Through the storm? Not quite yet…but maybe someday.

This might be one of my more serious posts–but as you probably know if you’ve read ANY of my past blogs, or you know me at all, I’m a big fan of Britney Spears. Always have been, even though it’s been really tough to hang with her of late. I’ve been meaning to blog about Lynne Spears’ new “tell all” book, “Through the Storm”, for the past few weeks but just haven’t gotten around to it. However, I feel that with the recent events surrounding the Spears family–Jamie Lynn’s rumored second pregnancy and Britney’s “Womanizer” video debut tonight on…wait for it…20/20 (huh?), I feel the need to go ahead and make my opinions known. If they weren’t already. So here goes…why am I such a Britney fan you ask? Well let’s see:

  1. Back in the day, when she was at the top of her pop star game–you know, Toxic and all–I used to use her as my “what I could look like if I really worked out” standard. After all, we’re both the same height–we’ll just leave it at “short”–and we’re curvy. I seriously used to think that I could have a body like hers. Most recently, at her worst…I DID!!!! HA. Joke’s on me I guess.
  2. The girl can dance. Still–after all her crazy messed up antics of the past few years, she’s got moves. When I was little, I was fortunate enough to have a mother who let me stay in dance classes–I’m talking ballet, tap, and my FAVORITE–jazz (which later became “street jazz”–SO FUN) no matter how bad I was. Thanks Mom! Though I didn’t realize my dream of becoming a backup dancer for Janet Jackson (or was it Michael Jackson? Probably both through the years) I sure did/do love to watch great dancers. Hence my obsession with B-rate–or who am I kidding, D-rate–movies like Center Stage, Step Up, and, well, you get the picture.
  3. She has a knack for creating train-wreck style drama wherever she goes–and always has. From the first time we saw her in the pigtails and plaid schoolgirl miniskirt, with decades older guys ogling her every move, to kissing Madonna (I mean, MADONNA!!!) on stage at the VMA’s, to her latest circus/tragedy–holding her child “hostage” and being involuntarily committed–she’s always the center of attention. For better or worse. I like that about her. And it also makes me sad. Which leads me to…
…why I read Lynne Spears’ (who is Britney’s mother–need I even clarify) book, “Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World”. Here I have to give a shout out to my good friend Lindsey, who works for the book’s publisher–Thomas Nelson–and was able to loan me her copy at midnight on the day it came out (rules are rules, people). I read the entire book in about, oh, three hours. I was that hooked. It’s not exceptionally well-written–for all of you literary snobs out there, don’t judge. After all, she’s not a writer by trade. That didn’t bother me one bit. She told, what seemed to me, the true story of what it’s like to be born and raised in rural, small-town America–with all its struggles, financial and otherwise–and then suddenly thrust on “stage” with millions of dollars at your disposal. Not to mention “yes-men” everywhere you turn. And Britney was not even 18 years old! I can’t imagine what I would be like–or where I would be now–if the same thing had happened to me. Heck, look at me these days. I’m an unemployed, unmarried 31 year-old who acts like a 21 year-old, drinks too much, shops with reckless abandon, can’t seem to get her life together, and has questionable morals at best.  And I didn’t even HAVE fame and fortune!!! For me, the book was riveting. Now, you should also remember I’m just a tad intrigued by pop culture, and oh yes, drama. Just a tad…
A little more about the book–you really should read it, even if you are not a Britney fan. Whatever you might think of the whole family, I find it fascinating. I just think it gives a perspective not seen in the glitz and glam world of glossy magazines and Hollywood–which, I’ll admit, is the only perspective I ever believed, being strangely obsessed with the whole celebrity world. Lynne not only goes through her own upbringing, but sheds light on her “average Joe” life with husband Jamie and the trials of raising three kids. Which I can’t relate to, but I’m sure my own mother can.
Many people have called Lynne a “stage mom” and “pushy” and “money hungry”, and have blamed her for Britney’s rise to fame and subsequent downward spiral that almost killed her. I was included in that group of people, up until now. You probably think I’m a total sucker and super gullible, but I really do believe that Lynne was just trying to be a supportive, loving mother. Much like my own mother was, by allowing me to do anything and everything my heart desired…Brownies, gymnastics, choir, theater classes…and of course, my favorite–DANCE CLASS! Honestly, what was a main difference between my mom and Lynne Spears? The fact that her middle daughter–ME–had absolutely zero talent when it came to any of the above! I was never “in danger” of catching an agent’s eye at a recital and catapulting to premature stardom within a year. No, Mom didn’t have to worry about any of that. But, as I mentioned earlier, Britney had–and has–talent. The girl can not only dance, but she can sing. That talent was more evident in her earliest albums (and on her Star Search appearance in the early ’90’s!), but now has been mixed to death in recording studios. No matter. I still think she kicks ass!
As far as Jamie Lynn (the 17 year-old sister) is concerned, I think that everyone makes mistakes no matter how you were raised. Yes, she may have lived more of her life in the limelight, either in the shadow of Britney or in her own teen stardom, but I’ve heard of plenty of normal teens from normal families getting pregnant at too early an age as well. I don’t think you can blame her mother for that. I mean, I think of myself at 17–or heck earlier than that–and I don’t think I would have listened to a thing my parents told me. And I was raised in a very loving, well-educated, Christian environment. Point being–kids will do what they want to do no matter what, and all those people out there who call Lynne Spears a horrible mother need to look back at their own lives. As far as the recent rumors of Jamie Lynn being pregnant again, after just giving birth four months ago–well, sadly they could be true. I hope not, but she’ll have to deal with it regardless.
To conclude–and I will, I know I’m rambling–I respect Lynne for writing (or dictating) the book, because I think her family has issues that exist in many families…everything from financial troubles to alcoholism to mental disorders. But, unlike many families, the Spears’ problems were paraded around for all the world to see–and criticize–and take advantage of. Go Lynne! And go Britney. I, for one, can’t wait to see her new video tonight. And I also can’t wait for her inevitable, kick-ass comeback. Laugh at me if you will, but I’m still a fan. And someday, I might just get that “Oops! I did it Again” dance down, step for step. I’m still working on it…
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