Much has been made this week about Britney Spears’ newfound propensity for showing off her girly bits to the amateur photographers who flock around her and her new similarly low-wattage partner-in-crime Paris Hilton. Spears, of course, supposedly had absolutely no idea that she’d be photographed sans panties; apparently, after a decade in the spotlight she’s still surprised by the presence of cameras. It seems highly unlikely to me that even a dim bulb like Spears could “forget” that she’s not wearing panties when she just happens to have her miniskirt hiked up around her waist as she’s getting out of a car surrounded by photographers, amateur and otherwise. Being as her new BFF has staged her own public gynecological exams on more than one occasion, I think it’s safe to assume that this new hobby of Britney’s has been undertaken on purpose and is due to Hilton’s amateur-porn-star influence. (Lindsay Lohan, a former party-mate of Hilton’s, also seems lately to have become fond of that special kind of warmth that only the heat of flashbulbs on freshly-shaven pubic regions can provide.)
Publicly bearing one’s genitalia in this manner would seem to be the act of a woman whose career has already long since ended and is eager to grab some small bit of notoriety (ref. Fawcett, Farah (1995). Playboy.). While Spears is clearly well into the back half of her Fifteen Minutes, the Britney train hasn’t pulled into Irrelevance Station just yet. Did she forget that there was a time she was actually famous for something other than just being Britney? Did she forget she still has a record contract? Did someone forget to remind Britney that she’s still in the gossip rags pretty regularly — in fact, she’s shown up in the mags plenty over the last few months, thanks to having a baby and losing 170 pounds (ref. -Fed, K (2006).) — and that it’s only been a few weeks since she was last on Letterman? She shouldn’t have to resort to this level of voluntary debasement for several more years yet. If she keeps showing off her tunnel of love now, her own inevitable Playboy spread in 2009 isn’t going to bring her anywhere near the attention she’ll surely be craving by then. Maybe that’s why she went straight for the crotch shots: she’s saving her boobs for her pictorial.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m no prude — I like looking and nekkid women (or women’s nekkid parts) as much as anybody. But there’s absolutely nothing sexy about this situation or these pictures; all it is is sad. I almost feel sorry for Spears because she clearly needs some positive influences and guidance in her life, and celebutard (thank you, Defamer) Paris Hilton sure as hell ain’t it. I think about her two young sons and imagine how they’ll feel when they get older and realize exactly what their mom is and what kind of choices she’s made in her life. I think of them looking at these pictures from when they were babies and feeling revulsion that their mom had so little respect for herself. (Of course, the older Sean Preston and Jayden James probably could measure their mother against the walking pile of slime that is their father, and Britney would look pretty good in comparison.)
I’m not too worried about these two causing an epidemic of carefully exposed labia in teenage girls (these are things I feel I have to think about as the father of two daughters); for one, no matter what impression one might get from all of the reality shows on TV, I like to think that most people in this country, teenage girls included, still retain at least some small amount of class and dignity. And anyway, can there possibly be anyone who actually holds up either Britney Spears or Paris Hilton as an example of someone to be admired or emulated? Even if Spears and Hilton combined all of their brainpower, they couldn’t outthink the proverbial bag of hammers. These two are both nothing more than jokes at this point, relevant only as pop-culture punchlines, though I doubt either one would realize it. I have trouble imagining any long-lasting cultural movement inspired by these two dimwits; perhaps there might be an upswing in upskirt pics over the next couple of months, likely from exactly the kinds of people you’d expect such behavior from (yes, I’m looking at you, Tara Reid), but rationality, smarts, discretion and modesty should keep most young starlets’ genitals in their pants, where they belong.
(My god, did I really just waste 800 words and an hour of my life on Britney Spears and Paris Hilton? Pardon me, I have to go scrub my brain with Clorox.)