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Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 05/31/2006

Wax Britney's Whacked Message

By Liz Kelly

One tends to think "classy" when reminded of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. You know, like carnival geeks and roadside attractions. Classy. So the latest publicity stunt, perpetrated by the New York location, may come as a surprise.

They've launched a "Bring Back Britney Campaign."

Wax Britney. (Reuters)

Sounds pretty innocuous, I know. But the campaign's centerpiece is a new animatronic wax Britney sliding -- complete with heaving breasts -- down a stripper pole. The press release accompanying the campaign calls on Spears to dump husband Kevin Federline (K-Fed) and return to "the good ole days when she was a pin-up, not knocked-up."

See? Classy.

Sure, the novelty of a pole-dancing robotic Britney is interesting for like five minutes, but why the accompanying nasty campaign? Tussauds is basically saying "go back to being a teenage sex symbol, because we don't like what you've become." And that's the wrong message.

Sure, Britney's not really burning up the charts or in pole-dancing shape right now (hello, she's pregnant!), but the problem isn't motherhood.

Her husband is a tool (and quite possibly on the way out) and she's made some very public baby-rearing snafus. Someone must restrain her from posting more lame poetry to her Web site (first item in "Latest News") and limit the junk food photo ops.

I wouldn't say Britney is down for the count yet. She'll claw her way back to the top (or at least the upper middle) -- without the help of Madame Tussauds.

I can't believe I am sticking up for Britney Spears. I have a headache.

By Liz Kelly  | May 31, 2006; 10:28 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Awww. I'm no particular fan of Britney per se but I think she gets a bad rap and doesn't deserve some of the nastiness directed to her. She is a great dancer and works very hard, and seems to be harmless. (I certainly can't say the same for that lout she married.)

Posted by: NYC | May 31, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

She should have stayed with her first husband.

Posted by: Right winger | May 31, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Strange as it might seem, but the fact that she's stumbling through learning to be a hands on mother puts her, on a personal level, far above and beyond most of her contemporaries. If anything, she might actually be the one who ends up growing up into something resembling a normal woman, shedding the bubblegum/club hopping nonsense for actual adult responsibility.

That might be surreal to someone who spends too much time in the fluffy world of Hollywood, but for those of us outside the glitteratti, this is actually a quite normal progression of an individual from a 20something post-teen gone wild into an actual adult, one slip-up and mistake at a time.

She's finally, really growing up, and that's hot, in a mature way.

Posted by: James Buchanan | May 31, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeaup.. progressing right down the path of having multiple kids in her early 20's... just like a good trailer-park mom should... A trailer-park mom with more money than she knows what to do with is still a trailer-park mom. I don't think we should portray having kids at an irresponsibly young age as "progressing down a normal path to adulthood" - at least that's not that case where I come from.

Posted by: pjb | May 31, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Look, I didn't find brittany hot before, but now it's pretty clear that's she's completely nuts. And completely nuts make a woman hot.

However, she does need to hire a few nannies, lose 20-30 pounds, and tone up. Right now she looks like a 22 year old trailer-park trash girl with babies on her hips, smoking a cigarette with a crazy husband and watching the oprah and the soaps...

Oh wait, she is a 22 year old trail-park trash girl with babie on her hips, smoking cigarettes with a crazy husband.

I'll bet Kevin has gone through 1/4 of her fortune already. It's pretty funny, really.

Posted by: A real man | May 31, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

pjb, you sound like you simply hate Britney Spears. And this is coming from someone who isn't a big fan of her, but doesn't hate her either.

Why are the early 20s an "irresponsibly young age" to have children? Lots of lower-class people do that. Doesn't mean they're doing it at the wrong age; they frequently have no more kids than people who wait longer.

Are you condemning the whole lower class and saying they shouldn't reproduce, or wait? What good does waiting do for them? When you're not in college, 22 is older! It's four years after you last saw school, and you've already made some of the adjustments that it takes longer to make when you get your first real job at 22-23. People of lower classes fall in love more quickly and have kids more quickly, and you know what, they also recover from having kids better!

What good would a few more years have done for Britney? She is who she is. If your point is that you don't like her and don't think SHE was ready for kids, say so, but don't condemn everybody who has kids in their early 20s.

Posted by: Dave | May 31, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I can't not believe all of elitist crap being posted on this blog at this moment. I don't know where any of you come from, but I was always taught that assuming another to be "low class" or "trailer park" (or any other derogatory label) just because his/her values are different is pretty low class in and of itself.

Having children in your early 20s is considered very early to some (I'm 30 and still have not decided to become pregnant), but I am not arrogant enough to assume my values are right for everyone else.

Posted by: CC | May 31, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I realize "can't not" does not fit well at the very beginning of a soap box lecture. :)

Posted by: CC | May 31, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify that CC and I are on the same page. When I say "lower class" I am referring to their economic section, not making a judgment. I disagree with the "trailer park" label also.

Posted by: Dave | May 31, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Amen CC!

I am in my early twenties and, while I have no desire to get married or pregnant, condemning other peoples decisions is juvenile and self-righteous. However, without contradicting myself, I do think there is reason to be concerned about the social problems which encourage and sometimes neccessitate such decisions.

As a southern girl who grew up around the "low class, trailer trash" people being discussed on this thread, I can say that many young marriages and pregnancies are entered into because of puritanical communities wich refuse to discuss sex outside marriage, financial realities which make one-person homes impossible, and cyclical poverty which sees educational success as a threat to the nuclear family. My mother, married at 16, can attest to all of these factors, as well as another - abuse and instability which makes a home life unbearable.

From these blog posts, its clear that the country's "trailer trash" does not set the standard for ignorance.

Posted by: Whit | May 31, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

In the playground in my mind...I picture Stewie Griffin spending a very, very, very long day as Brit-Brit's spawn. Hilarity ensues.

"Here's some McDonalds, y'all!"
"What the deuce?"

Posted by: Lite | May 31, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It is an American tradition to build your celebs up, and then rip them to pieces.

Britney is white trash who just happens to be better looking than the that ice skating chick with the crowbar. She actually has less talent.

She had her day, and now she's gonna have her night. And it might well last the next 50 years.

Posted by: Park Ranger | May 31, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Britney is the new Elvis! From the wax museum to the pregnant on her knees statue, Britney kitsch is in big time. Now she just has to gorge herself with peanut butter and bananana sandwiches, and then OD on something stupid, and the cycle will be complete.

Posted by: The Colonel | May 31, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"Look, I didn't find brittany hot before, but now it's pretty clear that's she's completely nuts. And completely nuts make a woman hot.

However, she does need to hire a few nannies, lose 20-30 pounds, and tone up. Right now she looks like a 22 year old trailer-park trash girl with babies on her hips, smoking a cigarette with a crazy husband and watching the oprah and the soaps...

Oh wait, she is a 22 year old trail-park trash girl with babie on her hips, smoking cigarettes with a crazy husband.

I'll bet Kevin has gone through 1/4 of her fortune already. It's pretty funny, really."

If you're going to be an elitist, sanctimonious, a-hole, it really behooves you to run what you write through spell-check. Even trailor-park moms know that "babie" is spelled baby.

Posted by: jw | May 31, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I think the bottom line here is that money and fame can merely temporarily disguise white trash. It's something that's just in your blood.

Complaints about the "white trash" sterotype are duly noted, but lets be honest. If "classy" is the antonym of "white trash" and Britney can only fall into one bucket ... which one would you put her in?

If you want to be married and have children, then more power to you ... but if you're in the public eye, you might want to consider doing it with a touch of style.

Posted by: eb | May 31, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

White trash, eh? Oh, I love this one. Why don't y'all sound off on K-fed's ex, the one with two kids he DIDN'T know, the black woman, and try pulling from the same gutter thesaurus you're using to rip into Britney?

I double dog dare ya! (please note: your sarcasm detector should be twitching about now)

Seriously, grow the hell up. She's a financially secure 20something, which is about primetime for having kids. Its fascinating how the world changes, where just a generation or two ago, most families were likely gifted with multiple children by the time both parents entered their 30's. Its only hypocritical and arrogant economic policy in this country which has made it virtually impossible for a 20-29 year old to start out life in a decent economic bracket to have a family when they're young enough and have enough energy to cope with a rambunctious kid, instead of you 30something old maids waiting till the last minute before your 40s to drop a baby, then force them into a regimen of psychotropic drugs to keep them reigned in because your worn out busted ass can't keep up with a toddler the way a 20 year old woman could manage.

This isn't outrage I'm seeing, its pitiful envy.

Posted by: James Buchanan | May 31, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Geez, James, as a 30-something "old maid" I take some exception to your remark. As with most things, making a decision to have children is a personal one.

I'm no fan either, but she's got grit, she made it in the profession she chose (hasn't she been singing since she could stand up?), she's financially secure, she has a family to back her up, and, frankly, if KF was just a good set of genes, well, more power to her. He is a putz and its a good thing that she seems to be on her way to sloughing him off her like so much dead skin. Oooo, delightful image there...

I assume there was a pre-nup.


Posted by: Doris | May 31, 2006 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Granted, but then having only just kissed my 20's goodbye a scant couple years ago, I take exception to the idea that all 20somethings are complete incompetents at life.

This woman has a truckload of money, and must be doing something right with it, because here she is several years out of circulation and still raking it in, so whatever the popstar image might indicate about her, somewhere, someone has their hand firmly on the ship of estate and is guiding it well enough to keep her flush enough to handle the freeloader, she's doing something right.

Too many shortsighted people are focusing on the "popstar image" and stopping there. I'm just doing my part to beat their high horse into a dead horse.

Posted by: James Buchanan | May 31, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Geez, James, as a 30-something 'old maid' I take some exception to your remark. As with most things, making a decision to have children is a personal one."

Yes, that remark was mean-spirited and unnecessary. That said, for Britney's sake I *hope* there's a pre-nup but I fear not. But yes, with or without one, it seems he's on his way out, and good riddance. She deserves more than to be taken advantage the way he has.

Posted by: 123 | May 31, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

In an article discussing Paul McCartneys lack of a prenup it stated that Britney did have one.

Posted by: GD | May 31, 2006 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Look, I don't know why you are all getting upset calling Brittany "Trailer Trash". Folks, she is the definition of trailer trash that hit the lottery. She's like the Beverly Hill Billies, but with less class.

As to all you people saying it's elitist to point out that 21 or 22 is too young to have kids, it is. I mean, by your logic, might as well have these gals squeezin' 'em out at 16, because it's elitist to point out that poor, uneducated folks do that.

What logic. You want to drag the whole of humanity down to the level of the lowest rung of humanity because, well, it's elitist to point out what a bad idea it is.

Let's push that crap to the side. Brittany could lose a few pounds and tone up. She might as well, seeing as how she has nothing better to do with her time. What a laugher. Gets millions in the bank, gets knocked up like some ignornant trash, then will lose it all to some guy who probably rolls his pack of cigs up in his shirt. I'll bet it's one of those sleeveless t-shirts (called a wife-you-know-whatter), and he has one of those bad moustaches little punks wear and he's out spending the lottery money from his wife while she's holding a baby on her lap while she drives. And you boneheads defend it because she's "being real" or some other nonsense.

Next thing you know, you'll be telling us how michael jackson really is just misunderstood.

You people are proof that nature should force humanity to become extinct. There's too many really really really dumb people in the world.

Posted by: Let's be real here | May 31, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The comments here are downright disturbing when you think about it. Not because individuals are using their right to slam a celebrity, but because of the elitist, class-less, and socio-economic bias being tossed around. For those who've said that having children in their early 20s is 'too early,' I wonder how old YOUR mothers were when you were born. Granted, my mother was 42, but she was 19 and 21 when she had my sisters. And sure, I come from Southern stock, but my parents are in no way low-class or uneducated. Things have changed, folks, but despite that, keep it all in perspective; there is still a large majority of women who have children in their early twenties from all sorts of demographics, married or unmarried, college-educated or not.

Does being a young mother mean she'll be a horrible mother? Or are you willing to judge her on that right away too?

And who are YOU to say what's trailer-trash and what's not? In my opinion - and I say this only because I have grown up in areas where this is prevalent - you can't go around spouting off about people's living conditions unless you've lived in them firsthand.

Then again, those of you who are criticizing this way of life are just liberal, elitist snobs who have to stick your nose into everybody else's business.

Posted by: Amy | June 1, 2006 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I love it. One sentence of what I put out was "mean spirited" and I get lectured, yet you pitch softballs at the rest of the commentary here?

Gotta love double standards.

Posted by: James Buchanan | June 1, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Letsberealhere said: "As to all you people saying it's elitist to point out that 21 or 22 is too young to have kids, it is. I mean, by your logic, might as well have these gals squeezin' 'em out at 16, because it's elitist to point out that poor, uneducated folks do that."

Your argument: (1) that my argument has a "slippery slope," and (2) that we think it's elitist to make factual observations about class, education, and childbearing.

(1) There's no slippery slope in saying it's okay to have kids in your early 20s. Kids in their 20s are out of high school. Nobody supports dropping out of high school, that's why they call it "dropping out." College, on the other hand, is not for everybody. When you don't go to college, you take on responsibility a lot earlier.

(2) I won't call you elitist for "pointing out" that poor, uneducated people tend to have kids earlier. As if you were just making an observation! What I will call you elitist for saying is that it's usually bad for them to do so. It all depends on the circumstances. There are people of every class and education that should not be parents. It overgeneralizes to say that if you don't get a degree and aren't in your 30s, you shouldn't have kids. If that happened and only rich older people had children, who would take out your garbage when you're a senior citizen and feed you baby food in your nursing home? Probably some marginalized rich kid who wasted his money on a college degree, only to discover that not everybody can be a skilled laborer, and he's not going to make the cut because he wasn't as smart as the competition.

Posted by: Dave | June 1, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Let the woman have her kids...and isn't there something wrong with wanting a "Teenage Sex Symbol?"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Dave, you say this:

"What I will call you elitist for saying is that it's usually bad for them to do so. It all depends on the circumstances"

No. Let's draw a correlation between children in poverty and the age of their birth mother. There's a direct link there. Take a look in this book: The Timing of the Influences of Cumulative Poverty on Children's Cognitive Ability and Achievement Guang Guo
Social Forces, Vol. 77, No. 1 (Sep., 1998) , pp. 257-287

Or if you don't have access, do a Google on this phrase: "Correlation between age of mother and poverty". It should scare you. It will make you stop that ridculous bleet of "it depends on circumstance". So does taking crack. It's nonsense.

I didn't make the slippery slope argument, you did. And I will make the profound generalization that people who are not financially secure should hold off on kids because *surprise*, it's the act of having children early that dooms both children and parents to a lifestyle of poverty, which is associated with a lot of bad things, including malnourishment, abuse (of kids and mother), insufficient medical care, and almost certainly dooms the child to a LIFETIME of poverty.

I'm just pointing out facts. Being liberal doesn't mean being devoid of values. I am very liberal, but I won't sit by and say "yeah, sure, kids who can't afford kids shouldn't be judged because doggone it we don't know their circumstance".

Please stop this nonsense.

Posted by: Brother | June 1, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Brother, are you the same poster as "letsberealhere"? I assume so since you said, "I didn't make the slippery slope argument, you did."

A "slippery slope" is defined as a weak principle that leads you into places you do not want to go. Letsbe asserted that it was a slippery slope to say that there's nothing wrong with early 20somethings having children: maybe there's nothing wrong with 18, 17, and 16-year-olds having children. Letsbe said that "by my logic" it's fine to have kids at 16, exposing the error of my logic.

The only thing is I didn't say that age was irrelevant, I only said that it's not universally wrong for people in their early 20s to have kids. By rejecting your universal rule that people in their early 20s should not have kids, you think everything gets thrown out the window.

I don't think many people hearing this idea would take me to mean that it's okay for you to have kids no matter how young you are and no matter what your circumstances are. If you have a kid at 16 you are almost too young to legally have sex, you do not have all rights of an adult, and you should still be in school. That is drastically different from a 22-year-old, especially if they never went to college, and especially if they are rich like Britney Spears is!

Is there a connection between poverty and having kids young? Yes. Does poverty go in cycles? Yes. But there are other factors, Miss Sociology Major. I was a sociology minor and am pretty liberal so don't think you're the only one who has a clue about the influence of society. And in the Middle Ages the State would refuse to marry individuals who lacked the financial means to support a family.

"I won't sit by and say 'yeah, sure, kids who can't afford kids shouldn't be judged because doggone it we don't know their circumstance.'" You know, I'd have to agree with you, brother. Let's go and knock down those straw men who say that! The question is how do you define affordability? What line do you draw in the sand? Do you define "poor" as not being able to afford kids? I'm defining poor as lower class. If you're dirt poor, I agree, it's a bad idea. But when I think of poor I don't think of unable to afford a family.

You obviously take great comfort in encouraging nobody, regardless of circumstance, to have children before they are past their early 20s. The fact that Britney has the money you say is necessary must be irrelevant ... since Britney comes from that background, she should set an example for her people?

Posted by: Dave | June 1, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"The fact that Britney has the money you say is necessary must be irrelevant ... since Britney comes from that background, she should set an example for her people?"

That's a ridiculous argument. Brittany is rich enough that she can afford to to marry a punk-@ss like Kevin Federline and have him waste millions of dollars on his "career", and have kids because she's rich.

She's not average, and I mean that in a good and bad way. She's rich. Filthy rich. So if you're making the argument (and I don't think you are), "gee, brittany is proof that if you're 22, that's a fine time to be a mother". No, just the opposite.

I say the means test is this... If you are below the poverty line as defined by the federal government OR if having a kid puts you below the poverty line, then you shouldn't have kids. Period. No more to discuss.

Not many 22 year old girls fall into that category. Almost none, statistically speaking.

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I know these comments were made a couple months ago but I just happened upon them and couldn't help but add my 2 cents.

The point that people who are considered "white trash" are having kids too young?! The point that was made that it doesn't matter how old you are, it depends on who you are. That is true. I think there are people who are great w/ kids and if they are financially stable (they could be married into a wealthy family or have help from family) then who's to say they shouldn't have kids if they so desire? I wanted to be a younger mother and have kids in my early 20's. It didn't work out for me b/c I did marry young and my husband went to college. I had my first born (son) at age 27 and my 2nd born (daughter) at age 29. I'm 30 as of today (happy birthday to me!) and although I'm so happy I finally have my complete family, I wish I was a younger mother. I wanted to always be more relatable to my children. I don't think I'm too old to be a mom but I think I would've been great as a young mom. My mom and dad were young when they had my brother and I and we're all so very close. My family's not white trash and my mom was a great young mother, and that's how she wanted it! There's nothing wrong w/ wanting to be a young parent. Another person posted that its easier to have the energy needed to chase around your little ones. That is so true. I don't want to be that parent that says, "honey, I'm too tired to run in the yard w/ you!"

As for Britney, I'm sure she's not the only parent that has made simple mistakes w/ her son. No one is perfect and people do make mistakes, we're all human! The difference w/ her is, she's famous and always photographed or filmed and of course there are going to be things that are "caught" on tape! How many times have you said, "man, I'm glad no one saw me do that!" Have you always made the perfect decision? I think not! I have been walking w/ my child before and have them stiff up and lean back and have to "catch" them. Babies are very unpredictable and you do have to be so careful but the paparazi were right in her face and I'm sure she also didn't have adequate space to even walk! We "regular people" don't have to worry about that. BIG difference! Think about what you people are saying. Trying to compare white trash people? What makes Britney any more white trash than you? White trash wouldn't have been so driven to follow her dreams and further more-be successful at it!!

People are too critical and hypocritical. Who are we to say what's right and wrong? Like you are perfect and have never made a mistake. I do think some people have more "luck" (for lack of a better word) than others. Stop trying to act like the world is perfect and take a look in the mirror! Britney is human just like the rest of us. Get off your high horses!!!

She isn't your normal young 20 year old, b/c she does have money. But she's not stupid. If she was, she wouldn't be popular and successful. Even if she wasn't rich, and had "enough" money to have kids, who is to say she's not a good mother? Just b/c you make bad choices doesn't make you a bad person. So just b/c she's made bad decisions while w/ her son, doesn't make her a bad mother. But that's right, yall are perfect and think you know everything. Whatever!!!

Posted by: Angileah | August 2, 2006 10:24 AM | Report abuse

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