FROMA: Spears got what she craved
At age 11, Britney Spears played the wholesome American girl on "The All New Mickey Mouse Club." A few years later, she was on concert stages surrounded by big teddy bears as she bumped, grinded and moaned. There was also a pole dance.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is entry-level kiddie porn. The despoiling of innocence has always been an easy sell. Britney and her pushing parents understood well that a schoolgirl in bobby socks singing lascivious songs would draw enormous amounts of attention.
The New York Times documentary "Framing Britney Spears" feeds on the tragic 39-year-old she has become. By her mid-20s, Britney was in drug rehab, had lost custody of her children and had a couple of failed marriages.
After she was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward, her father took control of her person and finances as her conservator. She reportedly wants control back.
The woman's suffering is undeniable, but where this account loses credibility is in suggesting that the public drove the celebrity to this sad state. Supposedly, it was the paparazzi she intentionally cultivated who caused her unraveling.
There were odd efforts at feminist commentary. "I worked with all the boy bands — all of them," said Hayley Hill, former fashion director at Teen People. "Not one of the boys was ever under any scrutiny." Hill seems to be saying that the critics' objections to sexualizing schoolgirls are thus a form of misogyny.
The pop star's fans have set up a #FreeBritney movement to push for her release from the conservatorship.
I offer no informed opinion on this.
Does Britney deserve some of our pity? She does. After all, the teen tart did possess true talent.
But why, exactly, are her fans populating Twitter with apologies, claiming that the world "destroyed" her? The world did exactly what she wanted it to.
Perhaps the public has a right to be freed from Britney Spears.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.