Since she first did a back-hand-spring into my heart

My next piece about Britney Spears is up at Alpha Mom:

“It was once Britney got pregnant, though, that I really had a hard time believing what I was seeing: the many, many times she was photographed barefoot in public or looking like she hadn’t showered since last century. Why would someone as rich as she is, with as much fame and attention, walk out of the house looking like that when she knows a picture of her bra-less nipples are going to show up the next week in magazines across the country? It was less a disapproving reaction than a confused one, and I was fascinated with the anthropological implications of this superstar showing up in photographs screaming: PLEASE JUDGE ME HARSHLY.”

I’m going to open up comments here because I think there could be an interesting discussion about this. And also because I’m crazy.

  • http://mmarquis.blogspot.com Meg

    I hate to say it, but I sort of respect her barefootedness. As a fellow (former) Southerner, you might also recognize the urge to be unshod at all times.

  • liznboys

    Isn’t being barefoot better than wearing clogs?

    You KNOW someone had to ask the question….

  • kendall

    I wouldn’t call myself a Britney Spears fan, and that black hair thing she’s got going on is REALLY not working for me.

    But “Toxic” might be one of the best pop songs written in the past 10 years.

  • http://perpetualstateofflux.typepad.com Lola

    Though I fell in love the moment I heard the first few notes of “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, my love was cemented when I saw the MTV awards. Remember the body. Remember the sequin skin outfit.

    I’m about seven years older than Britney but in that moment I wanted to be her.

    Now it makes me sad. Now SHE makes me sad.

    How the mighty have fallen.

    Although, she did look cute in those recent beach shots with the baby. Pregnant bikini belly and all.

    She’s still in there and I think so many of us pray she returns to us soon.

  • http://reflections.whimsychick.com WhimsyChick

    Don’t celebrities have huge groups of people who advise them on what to wear and what to say, so they don’t have to do damage control later? Maybe Brit needs to fire her people and get some new ones.

  • S t a c i

    Every part of Britney’s life, warts and all, is fodder for public scorn. It makes me feel sad for her, and glad that the only proof that is left of my 20s is some photographs and the memories of my friends…who thankfully ain’t talkin’.

  • kreints

    Thank you for syaing what I have not been able to verbalize. I cannot say that I am a fan of Britney Spears, but I am a new mother and I can sympathize with her. Nothing that she has done, or that has happened is worth the public humiliation that she has been put through. Not that I am saying that she didn’t put herself in the public eye, but the media has magnified it beyond belief.

  • kidsmom

    I’m MUCH older than Britney. My take is that she has been SOOO controlled and marketed (she was a Mouseketeer before she was Britney) that when she become a MOM, she decided she wanted to be in control of herself. It’s all in your face for a reason. Never having had to make a decision of her own now she’s exerting the right to do so. I got to make my mistakes in private, she gets to make hers in front of the world.

    Poor kid. And I don’t me Sean P.

  • http://pioneerwoman.blogspot.com Pioneer Woman

    My take is that for so long—and during the formative ages between 11 and 20—she was primped, made-up, combed, brushed, polished, and touched up, not only every day but SEVERAL TIMES a day. I believe she reached her limit of caring about her appearance and simply can’t do it any more. Call it appearance exhaustion.

    Combine that with a little early-twenties-post-baby depression/funk and you have a girl who just wants to wake up and not care about what she looks like.

    I’ll bet when she hits about 28, she’ll lose a bunch of weight and find her looks again. She’ll be ready to be Sexy Mom instead of the Sad Pop Princess mom.

  • http://spaces.msn.com/members/beachgalshideaway Beachgal

    I am not a Britney fan. Just not into her. I do feel however, she’s made some stupid mistakes. I don’t necessarily think she’s a bad mom, but she HAS made some bad choices, and because of popularity it gets broadcast everywhere, and she gets ripped apart by it. She needs proper staff that should keep her out of trouble like she’s been in, and then people won’t judge her so harshly. Except for saying she needs to take care of herself without others telling her what to do, etc., etc. Catch 22, ya know. Oh well. Great piece Dooce.

  • tamara lee

    what britney is going through right now is what i went through when i was young, in my early twenties and had low self-esteem. everything went to hell. i didn’t look good, friends and family warned me and eventually gave up about telling me that my boyfriend at the time was a loser. i cringe every time i read something about her.

    kevin federline is a complete douche. i’m awaiting the day she divorces him, gets healthy again and does something good for herself.

    on a superficial note, i think that k-fed looks like every stoner i ever knew of in highschool. dirt ‘stache? check. squinty eyes? check. AND he’s starting to get that skinny-fat guy look from drinking too much.

    poor brit!

  • http://hmckillip.blogspot.com Heather

    I love it! I love your perspective on Britney’s so-called shortcomings. I have often said that Britney is so harshly judged as a mom, and how horrible that must be. I was a mess with my first one, always doubtful, always waiting for my husband to come home so the baby could sleep on him, or be bounced around by him, or just so the baby could go to him, so I wasn’t holding the baby. I really liked your post at Alpha Mom. Thank you!

  • http://windytwilley.blogspot.com Windy

    Heather, you’re a Southerner. I’m a Southerner. You know darn well that you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl. In her early career, she had handlers to tell her when her roots were showing, or when she should spit out her gum. Now that she has some success under her belt, she’s also getting some freedom – and woe to us. It’s only a matter of time before she’s twirling double-fire batons.

  • wrensuicide

    I’ve never been a fan, but I feel sorry for her. I am only one day older than Britney, but I feel justified in saying: she is really young. It’s hard to have kids and be married, but it’s harder when you’re young and the decision-making centers of your brain aren’t fully developed yet. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. Her husband seems like the world’s biggest douchebag (and I make it a point not to judge celebrities, because I don’t know them) so I hope she divorces him. I think if her kid turns out to be screwed up it will be because of the paparazzi, not his mother.

  • Urs

    i think the thing about britney being a mom is that she has around-the-clock nannies to help her with her baby. i know we’ve seen photos of her with her baby in her arms, and even heard stories about how she changed the babys diper on a restaurant table, wow, big deal! how many times have we seen her leaving the spa, or going shopping, all without her precious baby! it’s not like she is up all night long and constantly watching her child, she has others help her with it. and to me, her appearance and behavior is unexcusable because its’t not like she is wearing the same t-shirt 3 days in a row. she’s a lazy cow!

  • NinasMom

    I understand that she’s expressing herself right now, trying to take control. But seriously, a brush and a bra is not asking too much.

    By the way Britney fans, seen the cover of the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar? It looks like the Pregnant Demi Moore Vanity Fair cover gone REALLY bad!

  • dyanna

    I sometimes feel bad for all celebrities…as I sit and read the US magazine I pay $60 a year for. I KNOW they are always being watched by the stinky paparazzi. I would hate to be them. But then again, such is the price of fame. I also dont make a gazillion dollars.

    Britney has helpers, assistants, stylists, what-have-you. There is NO REASON why her bra should have been poking out the side of her shirt while talking to Matt Lauer or why her extensions look a fright or why she was chewing gum like a cow during the whole thing. I think, like with Tom Cruise, she should have people tell her what to do and how to do it – when he fired his publicist and hired his sister, all hell broke loose. He turned into this ‘crazy man’, meanwhile he probably has been this crazy all along, we just didnt know it. As messed up as that sounds, the more ‘boring’ or ‘wholesome’ Britney can make herself, the more the press will leave her alone. (Although it may be a little too late for that.)

    But that’s just my opinion.

  • http://mommylap.diaryland.com lap

    Radio Disney came into my life (with my kids) at that time too- so avoiding Britney was pretty impossible. I sort of fell in love with a cartoon, as I am apt to do, and now I watch her and think I’ve never seen a person so full of the potential for human failing in my life..but it mostly makes me want to be nice to her-to invite her over for coffee and tell her how much her baby seems to love her.

  • http://bloomingyou.typepad.com bloomingyou

    Pioneer Woman: I love the idea of appearance exhaustion.

    I’m not a mom-I just watch from the sidelines as my family and friends have raised their babies. I think Britney has made some mistakes and because she is in the public eye she get thoroughly routed for them. That being said, I do think the girl needs to get a better team of publicists around her and get rid of federline.

  • http://valerie.beautifulexchange.org Valerie

    Part of me thinks that she knows what she’s doing. You know, the whole “no such thing as bad publicity” thing. But, then I also think that it’s her way of sticking it to the world. After years of being molded and guided and handled, she’s letting us know that she can do whatever she wants and be whom ever she wants to be. If that’s the case, I’m all for it.

  • http://wealhtheow.diaryland.com wealhtheow

    I read an article the other day that posited her slovenly appearance during the Matt Lauer interview was a bid for sympathy. If so, it was genius. I’ve always hated Brit, but when I saw photos of her during that interview I just wanted to give her a hug, wash her face and say “Come with me. We’ll go to the store and get you some nice new clothes, then I’ll take care of the baby while you have a nap, and when you wake up I’ll show you how to make dinner.” I feel so bad for her that her mother or sister aren’t stepping up to the plate to help her out with her life. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they tried and she’s told them to fuck off.

  • cvarkey

    The fact that this was posted at Alpha Moms is telling that you wanted to point how equalizing motherhood can be. Everytime I go to the pediatrician’s office and they go over things with me – don’t let your baby eat paint chips, don’t smoke around the child, don’t let your child sit in the sun without protection – I think who is stupid enough to do those things to their child. But then my holier than thou attitude gets a swift kick in ass when I realize that my son is chewing on a hair dryer that is about to tip off the edge of the counter while I get ready for work.

    While I agree that riding in the car with no car seat is beyond acceptable for me personally, I do have to say what I love about motherhood is that no one mother is perfect. I have met some lovely women who I previously had nothing in common with and enjoy seeing how they tackle common problems with parenting whether it’s sleep tactics or how to get puke out of sheets. Wow, the VP of sales has spit up on her shoulder too, sweet! I get a kick out seeing Britney with the same jogging stroller and wonder if she’s has the same issue getting it in and out of the car (ok she probably has a “manny” to do that. I need to get one of those.) I feel like I joined a club and as mom in this crazy world, I need all the help I can get.

  • http://www.amanda.veryzen.com Amanda B.

    You so traaaazy.

    From what I’ve observed, I think Britney has very few people in her life who she can really trust (including in her immediate family) and very few places where she is safe. I think it’s a situation where she will have to learn to parent herself and that takes a lot of time and a good bit of trial and error. At least it did for me.

    When I saw the picture of her with her pregnant belly hanging out of her tube top- lighting up a cigarette, I thought to myself that this is a young person who has not been protected and cared for, and therefore has very little idea how to care for herself and others. I think she’s in a very emotionally and mentally vunerable state right now and that people should be kind to her. Having money doesn’t make life shit free nor does it exempt a person from deserving to be treated like a human being.

    Also, Britney’s just a big ol’ hick. She’s a beer drinkin’, chicken wing eatin’, 4-wheeler ridin’ girl from Kentwood. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  • http://www.meretrice.com Meretrice

    I actuslly wrote a piece on my own blog about the interview our little Brit-Brit did with Matt Lauer. It was like watching a horrible train wreck, but you can’t look away. The saddest part (for me) was the retrospective shots the program did when she was younger. The difference was startling.

    I think the reason that we, “ordinary,” people judge her so harshly is because we assume that she does have handlers, nannies, publicists and stylists to keep her from making the same mistakes that we do every day. You are absolutely right that almost all mothers have looked the way she does lately, stumbled while holding the baby, and made shocking misuse of air quotes.

    However, the thing that I cannot let her skate with is staying with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named when she found out two months after they were seeing each other that he had been cheating on his pregnant girlfriend with her. That is just low. Not to mention, it doesn’t bode well for his likelihood of being faithful to her. He just isn’t the kind of person you should want as a father to your children, let alone as a husband.

    I sincerely want the best for her and her children. I think she is treated cruelly by the paparazzi. I also hope that her marriage to You-Know-Who doesn’t blow up in her face. I think it would be a good thing for her to get out of Los Angeles and away from the media circus for a little bit, at least until her 2nd baby is born.

  • http://www.kempland4u.com Goooder

    Hrmm. Lately the thought of Britney just makes me want to vomit. I find everything about her really disgusting.

    Maybe motherhood is about not caring about your appearance, or anything but your child, but I have this inkling that she isn’t spending every waking hour with her baby. She isn’t waking up every two hours to feed the baby or change the baby’s diapers. The kid has at least one nanny at all times, I assume. Does anyone know the details? And if that’s the case, I’d say she doesn’t illustrate motherhood at all, just the ability to pop kids out of her vagina. And if she does have a nanny or multiple ones then what the hell is her excuse for her haggard appearance?

    If she doesn’t have a nanny, I retract this statement. Well, maybe not. Ha.

  • http://blairnecessities.blogspot.com/ mdstblz

    I completely agree on two things:
    1) other mother’s can be the harshest and meanest critics that hearkens back to clique atrocities of American adolescence… sometimes I find it downright evil, what mothers can say…
    2) The mistakes that Britney makes endears her to me (Especially since I was a closet lover of her pop songs and a mom who thinks she (as in I) is making mistakes and therefore bringing motherhood mistakes to a whole new artform – the Britney reminds me it is merely human after all).

  • jennifer

    Personally, i just can’t wait till she drops K-fed, gets a makeover, creates another pop album that sells millions and confesses all with Barbara Walters. Not to mention the 5 page Vanity Fair spread and E True Hollywood Story. You all know it’s right around the corner. This phase is just a bump in the road.

  • NikkiB

    Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!

    I also am a Britney fan. I am so sick of everyone chastising her and calling her a bad mom, especially other mothers. Anyone who is a mom knows how hard those first several months, especially when it’s your first child. You don’t sleep, eat right or have time to do anything that may resemble taking care of your personal needs. You are consumed with taking care of this small, helpless wonder that you made. Children do not come with manuals, even for the rich and famous. All we can do, as mothers, is do our best, give all our love and keep our fingers crossed that they don’t need to much therapy as adults. Britney may not always make the wisest decisions, but I do believe she’s doing her best (considering she has a loser for a husband), is a good mom and more than anything else, loves her child very much.

  • http://rivetergirl.blogspot.com rivetergirl

    I believe that with our intense hunger for details of celebrities lifes, we’ve created a generation of stars who are motivated by staying at the forefront of our interest. So in Britney’s attempt at the uber-white-trash-mommie look, she created an spectacle of herself that we were compelled to watch. Out of sight, out of mind. The question is: Is she so smart as to sacrifice her dignity to stay in the limelight or is she that desperate?

  • http://www.deardiesel.com Dilara

    She never finished high school. I bet she doesn’t know how to do a load of laundry. I don’t think that makes her a bad parent…actually, that makes her parents bad parents for not teaching her the fundamentals of life. I just hope that Britney has the insight to realize what she didn’t get as a child and she makes sure her kids get it. I am sure one of the reasons why she wanted to get married and have kids so early is because she craved normalcy and love and affection…something that was put on the backburner in order to advance her career. I wish her well.

  • Jamie

    I was never, ever a Britney fan, but then she and I got pregnant at the same time and I spent my entire pregnancy feeling puffy and ugly and sweaty and gross and I resented the hell out of her because I thought she’d probably pop that kid out and be back in her size 2 designer jeans on the cover of every magazine in the country two weeks later. She’d have a whole team of people making her life easier while I leaked breast milk onto my ratty Tshirts. The fact that she’s not perfect, she makes mistakes as a mom, she has bad hair days too… Makes me have a little soft spot for her in my heart. I ache for her now when I see a nasty tabloid headline at the grocery store. I mean, being a mom is hard! Being married is hard! And she’s pregnant AGAIN! I wish I could just call her up, eat tuna sandwiches while our boys play in the sandbox and tell her that I know it’s hard and I know she’s trying. Being a mommy is hard enough without the whole world criticizing you.

  • http://www.kirala.typepad.com marian

    Bravo. When I watched that interview with Matt Lauer I was stunned at how she allowed herself to look like a normal person. A person with bad taste, but still, she was looking puffy and very pregnant and her makeup was bad, and she was chewing gum and she just looked so real.

    You’d think the women’s movement people would be kissing the ground she walks on for not present the anorexic’s version of a pregnant body and acting as though the whole childbearing mess can be accomplished without a lot of embarrassing leakage and swellings.

    Instead, as you say, everyone’s attacking her for doing something that when I grew up was what your parents did with you for fun — put you on their lap when they were driving.

  • NikkiB

    In response to Goooder… I’m sure she does have nannies to help her, but as a mother, I know the haggard look of another mom who hasn’t slept for days, if not weeks, and Brit’s got it. You can see the look in her eyes, even on the occasions you do see her made up.
    Personally, I feel, until you’ve been a mom to a new baby (yes, a 6-month old still qualifies) you’ve got no business judging. You have no idea how hard it is. Now, top that off with being pregnant again and having your every move documented….I can’t imagine.

  • susanb

    Heather, I am a long time reader of your site, but this is my first time making a comment. I have never been a huge fan of Britney…but, as a mother I wish people would back off! Everyone is so critical of her every move. I can not imagine trying to raise my kids, and every move we made being photographed my a bunch of photographers. And as far as the mistakes she’s made, join the crowd of mother’s who are not and never will be perfect. She was criticized for almost dropping her son, because she was holding a glass of water. My twin boys snuck out of their window(at the age of 3!) when I thought they were taking a nap..my neighbor came over when she saw them in the front yard by themselves! I am so glad no one was photographing that shining moment of motherhood.

  • http://wwwranting.blogspot.com Muffin

    I was never a Britney Spears fan but lately I am actually liking her more because I feel a sympathy and an empathy for her. I don’t think she’s done anything better or worse than other first time mothers, but people want to take every little thing and make her look unfit. Babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and you have to learn about them while sleep deprived.

    I know that she has a nanny, but also that she was breastfeeding, which generally implies getting up in the night for the first several months. And frankly, when your breasts hurt like that and there is the possibility you are going to leak all over what you wear, what is the point in trying to be all prissy and fixed up?

  • http://www.kempland4u.com Goooder

    Me:

    I disagree – you do not have the right to not immunize your child. It is dangerous to them and potentially a lot of other people and children. It’s like saying you have the right to dangle your child off of a 5th floor balcony by its pinky toe (which you can also apparently get away with, if you are Michael Jackson).

  • http://www.turkeywalk.com TurkeyWalk

    I don’t understand why people care that much about celebrities. The media seems to overload us with info on Britney, Brad & Angelina, blah, blah, blah … But why would people fall for that when there are so many more important things to care about?

    Is a celebrity couple’s having a baby going to make anyone else’s life better or solve some of the world problems?

  • http://www.sassy8877.blogspot.com Jessica

    No,
    Seriously,
    I mean it,
    That was one of the best written perspectives on what it means to be a Mother.

    I love it when people are finally being “real”.

  • Me

    dang a langin, sorry about the long post, dooce!

  • http://www.asmalltowngirl.com Ang

    I think the “appearance exhaustion” comment probably is accurate. I saw a biography show on Britney, and her parents had her in talent shows and such from an early age, and, according to the show, they really pushed her into that career. Not much of a childhood and not much chance to just be herself. . .kinda sad, really.
    Also, I think Britney is keepin’ it real–lord knows us normal folk have made a quick run to the grocery store without our makeup and hair done. She just has photographers stalking her when she does it.
    As far as K-Fed — EW! But, I’m guessing that she is the type of girl who is thinking that she’s made her bed and now she has to lie in it. Sure wish she and JT could hook back up. (They looked so good together!) From my experience, tt’s hard to leave a person after you’ve had a child with him/her. I’d imagine it’s the same for some celebrities.

  • http://pioneerwoman.blogspot.com Pioneer Woman

    In addition to my thoughts above, I might add that I’m pretty judgmental about people who judge other people’s mothering skills. Them’s fightin’ words.

    First, no one who isn’t a parent can judge another mother (short of flagrant physical/emotional abuse). You just don’t get it.
    Second, no mother can be accurately judged by tiny photographic snippets. Look at the photos on my blog of my 3-year-old asleep naked on our sidewalk. I thought it was cute and didn’t want him in the house, so I just left him there for an hour. Oh, his face was dirty, too. Glad no one cares who I am or I’d have been crucified by now.

  • Me

    Aw, heck, I’m not trying to start a war here. Just pointing out that we are a product of what we grown up in. Brit grew up country, so she naturally does like her parents did. Right or wrong…

    Does she make mistakes? Heck, yeah. Do I, as a mom, make mistakes? heck yeah.

    Let’s see: I know certain groups here in the USA that advocate for not immunizing their babies. Do I agree? No. Do I think they probably have valid reasons, and is it their right? Yes.

    There’s a myriad of other issues available: Dressing an infant like a teenager in hoochie clothes? Pacifiers? Nursing past teeth? Allowing 15 yr olds to drive? Allowing tv/video games in childhood? Homeschool/private school/public school/unschool?

    My Point: She isn’t perfect, she’s doing what she was raised up doing, and it isn’t any of your business, so quit.

    Look at Dooce’s point: Moms are more critical than anyone else. We (as a mom) all have made decisions about our kids’ upbringings (some with assistance of another parent, some without). We didn’t make those decisions lightly, we made them because we believe in them.

    But instead of being supportive and encouraging, moms seem to be like a group of vigilantes, harshly condemning all non-conformers, “educating” (eg Bible thumping/brow beating/propoganda pelting) the non-conformers, etc.

    Imagine how much different this world would be if the moms in it all started supporting each other, allowing the USA-given freedom to parent in the way that best suits them, offering assistance when requested, and taking a stand against abuse/neglect NOT by calling Channel 3′s Reporter Andy Wise-@ss, but by stepping in and being a friend and demonstrating another way to parent through those particular circumstances that would avoid abuse.

    Can you imagine how cool it would be if moms could relax, enjoy being a parent, enjoy being a spouse, enjoy the moments of their child’s life, without having to feel like they have to be “supermom”, “miss perfect” blah blah?

    We share a bond- motherhood. We share a common interest- to watch our kids grow up and be productive, loving members of society (and to give us grandkids that are preshus!). We ought to be the most supportive group that exists, more than any religion, because we’re all going through the same thing.

    But it seems like most moms just want to pretend they NEVER have accidents, NEVER make mistakes, and NEVER EVER go without a bra to the Winn Dixie because the underwire is pinching the hell out of my swollen, leaking milk producing mammary glands.

    Much less barefoot because I can’t stand to stick my puffy, aching feet into anything that requires lacing, velcroing or a piece of plastic between my toes.

    But if clogs came with a velour lining, I’d surgically attach them to my feet.

  • Ibeejd

    Sometimes I think people bash her so hard because it somehow makes the mistakes they have made in their lives seem a little more reasonable. Its so easy to say “Oh my god look at her, she looks terrible” and when you look at yourself in the mirror you feel a little better about your roots and lack of make-up. We can sit back and say “yea I have done blah blah blah but AT LEAST I wear a bra”…..

    I think she has always been this way we just wanted to believe the illusion. Personally I think I like this Brit better. She is one of us……..

  • http://twentyfivewords.blogspot.com wordgirl

    Dooce–You’re not asking anything I haven’t already asked myself. The only answer I can come up with is the one I hear when celebrities talk about just wanting to be normal people. They want to go buy coffee or shop for baby clothes or get the paper from the end of the driveway in pair of ancient gym shorts and some rainboots. Whatever. The thing is, and this should come as no surprise to Britney or any other famous person, we live in a culture fascinated by fame. See those photographers sqatting near your garbage cans? Annoying, yes, but you flaunt all your good stuff out in public for us day in and day out. Your image is distorted because you pay people to help you achieve a perfect package to sell to us in the theaters and on the red carpet and on television. We want to believe it’s true, but we know it’s not. Celeb magazines are onto you, too. That’s why there’s one sleeping in your kid’s treehouse right now with a telephoto lens. It’s heartbreaking, sure, but all that money should compensate for the inconvenience. And it’s a little bit of the “be careful what you ask for” thing in that you wanted to be an actor and you are and you’re paid heinous amounts of cash to pretend you’re someone else having sex with George Clooney. I say it all evens out somewhat. I don’t take the pictures…I just buy the magazine. Uh…occasionally.

  • http://lawyerish.typepad.com lawyerish

    Excellent piece, Heather.

    I, too, developed a Britney crush from the first swish of her schoolgirl pleated skirt. The spangly outfit at the VMAs almost did me in. And I went to her live show – they are REAL, people. I swear.

    Anyway. Although I get sucked into the mindless giddiness of celebrity gossip as much as the next person, I think we all have to be able to separate the performer from the person. Britney is a fabulous performer. She commands a stage in a way that few people can, and she’s done it ever since she was a tiny little kid on Star Search. As a person, though, I think she is a very young, small-town Southern girl who, without her talents, probably would have stayed in Louisiana and raised a family and sung in the Baptist choir (not that there would be anything wrong with that, either).

    And so, because as a person she is who she is, she is imperfect and she chews gum on TV and gets mascara blobs in the corner of her eye and her bra straps show and she makes mistakes as a mom. SO WHAT? All of us have done things we’re not proud of, whether as parents or just as people. Why is she held to some different standard than the rest of us?

    (And I don’t buy the “role model” thing. Give me a break. She is a pop star.)

  • http://www.kempland4u.com Goooder

    Yeah, yeah, I know she’s only human.

    I may have been harsh. I would probably feel more sorry for her if she didn’t have millions of dollars.

    I save that sympathy for my sister who makes less than $10/hr and has 2 kids under the age of 3.

  • momtolivi

    Heather, you’re so right. Other mothers are the meanest, toughest critics out there. You have no idea how many times I’ve cried or felt like a bad parent after reading posts from other moms, particularly stay-at-home moms. Asking why anyone would ever have children if they’re not going to stay at home with them, etc. It’s horrible. Being a mother is the harderst (and most wonderful) thing I’ve ever done. I’m constantly second-guessing myself enough as it is–I don’t need strangers doing it for me.

    As far as Britney goes…she’s a young mother just learning how to deal with everything–and it’s a lot. Nannies, mannies or not. Everything you knew before you have a child is thrown out the window. I have a wonderful, involved husband and it was STILL hard those first few months. Imagine having K-Fed as your husband–no help or emotional support at all.

    I honestly feel that if you don’t have children, you have no business criticizing other peoples’ actions when they are raising theirs.(actually, no one should criticize, they should try to understand and help) I know Brit has done a few dumb things (mostly car-related), but she’s trying her best. Please stop being so judgemental.

  • Danielle

    Wow guys.

    I think many people missed the “she’s only human” aspect of things. Who are we to say what is or isn’t excusable? There is no way – even with the 24 hour paprazzi coverage, even if she did 20 Matt Lauer interviews – that anyone could ever understand the whys of her behavior (especially as far as mothering goes).

    We’ve been walking with her for so long. It’s terrible to think that when she stumbled it boosted our egos to laugh. The polite thing would have been be to turn our heads respectfully and let her collect herself with dignity.

  • http://www.gimmeabuck.com The Gimme A Buck Guy

    I think Britney Spears is pretty much the female version of Michael Jackson.

    Both are completely out of touch with “normal” reality.

    It’s not their “fault”, since neither knows any different. I’m surprised someone hasn’t done a PhD paper on the relativistic normality of reality for people who became superstars at birth.

  • http://brewerburns.blogspot.com Jennifer

    Well, I agree with you. If anyone has ever had a microscope as well as a telephoto lens perpetually focused on her, and millions, no, billions of people judging her parenting decisions, it’s Britney Spears. And I feel sorry for her. No one deserves to be judged so harshly. I think the worst of it was when she stumbled with Sean in her arms. She stumbled, people! She clearly felt terrible about it and yet people took it as proof of her poor parenting skills. Please. When someone gets a photo of her smoking a crack pipe while pregnant and Sean, nearby, licks some white powder up off the floor, then I think we can all say that she’s a bad mother. Until then, she’s an average mother. With lots of help.