Like a lot of people I tuned into MTV on Sunday night to watch Britney Spears on the VMAs attempt a musical comeback and, like a lot of people, I watched Brit Brit sleepwalk her way through her routine with some sense of glee. I know it's not right to gain satisfaction from watching another's demise, but Britney makes it so damn hard not to.
She dominates the gossip pages and websites. Her antics are legendary and well documented. Every misstep, every trip and stumble while holding her baby, every poor choice in hairstyle, every crotch shot (can someone PLEASE get the girl some proper underwear already?), we've read about it.
I find it hard to relate to the former pop star even if she is, like me, a mother. If claims made by her staff are correct, I'd like to take Britney by the shoulders and shake her for the way she's raising - or more to the point, having her staff raise - her kids.
But after Sunday night, and after I stopped giggling, I got angry. Not at Britney, though there was some anger directed her way for mailing in that performance and wasting everybody's time, but toward the media that flogged her for her less than perfect abs and for carrying more junk in her trunk than she used to.
Her choice of wardrobe was questionable - Okay, it was downright horrible. Bra and sparkly panties? What were you thinking, girl? - but then the media crucified her for her body. The body that recently carried two babies and, in my opinion, wardrobe or lack thereof aside, looked fantastic. The headline from the NY Post on Monday read ""Lard and Clear", and that is just one example of how the press is picking apart the poor girl.
Okay, you want to criticize her ratty extensions? Fine. But back off the baby belly. I wish my baby belly looked that good.
As a matter of fact, there were some other performers and award winner who were larger than the average size -2 that MTV viewers have grown accustomed to seeing on the music channel. Beyonce, for instance, is no delicate flower. Neither is Alicia Keys or Jennifer Hudson. These are women with curves, women who can work the badonkadonk. They're also women who have slightly better fashion sense - although, after seeing Beyonce's "grecian goddess" look and Alicia Keys ode to bondage I wonder if they got dressed in the dark. Without a mirror.
Britney made the mistake of trying to relive her glory days. Who hasn't? I'd like to think she learned from this mistake and will grow from it, though I am dubious thinking back on her past foibles. But can we lay off her bod? No, she doesn't do a thousand sit-ups a day like she used to. Who does?
Channels like MTV need to start celebrating the real women. The ladies who have booty and boobs (real ones, please, not the silicone kind). The girls who aren't puking in the rest room before an appearance on TRL. And we, as viewers of these channels (and not just MTV, they're just an example, I don't watch that channel much because MTV makes me feel old and I don't need any more of that) need to speak up. If not with words then with our actions. Is there a show that features an impossibly thin cast? Don't watch it. No representation of the luscious ladies with curves? Turn it off.
Who is with me?