Monday, February 19, 2007

Britney's Spears: Growing Up By Relying On God

Remember in the movie Interview With A Vampire when Kirsten Dundst's character Claudia screamed, "Who did this to me?" I think Britney is screaming this right now.

People wonder why Britney Spear's mom isn't coming to her daughter's rescue. Perhaps Britney doesn't want rescuing. That'd be my guess. My guess is that this former child-star is angry as hell at being a good-girl commodity and wants everyone to "eff off!"

A year or two back, I watched the Biography Channel's or was E! biopic of Britney. She was on a trip to Japan where she did some endorsement deals. For a day or two she was shoved (physically moved around) by people here and there. "Picture right now, Ms. Spears." Fake smile. Pose. "Is this good?" "Great. OK, TV appearance, Ms. Spears." Interpreter. Laugh lines. "Move here." "OK, Q & A with the audience, Ms. Spears." Push. Push. Push. My husband and I both watched, transfixed. This poor girl was being treated like a hunk of meat and was utterly dissociative. It was disturbing to watch. She gave no evidence of being drugged or doped up, she simply wasn't there. She was on la-la autopilot.

I think Britney's might use this coping mechanism during times of stress. And right now, she's under a tremendous amount of self-induced stress. The awareness that she will probably lose to a no-talent, gold-digging parasite ex-husband has dawned. Everyone was right about him and I didn't want to see it, she fumes. The reality that she is a mother of two young sons--a very permanent decision that has life-changing ramifications for a career girl weighs on her. Rich or not rich, she is a mother of two children and even in perfect circumstances, the prospect is daunting (as all mothers know).

Britney also faces the stress of bringing a career back that was built on a sexy, baby-girl persona (pedophilia-baiting persona) which has limitations when the little girl grows up. It is a transition she tried to address with her last, overtly adult and hyper sexual album. With songs like "I'm A Slave For You", "Overprotected", "Lonely", "Let Me Be", and "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" she clearly is rebelling against the image she, as a child, was allowed to create.

Five years later, Ms. Spears has grown up problems and no compass to navigate them. She's tried Kabbalah, Hinduism, Buddhism, you name it, trying to find peace. The same driven personality that makes for a great celebrity when applied, makes for great misfortune when misapplied. She suffers under the weight of past expectations and past sacrifices. She worked during the natural teenage rebellious stage and now, as a wife and mother, very publicly rebels against everything and everyone. No one will tell her to wear panties, not drink, stay home, grow up! She's been a grown up since 15, dammit, and she's the reason you're living in that Louisiana mansion so shut the hell up, go home and leave me alone. YOU DID THIS TO ME!

Britney isn't the first or only person who faces misery because her parents gave her what she wanted or deprived her of what she needed. But Britney is an adult now and she needs help. Mostly, she needs to help herself.

Part of every young person's twenties is reconciling their upbringing with their own values. Do I agree with this belief? Was my mom right or did I just think she was right because I believed my mom about everything? The problem when rebellion is delayed, ala Britney, is the consequences tend to be more destructive because the safety net is removed.

How do young people with less-than-perfect formative years move on? By choosing to. Only when a twenty-something person decides to go forward, instead of looking back in anger, will his life start to become his own. It is healthy to address changes going forward. It is unhealthy to curse the injustice of the past. I know it's not fair. Life's not fair, sometimes. Thankfully. (Imagine if we had to suffer a world where we always were on the receiving end of "fairness". It would be a world without mercy--The Merchant of Venice.)

A way to accelerate the grief process is to forgive those who wronged the "victim". Often this forgiveness starts when one recognizes how his own failings and asks for forgiveness himself. This is a conversion process. I remember when I got baptized at age 19, how free I felt for the first time in my life. Never since, not even after losing my son, have I felt as alone and desperate as I did before that time. Inviting God into my life freed me from being the "ultimate authority".

Ms. Britney and other young people like her will find peace when they seek it from the True Source. I'm afraid that sometimes celebrities like her court death because they believe it is the only way they'll find peace. She's wrong though. By seeking peace that way, the person consigns those who love him to anguish for the rest of their days. Now that's not fair.

Peace will come with surrender to a Higher Power. True healing and the sadness of loneliness comes from being one with the only perfectly loyal, loving Father, God. I hope she finds peace. She has spent many years dissociated, I think, and the process of waking up can be painful--feeling all those emotions that were buried and hidden and discarding unhelpful beliefs from her past is grown up business. It's hard work. Those who take on this work, become conscious and choose a loving new way, benefit the next generation.

You know, I wonder if she would allow her child to be a star? I doubt it.

1 comment:

MaxedOutMama said...

You might well be right!

I know very little about her, but I have often pitied kids who are flung into some careerish thing (sports, usually) in their early teens. They don't seem to get that stage of rebellion in at the right time.

I've read about Jennifer Capriati, and it seems like a good parallel.