Britney Spears Is Fat. Also, America Is High On Crack.

Britney Spears danced to an occasionally catchy song at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night wearing black underwear. Forget, for a minute, how truly sad it is that a wealthy, attractive, moderately talented mother of two was told by a group of people whoring her out that the best way to improve her image and career is to dance like a stripper on national television in her skivvies. You already knew that was sad. And you knew that no matter how well she performed, this woman was destined to be trashed by the entertainment noisemakers, and the biggest criticism was going to be, no matter what, how she looked.

But you know what's surprising? What's truly, truly, twisted and fucked up? Britney Spears actually looked good Sunday night. I don't have a straight male friend or female gay friend, relationship status notwithstanding, who would kick Brit out of bed for eating crackers. And I don't know of many women who wouldn't kill for that butt. And yet the mainstream media, followed by the blogosphere, declared her "out-of-shape" (Washington Post), "flabby, bloated," (Fox News), with a "bulging belly" that "was so not hot" (E! Online).

Britney is clearly not everyone's type, and she does, well, sort of look like a stripper. But excuse her if she doesn't have a 19-year-old body anymore -- SHE'S NOT 19. And remember that TWO KIDS POPPED OUT OF THAT BELLY.

So why should we care that it has been accepted as fact by the mainstream press that Britney is fat? Because this has an effect. Because those opinions seep down, from newspapers to pop culture web sites to a 19-year-old's MySpace page to a 13-year-old's cell phone and then, before you know it, to 5th grade classrooms across America, where 10-year-olds are talking about Britney being fat. They were 3 when the poor girl dressed like a Catholic school girl and pretended she was a virgin. They wouldn't know "Hit Me Baby One More Time" if a baby hit them one more time. And yet they still believe she's fat.

This kind of brainwashing -- based on an unrealistically narrow idea of how a woman's body should look -- happens over and over and over again; a cultural buzz that infiltrates school yards and frat houses and water coolers. And it's based on bullshit.

The best part is guys who look like this (that's the one who called her "flabby") are the ones saying it. The worst part? The kids, and the adults, are believing it.

Eventually the 5th-graders will be 25 years old, and they will be sorely, sorely disappointed. No one will be happy with the bodies they have. We won't be happy with the bodies we're with. We'll be miserable, skinny, confused skin-and-bones, collateral damage in the war between inner strength and big boobs. We'll be Britney Spears.


Old Man Snap said...

Holy sh*t. We were kidding about Brit-Brit blog-blogs.

This is fabulous. And the song, lip-syncing and awful dance moves aside, is pretty decent.

We'd still kick sweet dance moves with her, no doubt.

designer-in-denial said...

Wow babe, that was amazing. you are the smartest man alive!

grimfairy said...

Personally, I like that little extra junk in her trunk!

Jess said...


I am going on CNN tonight and I am going to be saying the same things --- the impact of these comments stretch far wider than Britney Spears - they stretch to every 5th grader who will begin dieting tomorrow because she is afraid of becoming 'fat'.

Great job, Matt!!!


Anonymous said...

Right on!

Lets just be thankful that MTV is still teaching girls that its ok to be mediocre just so long as they can wear black panties.

Why stop at the music biz? Lets have talentless but panty-clad female lawyers, doctors, scientists and politicians

Sugar said...

Long live Matt Katz!

For something really disturbing (but clean!) and Britney related, turn down your volume here:


Christina said...

Hey Matt,

Now while I'm usually in 100% agreement with everything you say, I'll have to give a resounding "Oh please!" to your cheesy pseudo-feminist rant. I rolled my eyes so much during your post, my coworkers now think I have a problem with them. Way to ruin my career. =p

Spears did in fact look "out of shape" but that's only in comparison to how she used to look before she got knocked up and went bat-shit crazy. No one is saying she is fat compared with the general public, just her former self. Compare Sunday's performance to her python carrying, Madonna molesting performances of the past, and it's quite a sad sight how someone can self-destruct so quickly.

Also, I highly doubt the poor, easily influenced children of today would give a damn about how Britney looks, considering they don't even remember her so-called heyday, as you pointed out. They're too focused on High School Musical, (part deux) to even care about someone who was washed up when they were in diapers. If my generation can grow up with Barbies (old school, not the newer, more realistic versions), Jessica Rabbit and heroin chic supermodels -- and still come out relatively well-adjusted -- I doubt what was ultimately a poor fashion choice by Spears will change the self esteem of women for generations to come. It at least might help discourage teen pregnancy. ;)

By the way, wasn't the sixth anniversary of 9/11 yesterday? There has to be something better to focus on than hasbeen teeny boppers.

Love you Matt and I love your blog! Sorry for posting the longest. Comment. Ever!

Anonymous said...

I won't go so far as to say Britney is "fat", but she has definitely let herself go from her glory days. Look at how many women out there (famous and otherwise) that work hard to keep their bodies after multiple children.

We shouldn't be teaching our kids that it's "ok to be fat" - we should be teaching them to maintain high self-esteem regardless, but that they should care and work on how they look. They'll lead much happier and healthier lives if they strive to be healthy - I don't mean underweight supermodels, but thin and HEALTHY.

Matt Katz said...

Look at me responding to my own post and driving up the comments numbers!

I just wanted to respond, briefly, to Christina:
1) Pseudo-feminist rant? What was "pseudo" about it?
2) Again, the woman is nearly 26 -- of course she looks "fat" if you compare her to her 19-year-old self. But we can't be holding 19-year-old bodies up as the ideal.
3) Your generation is in no way, shape or form "well-adjusted." Brit-Brit, after all, is your generation.
4) Yes, it was 9/11 yesterday, but today is 9/12: Jayden James Federline's first birthday. Good luck, little one! You'll need it!

AV said...

She looked great for a mother of two. But she didn't meet my standards for an entertainer Making a Comeback. I think it could have been forgiven if her performance had been a little more alive and a lot less dead cat bounce. But it wasn't. It was a total disgrace--especially for the standards she's set.

Nevertheless, your "pseudo-feminist" rant gives me hope in mankind.

thirstykor said...

The dance machine behind Britney totally upstaged her. Back up dancers aren't supposed to do that. I feel like she threw the performance for some reason. Or she was hopped up on something she got from her rehab resort that stole her coordination... Doesn't she have people to dress her before she gets on stage? If there's any lesson to be learned from celebrity garb it should be how to wear the most flattering stuff. I don't know if being a role model is in a pop star's job description Matty, but she definitely sold herself short this time around.

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