Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Body Beautiful

Hello, dear readers! I apologize for the LONG absence I took from Blogger! It was completely unintentional... I've been blogging on MySpace for the last several weeks ... for no reason at all! I should divide my time equally between these two blogs but it was summer and anywhere I could cut corners in my daily schedule, to fit more in, I did! But I'm back and with lots of opinions! And here is where I want to start...

I am not a fan of Britney Spears.

I think it is a shame that children are the new superstars. I think that the word superstar, the status of superstar, is something that must be earned. To me a superstar is someone with talent and perseverance who proves that they are worthy of being called so by putting in years of effort and, repeatedly, showing that they are worthy of the mantle... AND by having the talent to back it up. Through the years, I would call these people superstars: Mick Jagger, Deborah Harry, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, George Michael. I'm not talking about the legends, here, like Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant.. I mean the concert giving, all around entertainers, putting on a two hour show that leaves you breathless, multi million album selling superstars like Cher and Reba and, yes, even Billy Joel (stop and think about his contribution to the world of music before you deride my putting him on this list, please). Diana Ross. Elton John (who needs to, really, lose some weight for the sake of his health). TINA TURNER. These are the people who actually have a talent to back up their salaries and I respect them and I will call them superstars any day of the week. Actually, you want to know who I think is a superstar? Sammy Davis Jr. That man was working in show business since he was a chid and he did it all -- I don't think he wrote any songs but short of that, he did it all and he always delivered. It doesn't matter what kind of music a person sings, if they are the powerhouse like the people I have mentioned above, they deserve to be called a superstar.

I don't know if Britney Spears plays any instruments. I don't know if she writes her own songs. What I do know is that when you take a child and make them into a multi millionaire and a worldwide icon before the age of 18, you run the risk of screwing them up, personally, forever. I'm aware that there have always been children in the biz and that some of them manage to grow into adulthood, unscarred. It certainly didn't happen for Patty Duke or Mickey Rooney or Judy Garland or Elizabeth Taylor ... though Shirley Temple handled it pretty well and Jodie Foster managed quite nicely. They, though, were not rock stars - they were actors. And Britney and this slew of new child performers who have the children of the world forcing on them a God complex worthy of the most skilled heart surgeon, are suffering as adults because their grasp on reality is so far out of reach that they couldn't get to it if their father were Plastic Man and their arms made of rubber. I'm glad to see that the Duff girls are doing so well and that Ann Hathaway has her wits about her! These other young stars, though, are drowning and Britney Spears is the foghorn, guiding them further into the mire.

All this being said, I am here today, to actually DEFEND Britney Spears.

Whatever I may think of her talent (or lack thereof), whatever I think of her appalling public behaviour and bad manners, whatever I think of her unfathomable parenting skills, I am going to admit that I have seen concert footage (from the past) and will say that the girlCAN (or could, at one time) put forth the effort. She was a beautiful young woman and she could dance. She might have been lipsynching all those years, but she did it with style! I DO respect that she did the work. I don't think it was work worthy of her financial or iconic social status. To me, that is the work of a glorified drag queen. Nevertheless...

She made a mistake this week. It's all over the news. Everywhere you go, you can see Britney Spears being written about for giving a horrible performance on an award show. It is horrible. I watched it. Ooops. But I am writing today to address one very important matter:

Britney Spears is NOT fat.

Should she appear in public in that bikini? Sure, why not? She has the body of an average woman.. actually, no, she has an above average body. It isn't a body that I would parade around in a skimpy swimsuit because I hold myself up to a different set of standards. However, it is not an ugly body. It IS an ugly swimsuit. It is not, though, a body that should make people scream the way they are screaming. We are just coming out of an age when women (young women and girls, particularly) have been taught, conditioned, to be anorexic. The starlets of Hollywood have starved themselves into looking like twelve year old boys. They have no bust, no hips - they don't look like women anymore. Do you remember the women of past eras? Sophia Loren. Marilyn Monroe. Ava Gardner. Raquel Welch. They had womanly figures. In the seventies we had Pam Grier. In the eighties we had Madonna, who was always fit but still womanly. From the first moment she walked onstage, Tina Turner's legs have been famous. Would you men out there want Nicole Ritchie's toothpick legs wrapped around your back? Women are dying because the stick figures in the magazines and on the moving picture screens are setting a bad example for them. Thank God we have women like Jennifor Lopez and Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson showing these girls that it is ok to have a figure. Thank God for Vanessa Williams. These are women with BODIES who are also healthy and fit.

I have four neices and I worry that they will grow up unhealthy because there are no proper role models for them. I don't think that Britney Spears is a good role model of any kind, whatsoever.. But I will say that they woman I watched (on Youtube) performing Gimme Gimme is a woman that I would ask out, if I were the kind of man who asks women out, based on her looks. Not based on that stupid ass outfit (a little bit of bad fashion sense goes a LONG way toward undoing everything else a person does to make my perception of them a good one) but based on her face, her hair and her body. Oh, I know that there are many women out there in the public eye with great bodies, healthy bodies.. Lisa Rinna comes to mind. Lisa is a woman in her forties who keeps her great body by doing yoga. I can also bet that she has been freshened up by a Beverly Hills professional (or more than one). It isn't really fair to judge the famous because they can afford trainers, chefs, nutritionists and surgeons to keep them looking good. I don't think Britney is currently using any of them but that is her choice.

There are women of all sorts, of all shapes and sizes, in the public eye, setting a good or bad example for the young girls of today. I think the least of our worries should be if Britney is fat.. I think if we are going to worry about Britney Spears and the example she sets, we should consider the public displays of disorderly conduct, of rudeness, of bad nutrition (drinking, smoking and fried chicken.. a winning combinatino), of bad parenting, of bad fashion, of bad choices. That swimsuit was the bad choice. Like I said, if I am not in tiptop shape, I don't walk around my house naked - not even God is allowed to see my fat jiggle. But Britney has had two children and she is eating a lot of comfort food right now. And even though I think she should have gone to boot camp before going on the show (I think going to rehab and actually working the steps would have been even better), I don't think she looks FAT. In her past, she was a young girl with the body of a young girl who works out and who works at it. Now things are different. She has the body of a woman who has had two kids and been a little lazy about taking off the weight; but it isn't a fat one -- just an out of shape one; and that shape is better than most of the women in this country. At least, though, she isn't sending out a message to the young girls that you have to be skin figure thin. If the young girls are smart enough to see the right message in that awful performance, it is "be proud of your body."

All women are beautiful. All women have something unique to offer, physically.



Please note that I pulled the photo in this piece off the internet. I did not shot one of those photos.


Blogger annalisa said...

yay! ste is back to the blogspot! the one i can comment on at work!!!

as always, i think you're absolutely right... in as much as i follow the goings ons of young hollywood (i'm way more obsessed with the timmy mystery of crazy days and nights, old hollywood is SO much more interesting), i do have something to add (for what it's worth) to your thoughts on the way we as a society are treating our young "superstars."

we have become so blood-thirsty for the downfall of those children we put on pedistals that is abhorent. we seem to forget that somewhere behind all of the celebrity, there is a real person who is living a life. i take particular umbrage with people's interest in lindsey lohan. someday, when that girl ends up either killing herself (or G-d forbid, someone else), i think all the celebrity bloggers, tabloids and those who feed on them so voraciously should be put on trial.

just my opinion

1:54 PM  
Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Hey Ste! Welcome back. You've been sorely missed. Hope to see your wonderful writing more regularly over here. Like Annalisa, MySpace is more problematic in opening at work.

And I just hope Britney would get into a safe place for her own good.

6:22 PM  

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