Why is Britney Spears Still Famous?

Why is Britney Spears still famous?

I don’t ask this because I dislike her as a person (please don’t take this to mean that I in any way appreciate her music), I ask this as a consumer of music. Why is she famous? Our media is obsessed with a singer who hasn’t actually sung anything in years. Her “greatest hits” album was out in 2004, her last album of original material was out in 2003. Is she actually working on new material? When was her last tour? The last great performance I remember her giving was kissing Madonna on MTV.

These days, we’re obsessed with Britney’s marriage, with whether or not she’s a good mother, and the attention grabbing things she does. She wants to be left alone, but no, she’s posing nude (while pregnant) for this magazine or that, she’s talking to Matt Lauer, we’re supposed to feel bad for her – no! – we’re supposed to hate her. Aren’t we?

I really don’t care about Britney Spears. In fact, she really has nothing at all to do with my point, except that she is a fine example of a trend. Why do we care about “celebrities” who don’t actually have a function, or who have lost their place in the spotlight?

Why did Britney’s reality TV show flop when so many others just like it succeeded? The Newlyweds worked until that couple decided that they were happier divorced. Hulk Hogan has a show that exists pretty much solely to promote his daughter’s fledgling musical career. Even Paris Hilton cashed in on being ignorant while America watched before she decided she wanted to be a singer.

Why do people exploit their stupidity on television? Do they see how others are mocked and decide they want in on the deal? Do they think they can do better, perhaps contribute something to society by showing the world how wealthy they are how incapable they are of having a grasp on reality?

It seems that a weird culture of exhibitionism has arisen in the Western world, and there is an endless supply of voyeurs to feed on it. It started with the average person jumping at the chance to be on an excessively long game show that would also document the drama between the challenges. Then when it wasn’t enough to put cameras in the homes of ordinary people, celebrities offered there’s up. The Osbournes were funny because they are who they are, but there was also a novelty to the show then. But then suddenly The Biggest Loser isn’t doing so hot so we need to watch washed up celebrities who can no longer afford their personal trainers get back to their screen-friendly sizes. And curse whatever clever fellow at VH1 came up with the phrase “Celebreality.”

Why was it such a big deal when Kirsty Alley gained weight? Why was she all over the tabloids for being fat when she hadn’t done any work in years? And why did her show about losing the weight fail (should we blame the network)? And now that she’s thin again, will she be branded after all this time as the Jenny Craig girl?

Why do we care? Is there some sort of inherent cruelty within us that needs to watch others humiliate themselves? Do we need to see that the mighty have fallen? That we’re thinner or more attractive than someone? That we’re smarter than a person whose career was never based on his or her wits to begin with? Why do we care when people we’ve never met get married or divorced?

Britney Spears’ marriage might be on the rocks. Or maybe it’s still going strong? It depends on the tabloid you read this week. Or the interview she gives. Or the viral video going around of her being stoned or just acting stoned.

Why is Britney Spears still famous?

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