Interest in how women are seen sellable objects is a curious one. First how much are we things to possess, material to be moulded and what is the purpose? How women are merchandise and for what reason? Is slave 4 u the answer? Merchandised as ever so often women themselves allow this to happen. They make the initiative and show the will to be that object. It is a wanted she-goddess, divine. To be a sex object is seen sexy as such, a deed, a statement to be had in any form possible, as long as there is picture of her it sells. Are women in control as many pop stars claim to be, active but playing passive? Have control you can have over your weight, a discipline, a routine, a way of life. How voluntary and aware of abuse of sexuality should we be and think actively about changing the repetition of gendered clichés? They seem to be effective in making millions. Isn’t it weakness to be unable to do otherwise, unable to have any other message with the whole of one’s being that one is supposed to control? It can be a powerful calculated strategy to use this tradition of stars and ultimately be able to do as one pleases in the end. To be super-rich and look beautiful in photos is one dream for many people regardless of gender. It is an idea of manipulating a mass of people by creating an idol. Are ways to get there different for men and women, more limited for women what comes to creating personal career path in entertainment?
Britney does sing about the culture of oppression around her, involving her, sheer tormenting of her by paparazzi portrayed in her song Piece of me. Is it oppression in the true sense of the word one might wonder. Imprisonment policed by what is said is nothing new. Will she be abandoned when she rebels? She is ridiculed which works well for the press. Shaming works for the tabloids, continuation of oppressive ways women are kept in their place as what is news concerning women’s lives, what kinds of things make headlines concerning women and how they choose to live their lives. Role of a nice girl she is not permitted to change and be more serious. Girliness is not serious shit? To develop further as an artist means to experiment with what one is expected to do and be and what could be escaped from to something unknown. Role that does not evolve beyond boundaries there are is very much the one for women, safety and known areas are given from early on. Outside are dangers which boys go after and test more freely. What are the dangers inside could not be more clear. Yes one can go crazy. Division to safety and to danger is artificial, essential things remain unnoticed.
Repetitious ways to act out are the ones we must speak out about, oppose. To live by what is known and acceptable stand the one barrier to climb over, to not just play the part given is basic rebellion for the young. That is the hard way to figure out what to do, how to find a way out. Ways for Britney to rebel have been to get fat, look ‘ugly’ not smiling to the camera, hit paparazzi with an umbrella, scream, quit the nice girl all-pleasing act which does not take much of effort to break. For women it is a glasshouse where any misconduct shows and is scrutinized. I wonder as she does not analyze it herself to the core the problematic nature of the business towards women in particular and her in it escaping photographers but she gives us clues to feel for her still as it is clear to feel for her is not the deal. She wants to be treated like a human being while working in the business that is not empathetic of failure and weakness, looking other than pitch perfect is not an option. Punk allows women to be ugly and behave as they see fit. It would have been interesting to see Britney change genre.
Song Piece of me which is a much needed critical point of view on her life as celebrity. The song is a picture of a person living hunted which she has felt is against her human rights, rightly so. Celebrities may seem kind of super humans who should be pleased for every publicity they get. That is what they are there for. They are livelihood for many not only for themselves. As they have what many want, they themselves should give all of themselves. Where goes the limit and what stands as interesting journalism, valuable for society? Social media has given us the option of revealing all and we are watching what happens next. It is a whirlwind. That makes a mess itself, a movement of what we see social today. Superstars pose interest to the public in their wealth, position as constantly looked at beings. Question often is why are we interested? What is it we pay attention to and why criticism does not change as much as it is legal to practice this business of vulture?
There could not be more perfect example of contemporary female oppression than Britney in the sense that violence against her is totally accepted by the media and public. It is not seen as violence or oppression, or if it is, it is not important as she is just a pop singer, doing something light-headed and stupid. How could something light be hurtful? She is very privileged and lucky to be where she is which for many equals happiness and perfection and justification. In this picture women are still sold as body parts, shrunken dolls who say what they are let to say, to play the part which is thought to be sexy, desirable and alluring as much as repetition can be. Look the look and get slapped either way. This role of perfection is not what women should want, but they must want it. Does it sound tricky and contradictory? When women go and break the role-play like feminists have done, maybe they have gone crazy and are in of need help since hell has broken loose for what they have done.
When women themselves break the machine, crack down the perfect engine, it is Hysteria, it is a scandal. It is meltdown, it is out of order, a sickness. Women in need of a doctor, in need of cure to set themselves in the right order where nothing is wrong or the matter is nothing special. Correcting themselves not to make the mistake of saying and doing other than what is planned and expected of them. Britney is seen only as someone who went nuts in front of us, got teary, which is documented and ridiculed, which is headlines. Popstar who is recovering from bad behavior and mending up her career, making a comeback, watching carefully out what she says, how she stands. It is tragic the way how she is treated as someone who had a meltdown, crying in front of us, being vulnerable and hurt. There were 43 000 people in 2014 who committed suicide in the USA alone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_the_United_States
Tragedy is the complete blindness and indifference towards mental illness, shame and ridicule around lunacy, mental issues altogether. Ways women are monitored and policed is neurotic and making women and all of society ill. The insanity of celebrity culture itself is something to be treated. Not to mention what goes on in the world as a whole. To laugh may help but it is not a comedy show. It is still her who is crazy, recovering from her condition. Something to be hidden and be embarrassed about. To talk about mental illness is to talk of those others who are ashamed of being ill and are not like the rest who are well in the head. It is a matter of how we look at things, isn’t it?
To play a part for money is slavery, as is constant need for gossip, growing need, or would we be needing the info of the rich and famous to copy them. Gossip is there nevertheless. The much hated and somewhat controversial artist of our time as Britney is especially via gossip journalism and music she makes, journalism which more or less laughs at her and her problematic relationships and relationship with the industry she feeds from. When she makes a new album she is making a comeback. Does she evolve as a musician and is that the topic? She is making distance to her turmoil, to her problems of which she does not want to talk about in public. Problems are still hers not problems of those who watch. All she does is well, a kind of survival, behaving perfectly, playing her part. She has a part to play in this show and she is still present, acute, making money and interesting as she works, and as the journalists say, grows up, matures. Her age does not show that much, does it. She is interesting in a way how she is portrayed, how she presents herself. Is that her, are we supposed to know that? She is color of her hair, her dance moves, her unchangeable something in her.
Why I think of oppression when I think of a wealthy pop princess who has a history of strange public appearances and caused emotional trauma? Her conflicting with the image she is to keep up is interesting. Conflicting with the press she is to please with what she says and what she looks like and to be all about how she does all that floating like a feather, keeping up her appearance, her look. How she makes comeback again and has become fit again and gorgeous again. This all is about what is expected of women, to keep it together not lamenting. It is about how women are kept in tight leash and punished when they do differently, don’t obey and how that can be scandalous and something changes drastically. It is all about oppression wrapped around in a glittering image, perfected in a way there is no breath so she almost does not age, unable to breath, holding her breath. It is all very clear still she is the one who was deemed having mental problems when she shaved her hair off in public, she was hostile and showed her feelings towards the system that she was created for. All her ‘terrible’ outbursts and in some opinion strange choices do seem strange only in the context of pop, especially in context of American mainstream music aimed at young girls, which itself is more or less perverted and gives twisted ideas about how to be a girl and a woman. What is desirable, what to look like to be desirable and valuable, worthy of attention, what are good things for girls to be interested in and what is the relationship between girls and boys about, how this ideal and illusion evolves or if it does not. Why such ideals exist in the first place and what do they represent?
Stating the obvious, I guess, still I wonder why there is so much trashing of a princess who loves to dance and sing? How hungry are we for gossip is very telling of mental state of our culture. What is it all about, the need to get there in to the infantile mind, to slaughter and rip apart people who do something exceptional, are in the spotlight, put there for a reason which is to make money. Pop princess is a money making machine when she does well, so any outbursts of punk-ish manner totally seem crazy, even though when she herself sings she is going crazy. Not in real life you are not meant to go crazy, it is just a song. Mental illness is for the losers and that is scary shit.