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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 09/ 7/2007

Britney Spears: The Naked Truth

By Liz Kelly

Spears at last week's opening of the LAX Nightclub at the Luxor Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. (Getty Images)

With Britney Spears's big "comeback" scheduled to unfold in approximately 60 hours at Sunday's Video Music Awards, what better time to consider the following question, which arrived courtesy of an anonymous celeb-behavioral savant during last week's Celebritology Live chat. (The question was prompted by this NSFW photo of Brit, whose cheeks speak louder than words):

"Brit's Butt: Right before her big breakdown, Mariah Carey also appeared in public with increasingly smaller amounts of clothes. Based on such unshakeable empirical evidence, can we posit that starlets undergoing mental breakdowns manifest their cries for help by appearing nearly nude in everyday situations? Think also of Lindsay posing with her ankle bracelet in a bikini. I think there is a serious scholarly article waiting to be written."

Although I had a tendency to agree, I decided to ask an expert -- psychotherapist and Express advice columnist Dr. Andrea Bonior. Here's what she had to say:

Psychologically speaking, baring all (or nearly all) can illustrate several things. At its most basic, it is attention-seeking--whether coldly calculated by one's flaks for publicity, or spontaneously sought out in a narcissistic, drunken stupor. ("Notice me -- I or my agents -- beg of you!") It can also be considered a cry for help, just like any conduct that bucks social norms: "Look how poorly I'm behaving -- I must be on the wrong track!"

The symbolism is unmistakable: abandoning privacy to beckon the scrutiny of strangers, laying all assets and flaws out in the open. In this sense it can indicate very disturbed notions of personal boundaries, sometimes a classic sign of deterioration in psychological health. Someone who just "lets themselves go", while similarly announcing their disinterest in obeying civilization's unwritten dress code, is nonetheless trying to disappear into the woodwork. Someone baring their buns, however, is doing anything but (no pun intended).

So, yes, apparently we can make some assumptions based on Brit's choice (or lack) of ensembles. In fact, The Post's own Robin Givhan tried -- in vain -- to help avert Brit's budding wardrobe disaster over a year ago. Brit obviously mistook Robin's advice as a call-to-action for more "ho gear," not less.

But, there may be a silver lining. TMZ.com spotted Spears yesterday in Vegas sporting a comparatively modest jeans and T-shirt pairing. Sure, the T-shirt's a tad see-through and she's still wearing the ever-present brown cowboy boots, but maybe that's just a little bit country, y'all.

Bonus Videos Courtesy YouTube -- Britney's Past VMA Appearances:

2000 (Flesh-colored skintight bra)
2001 (Albino python)
2003 (Kisses Madonna)

By Liz Kelly  | September 7, 2007; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Britney Spears, Celebrities  
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Next: Insta-Poll: Britney's VMA Performance?

Comments

Is that therapist's name pronounced "BO-ner" or "BONE-yer"? heh, heh, heh.

And that picture at the top of this blog: the last time I saw legs like that, I was putting on my shin pads and skates.

Posted by: 12-yr-old byoolin & beavis & butthead | September 7, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

the past vma appearances serve an important purpose. neither britney's or madonna's voices can hold a candle to christina. that woman can flat out sing just about anyone.

Posted by: methinks | September 7, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

so are there just no more Friday lists anymore?

Posted by: jaybird | September 7, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

So, jaybird ...
what are you wearing?

Posted by: ol | September 7, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Yep, just taking a break from the lists to regroup, Jaybird.

Posted by: Liz | September 7, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

What a difference a few short years make.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I just reread that Robin Givhan column. That lady is a genius, dudes. (But I hope she never has occasion to write about me...I'm a nice person and all, but I have crappy fashion sense.) (However, even I would have the sense not to be slovenly on national TV. Homely, yes. Slovenly, no.)

Posted by: h3 | September 7, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

who won the caption contest?

Posted by: b | September 7, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

NSFW doesn't quite cover it, Liz (no pun intended). The photo is FRIGHTENING. My wife has also had two kids and does not rely on her looks for her work, and she looks a LOT better than that.

Posted by: Bogota | September 7, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Caption contest winner will be revealed on Monday.

Posted by: Liz | September 7, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so earlier this week there was a question about when exactly someone becomes a 'celebrity' as opposed to just a public person (Larry Craig).

My question is, when does someone stop being a celebrity? At what point do we say, 'This person does not have talent, never had talent and is now losing whatever looks made her a compelling pop idol for the tween set?'

This woman is a train wreck (see I refuse to call her 'girl' as she is an adult w/children). Watching her every move is clearly not helping the situation.

Posted by: jes | September 7, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I could almost deal with her white outfit..at least it covers her thong....if only she would get rid of the hat!!!

Posted by: POS | September 7, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? This is enough empirical evidence for a doctor or you or me to make an educated assumption? The standards have fallen today--fallen to dangerously low levels.

Posted by: Eric | September 7, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

In answer to Eric's question "are you kidding me":
Yes, you are being kidded. This column (and the associated commentary - go byoolin!) is largely tongue-in-cheek, and if you failed to recognize that fact from the get-go, then you have bigger problems than "dangerously low" journalistic standards.

Posted by: WDC | September 7, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

In honor of today's post, I had Cheetos for lunch

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"In answer to Eric's question "are you kidding me":

"Yes, you are being kidded. This column (and the associated commentary - go byoolin!) is largely tongue-in-cheek, and if you failed to recognize that fact from the get-go, then you have bigger problems than "dangerously low" journalistic standards."

Oh snap, you *told* him...

Posted by: Instigator | September 7, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Are all your pets called Eric?"

"There's nothing so odd about that: Kemal Attaturk had an entire menagerie called Abdul."

Posted by: byoolin | September 7, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The misspelling of "Ataturk" was also tongue-in-cheek.

Now, about that fish license...

Posted by: byoolin | September 7, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

byoolin: That's not a cat license, it's a dog licence with the word 'dog' crossed out and 'cat' written in in crayon.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

actually dr.bonior is spouting a theory very close to what my hairdresser told me when i was going blonde (i'm a natural brunette)...she said that most women make a radical hair change when they are going through a radical change in their life such as a divorce, an affair, trying to get pregnant, whatever, etc. i was not the best looking blonde and so i went back, but she was right about a radical hair change & what was going on in my life.

Posted by: methinks | September 7, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

3.09: THANK YOU! I was clicking 'refresh' for 15 minutes...

Posted by: byoolin | September 7, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

No, thank *you* byoolin - I'll have that song stuck in my head all day now :-)
"Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half *not* be..."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Cyril Connoly..."

Have a lovely weekend, folks...

Posted by: byoolin | September 7, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I think Brit Brit believes that less is more only she's applying that to her wardrobe.

What do you want to bet that the hat is one of those hat/wig combos?

Posted by: petal | September 7, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

is she wearing a hat to hide her extentsions??

Posted by: kaley | September 13, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

is she wearing a hat to hide her extentsions??

Posted by: kaley | September 13, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

ewqewq

Posted by: ewqewq | September 19, 2007 3:46 AM | Report abuse

you are hot

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

you are hot

Posted by: harris | October 7, 2007 12:20 AM | Report abuse

hay britney wats upppppppppp

Posted by: pam | December 14, 2007 12:54 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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