Can we give credit where credit is, if not due, then at least feasible? Britney Spears’ recent single, “Womanizer,” has jumped from #96 to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Given that a few months ago we might have given her back-pats just for putting on pants, and since no other song has ever made a leap this huge in one week, I think she deserves some sort of props.
And sure, much of that success may have to do with the song’s video . . . where she’s writhing naked in a sauna and photocopying her own ass. But is this really so different from “Baby One More Time’s” midriff-baring button-down shirt and mid-thigh-length skirt and cardigan and . . . thigh-high socks and . . . orthopedic shoes and . . .
She’s barely more naked in Womanizer than she was in “Toxic” and just as be-greased as in “Slave,” both of which were pre-crazy. So there.
And sure the chorus of the song has, like, three different words, and maybe the choreography is quite glaringly written by a handful of 14-year-olds, and maybe her attempt at Hot Secretary is a little too Katinka Ingabogovinanana, but you know what? When your fat friend loses 50 pounds, you don’t ask him when he’s going to drop the other 200. You just buy him a couple of Fig Newtons and keep your fingers crossed.
You can’t hide when you’re naked in a sauna, and Britney looks fit, healthy and cheerful. She’s no longer driving around with her baby in her lap or shaving her head and weeping in public or thwacking cars with her umbrella, and it’s been a long time since she flashed her ladybits to the world. For sure, I haven’t done any of those things either, and I don’t expect a medal. But I also haven’t been through two pregnancies and a divorce and drug rehab and the loss of a doting aunt in the past two years, and I haven’t got a #1 hit single.
So Brit? Gold star.