I was obligated, of course, to watch the entirety of Matt Lauer's interview with Britney last night on Dateline, and although I was temporarily distracted by Matt’s lack of socks with his loafers, I am forced to reiterate my thoughts on Britney Spears and why I feel for her where all I feel about the likes of, say, Jessica and Ashleeee, is dead inside. Britney is very upset (to the point of tears) about the paparazzi and the press saying all these terrible things about her, and her husband, and especially about whether or not she’s a bad mom. I kinda want to defend her motherhood even though it’s impossible to know what she’s like at home, but her public mistakes (almost tripping with the baby, driving with the baby in her lap, etc.) are mistakes people make every day, they’re just not usually caught on film. Our celebrity-obsessed culture focuses on one mom and her little mistakes simply because she’s famous while there are kids who are being physically abused every day going unnoticed because, you know, they’re anonymous. And so Britney says, crying, “People forget we’re just people.”
Here’s the thing, though. Britney’s all about ‘being herself” and on the one hand you gotta give it up to her for that – her mascara alone was a mess last night and she had on a sheer, low cut maternity top and as usual, was chewing gum through the whole interview, which doesn’t lend her an air of maturity. She might have done well to do what everyone does and hire a stylist and a publicist to take the gum out of her mouth, but she didn’t, and if the option is Jessica Simpson, um, ick. Anyway, she’s twenty-four years old. I shudder to think what my world would have been like had it been captured on film back then. I have said many times, I really think that when people have this drive to be famous, I think they often just have no way of preparing for what comes along with that, and then when it happens, they’re understandably upset but there’s almost never any responsibility, no one ever says, I chose this package deal. Do I think the paparazzi is completely out of control? For sure. Even more heartbreaking to me is that Britney kept saying, “I’m fine, I’m happy – It just makes me a stronger person.” And I’ve heard this so often from young people, myself first and foremost – and with a few years on me I think, you know, yeah, I always was a strong person, I was always “fine,” but I see now that my strength isn’t my imperviousness to pain. It’s my willingness to accept it.
Can I just say, though, Britney, you only have a housekeeper once a week? You like cleaning? Even my family had a housekeeper once a week! Man, if I had the money I’d have a guest house just for the housekeeper.