Twelve months ago Britney Spears was in the middle of a free-fall meltdown that seemed to exemplify what happens to a human after she has been beholden to the limitless inhuman expectations that America places on its pop cultural icons. But that was then.
Now, as Christmas is only 2 weeks away, mademoiselle is fully recuperated – although I watched the MTV documentary about her which while, beautifully shot, didn’t mention her mother once and had her crying about being isolated because she is too famous to go anywhere which is a claim I’m not so sure I buy. You can orchestrate your own disappearance even if it takes a little while. I’m not so convinced she really does want to escape the glare of the spotlight that made her flip out and shave her head.
That’s why it’s intriguing that, in this completely bright and polished re-envisioning of Britney Spears that frighteningly doesn’t really differ at all from the Britney Spears she was before she flipped out as the full horror of last year unfolded for her, with her amateur style video where she stands, badly lit in front of a Christmas tree with her two boys – one of whom is disinterested enough to wander off during the message, and wishes everyone a merry Christmas – I’m reminded of the extremely neat Christmas messages of Joan Crawford and the boiling rage that flowed beneath the surface of them. It’s that instant link that my mind makes that leads me to believe Ms Spears, with her constant rocking and choice of lighting, may not be as together as her publicist would have us believe. Thank goodness.