Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Britney's "Comeback" - Is it Fair to Make Fun of Britney's Figure?

This past Sunday, at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, Britney Spears made her "comeback". Unfortunately, it was less than stellar (to say the least). Moments after, the internet and gossip pages were full of criticism and ridicule about her singing, her dancing, and her body. Is it fair to critisize Britney's figure? What does this ultimately "say" about us as people and as a society?


Read these articles to help shape your opinion and to provide background!

Is it Fair to Savage Britney's Figure?
The true meaning of VMA?
Kanye West's opinion on the Spears incident!

Celebrity Worship

A third of people reportedly suffer from Celebrity Worship Syndrome, a fascination in the lives of the rich and famous that can become a dangerous addiction. Why do people care so much about celebrities? Has celebrity worship become a new form of religion? If so, is it legitimate or false? Here are some sites to get you started...

Celebrity Worship Syndrome: Is America?s Obsession With Stardom Becoming Unhealthy?
Celebrity worship addictive: study

25 comments:

Rachel said...

I think it's ridiculous that of all the things surrounding Britney Spears nowadays, the media still insists on focusing their attention on her figure. No matter how well or poorly a celebrity does in their career, if they don't have the perfect body, they won't get the proper media exposure.
Society has created an image of what they believe a woman's body should look like, and this image is often way too critical. Give Britney a break, she's had 2 kids, addictions and emotional breakdowns. Most people wouldn't have a figure like hers after all of that. But still, the media attacked her because she didn't have the body she had a couple of years ago.
More or less, society as a whole is completely shallow and inconsiderate. Rather than picking apart her body, I think the media should have been congratulating her on having the courage to get back on the stage (although it was a performance far from a comeback.)


ps; Kayne's backstage freakout here.

Michelle said...

I completely agree with Rach, but the thing is Britney has based her career on being "sexy" and having the perfect body all along, so that's what everyone expects to see.

I didn't watch the VMA's but i know from seeing the clips, she did not pick the best outfit for the show. I dont know if it was her who picked the outift or someone else, but it was not the best choice, especially for the body she has. On the link "Is it fair to savage Britney's figure?" it says "In that ensemble, you just can't have an ounce of anything extra," said Janice Min. I completely agree with this because when you put yourself on stage after being in the media constantly, at something that will be shown all over the world, infront of all those people, singing a brand new song, and wearing that outfit, I can see why people are talking.

No, Britney isnt fat, she's just not as skinny as people are used to her being, and when she goes up on stage and wears that outfit and "dances and sings" (if you can even call it that)and expects people to say she did an amzaing job, shes wrong. She didnt do a good job at all. To be honest,she should have put more effort into this if she wanted to be taken serious, but she didnt and that was her choice and she has to live with it.

Simi said...

I don’t think it’s fair to make fun of Britney’s figure because she’s a singer not a model. So, there really is no point in judging her body and other singers may have looked like that in the past after having a baby or something. It doesn’t matter how you look because if you start judging celebrities figures than you are basically making fun of every other women whose body size is big and making them feel more insecure about themselves. Britney has 2 kids so if she doesn’t look like how she looked before, I think its okay. But I kind of understand why people were talking about her figure. I think it was because of her outfit she was wearing at the VMA’s and I think she could’ve worn something different then exposing her body that much. One thing I don’t understand is why people judge all celebrities like sometimes they are too skinny or when they gain weight, they are too fat. They can never be perfect for anyone.

Mr. A. Puley said...

Excellent work! You are considering the "real life" aspects of Britney beyond her pop persona. Now, consider what Kanye West has stated in the third article presented. Your video shows him freaking out and the article has him stating that MTV has exploited Britney for ratings. Do you believe that he honestly means that, or is he slandering MTV for not granting him awards?

Steve... said...

I think Kanye is just stressing out because he's finally starting to lose the spotlight. He complains that he's better than the Black Eyed Peas and even says that he has the number one album. These facts make it a little obvious that hes not just "sticking up" for Britney Spears but he's looking out for his own career. I can understand that he is pissed off because he didnt win any awards but he should have atleast been upfront about it instead of saying that he was mad because MTV explioted Britney Spears. Freaking out and going on a rampage just makes him look like a fool. Personally, I think the rampage will lose him fans faster than not winning any awards.

Cassidy.. said...

Personally, I agree with everything that’s already been said.
No matter what the people are never satisfied. There are always new stories coming out, one minute someone’s gone anorexic, next someone’s addicted to crack because she’s too skinny, or they gain a little weight, now suddenly there pregnant with someone elses boyfriend’s baby. I think it is all ridiculous.
Honestly, I like the fact that Britney came out on stage the way she was. As if she wasn't afraid to hide it. She is definitely not fat, nor is she as skinny as she once was. But I definitely think that she is an average size, which most people in the real world are.
With all these people making fun of her, I believe it is coming back on us as a community. Before we could look at magazines and be like "wow she’s so pretty, look at her body, she’s so in shape, etc"... and then there would always be someone who said "yah but that’s her job, she’s rich, she stays fit with only the best, they have motivation to stay fit." and then us as girls would realize that is true, we can't compare ourselves to famous models, singers, etc. But now that there making fun of her, that is basically making fun of every one of us.


As for Kanye, I think that whole thing was definitely immature and pathetic. Not everyone can win, it’s just the way it is. The way he tried to bring this back to feeling sorry for Britney or whatever that was about, I think is ridiculous. He's clearly just mad because he didn’t win anything even though he had 5 nominations.
Sad news. Cry me a river.

Mike McNally said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike McNally said...

I also agree with rach, after two kids (of whom she almost killed like 18 times, driving without a seatbelt, almost dropping one on its head, etc) and many emotional and mental breakdowns, of course her once "perfect figure" isn't going to be so perfect anymore, and the media is taking notice of that.
And I love the fact that people (especially girls) can talk about it like shes actually the world's biggest tank, when in reality shes still probably around 130. Ever think that the girls that are maybe a little over weight attacking Briteny are just making fun of her "fatness" to make them feel better about themselves? Especially the fact that Britney is so high and mighty that people are actually making fun of her weight more than they are making fun of the over weight girls (not saying that everybody makes fun of overweight girls, but unfortuneatly for some people, thats reality).

Mr. A. Puley said...

I am very pleased with the commentary thus far...keep it up. This is what this course is all about! Now, Mike asked if we "ever think that the girls that are maybe a little over weight attacking Briteny are just making fun of her "fatness" to make them feel better about themselves?" and this question is very valid. Many displace their insecurities onto others and, in fact, this may be one of the key factors behind gossip and people's attraction to it. Keep thinking about this issue and keep the discussion going. I want to hear from everyone on this. Do some investigating and pull in other examples from the media and from real life!

On a different note, you can hear Kanye West yelling that MTV shoud give "...a black man a break". He then continues by saying that they should "...give a nigger a break". Sure MTV beeped it, but I'm not going to censor us here. What do you think about members of the hip hop community using the "N" word when it is clearly offensive to the black community as a whole? Read the article below to learn more about the history of the word itself...
Click Here to Read a Brief History of the "N-Word"

Consider as well, this quote from author Tom Boyd, who says that "hip hop is inherently political, the language is political," Boyd says. "It uses language as a weapon -- not a weapon to violate or not a weapon to offend, but a weapon that pushes the envelope that provokes people, makes people think."

Boyd says H.N.I.C., the acronym in the title of his book, is a reference to "a phrase in the 1970s -- head nigger in charge. N-i-g-g-e-r for so long was considered a derogatory word" rooted in slavery and racism, he says. But hip hop has "come along and changed the meaning of that word -- n-i-g-g-a." The late rapper Tupac Shakur said that acronym stands for "Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished," Boyd says. "So the word now, I think, for many people is a word of affirmation."

What do you think?

Mr. A. Puley said...

To read the article on Tom Boyd's book, follow this link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1178621

brittany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

On the topic of "celebrity worship", I'm not too sure I can comment without becoming too hypocritical. I know for a fact that I have an obsession with celebrities/celebrity gossip.
I have celebrity gossip pages bookmarked and I check them at least once a day. I'll look through newspapers just to find the gossip section.
In reference to the article on The Age, I think I would categorize myself somewhere between someone who uses the gossip for "entertainment social" reasons, and someone with an "intense-personal" attitude. I'll admit, I was severely upset when John Mayer was dating Jessica Simpson, because I felt like I knew him. Though at the same time, I knew he didn't care about my opinion because frankly, he has no idea who I am. Even though I actually care about these issues, I'm aware of the problem I have, which is a difference from some other people out there.
I know I'm not the only one in the world, or even in this class that is like this. Many to all of my friends have a celebrity that they would do anything for. I have had such discussions with them.
No matter how easily you can admit this sort of obsession, it doesn't make it any less pathetic. People are becoming so engulfed with the lives of celebrities that they forget that they are simply people, no different from anyone else (except for the media exposure and all the money, but that's beside the point.)
I don't think there's anything wrong with having "celebrity crushes" or whatever you want to call it, but we have to realize there's a difference between the lives of celebrity and our own lives. They are probably never going to mix.

brittany said...

I agree with michelles comment about the outfit. And quoting from Perez Hilton Britney said she was a fat pig. I've seen many pictures of this and she doesnt at all look big especially after having 2 kids! The one picture that gets me is this one.clearly i think this one has been altered.now doesnt the picture on the right look somewhat the same?
(all the images were from perezhilton.com and waht ever is drawn on them was by him.)

brittanylennox said...

Honestly, yeah i can see where everyone is comming from on the whole "she had kids, leave her alone" issue, but if you really think about it, we're not the only ones who noticed she gained a few pounds. I have no doubt in my mind that Britney, along with whoever supported her on sunday, knew exactly what she looked like going out onto that stage, and also knew exactly what the media was going to say. No, I personally dont think shes as huge as everyones making her out to look, but come on, do you honestly think celebrities don't know what they're getting themselves into when they do stuff like this?

I hate to be the devils advicate, but Britney knows exactly what kindof media driven world we live in. Why she did it anyways? I have no idea. Maybe she thought people would start feeling sorry for her, rather than butcher her, so obviously that plan backfired.

Going into the music business you know exactly what the media will give you, and it's her own fault for presenting herself the way she did.

Don't want to be talked about? Stay out of the lime light.

`Amber said...

Also On the Topic of celebrity fandom, I'd Like to agree with Rachel.



This Is my plushie I made over the weekend (not finished yet) and yes, It is based on someone I consider is a celebrity. This also shows that I too am celebrity obsessed, in a way.
Seeing other young girls who are just as obsessed or even more obsessed with my idol I can see they are probably what one article says is "Borderline pathological". I've seen interviews on youtube of my idol, and several times he has stated that he is scared of some of the stuff young girls have told him or done to him. Theres also a video online of one girl actually getting up on stage, going right at him. Not only that I think that Celebrity Worship Syndrome could be harmful to some Worshippers it could also be harmful to the celebrities that are being worshipped, which has happened in the past.
I also think though that some people know about thier Syndrom, and come to a realization that in reality you may never become good friends with your idol, but many girls i've seen in life don't realize that. Like rachel Said, "we have to realize there's a difference between the lives of celebrity and our own lives".
I know im still stuck in my fandom, but I know how to tell the difference between reality and make-believe.

Marko Jovicic said...

I disagree with all of the things said about Britney Spears. The media would write and say anything just to be noticed. From magazines, to articles its the same story one after another. I believe Britney is a singer, and should be treated as one. To judge her body figure is just wrong. I've noticed that the media tends to focus more on the body figure of a celebrity, rather than the talent. Britney has had 2 kids, addictions, and lots of stress. The media makes it worse by not leaving her alone and worst of all, making things up. I believe she's changed alot in a way. She quit her addictions, still managed to have a good body figure after 2 kids, and not so much stress. If I were her, I wouldn't listen to the media and what they say about her. I think it's false, and they just do it to make money, and gain popularity. Overall, she had lots of courage to get up on that stage and make a comeback.

Marko Jovicic said...

I think that Kanye isn't as popular as he used to be anymore, and he's starting to lose his chance on stage. Bragging about how good he is, and that he has a "Number one album" clearly states that he's sticking up for Britney. In my opinion, I think that Kanye should have respect for everyone, and not just focus on trying to bring back one individual, Britney. Kanye clearly had no respect for the Black Eyed Peas when he said that he was better than them. I believe that bragging doesn't help his cause. Respect on the other hand would. If that's his idea of saving his career, throwing a tantrum, and swearing, sure wasn't a good idea. I understand that he didn't win anything, but there's always a next time. Kanye should have just said the truth, and how he felt about the whole thing but instead, he was mad because MTV used Britney Spears as a topic for something to talk about, and not as the "Comeback". Kanye could have easily brought back fans with a new album. Since that tantrum, I believe he's going to experience a harder time getting his fans back than he ever would if he didn't.

caroline said...

It's definitely not fair to make fun of Britney's figure, because as most people have noticed she has had two kids and multiple addictions which would surely alter your body shape.People have no right to judge others, saying that Britney Spears is fat, after all she's been through she is far from fat, she's just not what she used to be.
People feed off celebrities, anything about them they eat up in anticipation.It's easier to point out a popular figures flaws rather than realize your own.It gives them something to talk about; they don't care if they have all the facts about her.
People need things to talk about and celebrities are always available, making them the targets of gossip.

Mr. A. Puley said...

Here is a link to an article about the Chris Crocker, the 19-year-old from Tennessee who posted a teary criticism to the media's attack on Britney.

What do you make of this?

Click Here to read the Article

Simi said...

I agree with Marko about how he said “Kanye should have just said the truth, and how he felt about the whole thing but instead, he was mad because MTV used Britney Spears as a topic for something to talk about, and not as the "Comeback" For Kanye west to get mad and use the “N” word in front of camera and how it all over YouTube people are going to watch and might think its okay to use it since he used it. He just used the “N” word because he was mad at the fact he didn’t get to sing on stage. I just think it’s a waste of time for him to think of that because it already happened and you can’t do anything about it now so just move on.

Elvedin Sljivar said...

Hey i jsut say let her live her life. She has problems everyone knows it. Also the fact that people make fun of her new figure is funny because most of the people who post that are in worse shape than she is....(It's just that they hate their own shape either that or they think that all famous people should be slim ... something they picked up from the meida) Message to the people who just say anything they want about her .... what does her life have to do with you??? The people don't know her. How do people expect her to get better if she has people world wide commenting an following her? give her time to leave her alone but we all know that wont happen because that is money for media.

brittanylennox said...

I don't understand why everyone thinks that Britney Spears deserves special treatment because shes had kids. I mean, obviously i don't think its right in any way to make fun of someone's figure, lifesyle, ect. But The media is going to do it whether you like it or not! Every celeb. has a reason for whatever "scandal" they create, and Britney spears is no exception. She went from being a size 0, and could do and have anything she wanted, to some bum people love to talk about. So obviously people arnt going to be all congradulations just because shes making a come back, after like a year. She had to have known people were going to say somthing about her body, and she did it anyways. So if she has no problem with it, why are we still discussing it?

brittanylennox said...

As for chris crocker...if it'll make you famous, why wouldnt you do it? Whether he is actually crying or not, he got crazy fame because of it. He's said in other videos of his, that he is an actor, so i guess congraulations is in order for him. He put himself out there, and got what he wanted, it doesnt really have anything to do with how bizzare the video actually is.

So this all ties into the whole Kanye thing too, more than one person is using Britneys failure as a boost in their career. And if you beleive you need to step on other people to get to the top, then thats exactly what you are going to do.

vollie said...

I completely agree with Brittany so many people are using Britney Spears to get their 15 minutes of fame like her body guard who went on TV, and talked so much bull S***T about how he has seen her do drugs and he is on TV to protect her kids from their own mother, she is having problems and every magazine is on her back its not that easy to deal with all that! His apparent observations of her doing drugs have cost Britney her kids, and I bet he got paid a load of money for doing this, he is a joke and as for Chris Crocker, he started out as a Britney fan but thanks to Britney he is getting his TV SHOW, and will soon be making a lot of money, it just shows how easy it is to get out there now a days.

mostafa said...

I have to agree with Brittanylennox on this. After being in the music industry for as long as she has, Britney Spears should know what is expected of her. It's all about image and it's as though the standards gets higher each year. You have to look good, sound good, and most importantly, live up to the industries expectations, as well as the fans. Those are things that can make or break your career.
In Britney's case, I will acknowledge the fact that has gone through alot with the media constantly up her behind. That's difficult. I will also acknowldge that yes, she has, and still is, being judged too hard and unfairly.
As an audience of the media, I guess we expect our celebrities to always look a certain way, because we consider them invincible. We rarely stop to think that they too are human beings, and it is human to gain/lose weight, have a life crisis, become pregnant etc. Then again, it is also human nature to criticize others, especially celebrties because the fact that they ARE celebrities means that they cannot do anything wrong, they must continute to entertain us, and remain in that "perfect image".
I think over the years a woman's image has been upscaled to a level that is ridiculous, and over-exagarrated. Having an ounce of "extra meat" is not acceptable. Britney Spears in my eyes, has an acceptable body for someone who carried 2 children. What else do you expect of her, a stick figure?
She's done the best she can, we should just let the poor woman be and live her life.