Open Letter to Britney Spears
In a recent Us Weekly article called “Can Their Careers Be Saved?”, a “career coach” suggests that your next move should be a turn on Extreme Makeover. Marty Nemko says, “We want to see that she’s not in a permanent state of pighood. What better way to show a transformation than on TV?”
With all due respect to “Dr.” Nemko, I have to say, Britney, that this is a terrible, terrible idea. I feel compelled to make my case out loud, just in case you have gotten to a point in your life when you’re taking advice from magazines people read while waiting to pay for their Hot Pockets and Dog Chow.
I’m not saying that you don’t need a makeover. I’m not saying you don’t need an extreme makeover. Let’s be honest here: We both know that you’re a mess. No, what I’m saying is that reality TV is not the way to rehabilitate your image. Unscripted does not work for you, Britney, and the last thing you need is a pack of cameras recording your every utterance and a team of editors whose job is to make you as entertaining as possible—and I’m speaking not as a fan (sorry, but it’s true), but as someone who only took an interest in you when photos of you eating Cheetos and emerging barefoot from gas-station toilets began surfacing.
Yes, you desperately need a transformation, and a team of experts—stylists, personal shoppers, personal trainers, nutritionists, behavioral therapists—authorized to unleash some ToughLove® on your trashy ass. But—and I really believe that this is key—you need to disappear for awhile. You don’t need more publicity right now; you need a little mystery. Imagine how awesome it would be if the tabloids had to wonder what you were up to, rather than having a host of public fuck-ups from which to choose when they’re looking for stories. Imagine how awesome it would be to, a year from now, emerge from your self-imposed exile as a newly confident, newly together, newly hot young woman. Imagine how awesome it would be if a national publication could no longer credibly suggest that you were “in a permanent state of pighood.”
Getting naked on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar was a gamble, Britney, but you looked pretty great in the interior shots. Wouldn’t it be nice to look like some version of this all the time? I know that change is hard, and maybe you’re not quite ready to undergo a total metamorphosis, so I leave you with my suggestions for a couple of baby steps: Stop shopping at Wet Seal—you’re a millionaire, for God’s sake—and refrain from publicly pining for your teen sweetheart—you’re married, and, even if you weren’t, it’s totally pathetic.
P(ost Teen Choice Awards). S. An observation, and one more piece of advice: You look like a porn star—albeit a highly specialized porn star—in that dress and those extensions, and, when you’re going to be talking on national TV, take the gum out of your mouth. Seriously, Britney.