Britney needs to grow up

Is Britney Spears a slut or what? I wish she would make up her mind.

Her songs are undeniably catchy and yes, she does get more and more appealing in her physical appearance (implants or no implants), but she is an enigma wrapped inside of a contradiction. She’s either incredibly smart or very oblivious.

Her song titles say it all. First it was her feisty debut single, ‘Baby One More Time.’ Hit what again, Brit? A few songs later, it was the weepy, corny, good-girl anthem, ‘From the Bottom of My Broken Heart.’ Then with her second album, came ‘Oops I Did it Again,’ another catchy pop confection with an apparent double meaning. Did what again exactly? More specifics please! Anyway, the pop princess had no club appeal at this time as she was catapulting to teenybopper stardom.

But wait, just when we think we have her figured out after her second album, in comes the very adult-oriented ‘I’m a Slave 4 U,’ which turns her whole image upside down yet again. Suddenly, she’s this erotic grown-up who, in her video, writhes around with her sweaty dancers in a seeming orgy of body parts and heavy breathing. Talk about owning your sexuality.

I have to say, I loved the song. It’s a groovy little ditty to dance to, as anyone who has been at a club knows: when it comes on, people seem to go crazy. The lyrics seemed to be very sophisticated: “All you people look at me like I’m a little girl…” Well damn, after this, I guess she’s not anymore!

But that’s still not it. Now we arrive to her latest single, another generic and cheesy ballad entitled, ‘I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman,’ from her new movie Crossroads (don’t even get me started on that one). You give us ‘Slave,’ and now you’re telling us you’re still not a woman? I don’t get it.

In every interview I’ve seen, Spears is telling girls to be themselves, because that’s what she is doing. You hear her say that it’s not her responsibility to parent her 12-year-old fan club, she’s just an entertainer who loves doing what she does.

Okay, that’s fine. But when you’re so convoluted as to put out one song screaming sex, sex, sex and then immediately switch it up and come out saying you’re not ready to handle it yet, there’s something wrong– not with your critics, but with you. What does that say to people?

I don’t care what Spears says, for me she’s a contradictory pseudo-nymph who is jerking her fans around and has lost what little respect I did have for her. Maybe she’s in a struggle with her current management and will soon dump them to go off and pursue her own image, as I’ve heard other teen acts doing. Maybe she’s just a really confused girl(?). Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in flaunting it if you got it, and Spears has definitely got it in that department.

Whatever the case is, all I’m asking is that she be real with her audience. She needs to own up to what she is conveying to her listeners. Brit may not be a woman yet, but at 20, she is just too damn close to not start acting like one.

Derek Bramble is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and theater.

April 5, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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