked SHOCKED when she turned into a mess of an adut?
But beyond the ka-duh factor of her failing to thrive as a young adult, what was really disturbing was how happy we were to see her fuck up. How giddy we were to mock her doritos habit and scold her bad parenting. In retrospect (and, honestly, I think tomes should be written about this), we were punishing her for something. The feminist in me thinks it was for failing to remain as virginally fuckable as she was at 16. The hipster in me thinks it was for being more popular the Ben Folds. I'm pretty sure the feminist is right.
I worry about Miley Cyrus. Her Britneyization seems imminent. We want our teenage girls to be simultaneously sexy and untouchable. Fail on either end, and we will lay a hurtin' down. I think it's going to be one of my hardest jobs as a parent helping Laney navigate the morass of misleading morality that is exclusive to teenage girls. But, that said, I feel pretty equal to the task. I am, after all, pretty good at saying "that's a big pile of bullshit."
Oh, and now that Britney is a great big, grown-ass woman? I'm rooting for her. I hope she does just great.