Breaking Britney's Free Fall; Could Aguilera Help Guide Spears' Career Back to Basics?

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 30, 2007 | Go to article overview

Breaking Britney's Free Fall; Could Aguilera Help Guide Spears' Career Back to Basics?


Byline: Jenny Mayo, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In February, a Newsweek article chastised girl-gone-wild Britney Spears and fellow members of what it called the "Brit Pack" for possibly engendering "a generation of 'prosti-tots'," or youngsters who favor skimpy clothes and shopping over schoolwork.

So what, you may respond. This is far from the most scathing indictment of the recent rehab grad out there, and she's been getting flak for this same issue since 1999, when she posited the schoolgirl as sex symbol in her ".. Baby One More Time" video.

What's particularly striking about the piece, though, is what's absent from its seven pages: a single mention of Miss Spears' former nemesis, "Dirrty"-girl Christina Aguilera. In fact, the authors argue that Madonna passed her bad-girl torch to Miss Spears through a much-talked-about kiss at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards - forgetting that the exchange was, figuratively speaking, more of a three-way between Madge and both bottled-blonde teen poppers.

Somehow, one star's careful orchestrations and the other's reckless decisions have altered our current perceptions of them so greatly that it's changed the way we remember them, too.

Let us recall that when the two young singers exploded onto the scene in the late '90s, they seemed to have been cut from the same cleavage-and-thong-revealing cloth. At first, neither one seemed to transcend the saccharine teen-pop genre, and both relied heavily on their, um, "assets" to sell their brands; Miss Spears may have been a "slave," but her counterpart wanted someone to "rub her the right way."

Those who weren't put off altogether by the singers' sexualized images and generally fluffy tunes were polarized into opposing camps, with everyone from school lunchrooms to the cola companies taking sides. The battle of the bimbo-ish blondes was so powerful that it spawned a musical backlash from musicians touted as the "Anti-Britneys": women like Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton, who fought against bare midriffs with honest musicianship.

For at least a few years, Miss Spears and Miss Aguilera were running a two-horse race to become the next queen of pop. Then, at some point, the scales started to tip inexorably in favor of the latter - culminating for a mass audience, perhaps, with Miss Aguilera's stunning tribute to James Brown at this year's Grammy awards. Now, the previous rivalry is almost impossible to fathom.

The winner of the 2000 Best New Artist Grammy, Miss Aguilera slowly but surely proved herself to be the superior talent while simultaneously toning down her lasciviousness, upping her glamour quotient, and finding a respectable hubby in Jordan Bratman.

These days, she can get away with wearing lace chaps in concert because man, can she sing - and also because she's successful, career-minded, driven and outspoken. What's a little skin when these other attributes so clearly draw a positive role model?

Meanwhile, her counterpart has come to epitomize the worst fears of moms who've decried the scandalous stars from the outset; without a thriving artistic vision and steady (or very good) work output, she's become a caricature of the hyper-sexualized image she created, with few positive contributions to offset her pantyless partying and SUV slaying.

While Miss Spears will never possess her former competitor's powerful pipes, she does have the potential to rebound from her great fall - if Mariah Carey did it, she can, too. If she aspires to someday move beyond tragic tabloid topic and join the ranks of functioning humans and working musicians, she might do well to take a lesson or ten from Miss Aguilera.

First off, Miss Spears must have a heart-to-heart with herself and develop some short- and long-term career goals. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Breaking Britney's Free Fall; Could Aguilera Help Guide Spears' Career Back to Basics?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.