Girlfriend and I had, what I thought, was a highly fascinating conversation recently.
No, it wasn't about global warming, poverty or world peace. We discussed something far more critical than that - Britney Spears.
Let me admit, straight up , that neither one of us is a Britney fan but we were curious to know why she started off looking like this
moved on to this
and now looks like this
I mean, fan or not, anyone is going to wonder what in the world is bothering this girl. It's sad, actually.
As I often do, I offered up my unsolicited opinion on the deterioration of Ms.Spears. I believe that she made a HUGE mistake when she married Kevin Federline and has since gone down Trailer Trash lane. This is very much the story of Whitney Houston and Bobbi Brown, another doomed union (incidentally, Britney's last big hit was My Prerogative, a Bobbi Brown 80s hit - mere coincidence or weird karmic link? Cue Twilight Zone theme music!!!)
Then Girlfriend came up with a far better explanation. She is of the belief that Britney suffers from 'smalltowngirl' syndrome. Anyone who grew up in a small town (Girlfriend and I both did) will instantly recognise this deadly disease. Britney is originally from Kentwood, Louisiana which makes her a small town, down south kinda gal. Kentwood is described as a rural town (I looked it up) so Girlfriend's theory fits.
The big city girls might ask: "what's smalltowngirl syndrome?" Well, a smalltowngirl grows up in a community where everyone, and I mean everyone, knows who she is. The entire population of the town will know her father, mother, brothers and sisters, her favourite flavour of ice-cream and what her pet goldfish is called. In other words, you can't step one toe out of line without the whole town finding out about it and whispering awful things about you and your family. It's all about reputation, reputation and reputation in a small town.
What is the effect of all this on a teenage girl? Well, you learn to smile and call everyone above 30 Aunty and Uncle until you're blue in the face. You also learn to please e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y! You're expected to be all pure and virginal until you get married. Then you're immediately supposed to have kids.
So Girlfriend's theory goes that Britney Spears is a smalltowngirl at heart. Despite being an international superstar who wears outfits that leave little to the imagination (and little doubt that Ms. Spears has no fashion sense) Britney failed to shake off that smalltowngirl syndrome. If you really think about it, Girlfriend's theory is right.
In order to portray a goodie-goodie image, Britney kept insisting she was still a virgin even though Justin Timberlake had 'been there, done that!' When the truth came out she tried to repair her reputation, in true smalltowngirl style. She turned to a backup guy- her backup dancer Kevin Federline - and married him. Then, she took the smalltowngirl syndrome even further by immediately having two kids.
If you're wondering why she's now turned into a totally psycho party girl, there's an explanation. According to Girlfriend, Britney has finally realized that it's no point trying to do the smalltowngirl thing anymore coz she is now a divorced mother with two kids.
Her reputation back in Kentwood, Louisiana is in shreds and the Uncles and Aunties tongues and fingers would be wagging by now. So she's just given up and gone crazy - a smalltowngirl gone bad.
There's still hope for Britney though. Maybe if she finds a 'nice boy' and 'settles down' she might redeem herself in the eyes of the Kentwood-ians. You'd think she wouldn't care about what people think but I suspect she does because the truth is, you can take the girl out of the small town but you can't take the small town out of the girl!