Thursday, March 13, 2008

when pop princesses pop

With the return of Britney’s father to ‘take legal control of her life’, the Guardian raises this question:

"Is it likely that a father would have dared proceed in the same way with an adult son and received such ready acquiescence from the courts and a good part of the media? No fathers have appeared to take legal charge of the countless male pill-popping pop stars whose language and behaviour are less than clean and who live out some of the wildest dreams of the adult children we all sometimes are. But women, it seems, like their Victorian great-grandmothers, still need to be taken in hand and charged with madness".

So her father has been officially and legally promoted to Custodian, Controller, Creator, oh sorry, I mean, ‘Conservator’. Britney has been without a patriarch. Clearly that has been the problem all along! Her descent into madness, the loss of her children, and the journey into wilderness, all happened because she has been deprived the solid guidance of strong man – apparently her disparate catalogue of boyfriends/husbands were not man enough… perhaps because they took her away from the father. He, it would seem, has already been forgiven for whatever part he played in pushing his offspring towards the stardom that ensured the possibility of her demise. That doesn’t matter now, because it has been decided by the Law of the State that she needs him once more. We can all breathe a sigh of relief now because the Father has Returned to take his daughter in hand (along with her assets – the financial ones, that is – well… we’d hope!).

There are stages towards a societal diagnosis of madness: the first is to slip from a squeaky clean, squeaky cute, virginal mouseketeer...

...into a slightly slutty young woman.

The second is to become a mother and then seem to have no clue what to do with the babies once you have them. How dare any woman – especially one in the public eye – defile the iconic Sanctity of Motherhood – the Sacred Mother cannot also be seen to be a slut.

She must be in control of herself, in control of her body, in control of her hetero-monogamous relationship with one, controlled, male, and in control of her role as mother of her children. Britney is in a wilderness created by an utter lack of control. When a much-(and intensively)-watched female celebrity breaks all the rules, we, her spectators and judges, feel righteously vilified in reaching our verdicts, making our diagnoses, and then documenting them in Heat magazine: our reliable weekly archive of female-celebrity malaise, demise and maladies… Ever attentive to the first signs of so-called madness… Lying in wait for the ones who clearly need reigning in… It’s a public service! I’m sure Amy Winehouse would think so…

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: