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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Princess of Pop....

Princess of Pop

What is all this fuss about Britney Spears? I have just sort of ignored her, figuring what’s one more pop star. We lived through Farah Fawcett-Majors, didn’t we? What could be worse that that? Finally this week curiosity got the better of me. I decided to get on the Internet and check it out. It seems that Ms. Spears is a teenage pop singer. Well, even I knew that! She is also one of the youngest to ever achieve her level of musical success, which has created somewhat of a sensation in the music world.

She is pretty enough, a stringy headed blond. But her main attraction, aside from her musical talent, seems to be her controversial belly button and breasts. Her belly is displayed on most of her promotional pictures where she favors low rise pants and crop tops. But that is where the conversation usually ends. After all, there is nothing much that can be done to a belly button, except add a belly ring – which she has done, in case you are curious.

Whether or not she has breast implants seems to be a major topic for discussion and speculation on the net. Indeed, Ms. Spears is well endowed and seems unusually fond of displaying her attributes prominently. Typical adolescent discovering the power of sexuality, you say. But in her case the entire world, at least the world under age 18, seems to be watching. I won’t get into the "did she or didn’t she" debate here because – frankly, who cares?

There are numerous websites created by fans, teenagers who discuss Britney with intelligent and articulate statements, such as "she’s so cool," or conversely, "she’s a bimbo," or "she sucks." No supportive evidence is ever offered as both sides apparently feel their particular point of view is self-evident. After nauseating excursions of poorly designed, slow loading websites, and low quality video clips, I had about all I could digest.

I decided to check out her browser-crashing official website to see if I could discover any relevant information. I forgot one thing – she is a teenager. How much of a biography can a teenager have, after all? Her bio starts with her career as a super gymnastic athlete, a career abruptly ended when she lost interest at the ripe old age of 9, just prior to reaching for Olympic stardom – great loss, I’m sure.

She then focused on her singing and dancing talent, traveling around to compete in contests. She tried out for a Mickey Mouse Club job, but was turned down because she was "too young." But someone at Disney slipped a bug in her mama’s ear to take her to New York and get an agent, which her mama immediately did. Does the word "stage mother" enter your mind, or is it just me? 

Anyhow, after being polished and hardened for a few years, she was ready for the big time and got a job as a Disney Mouse for two years until the show folded. After a whole year of (Can you believe this?) "ordinary life," she struck it big with a record album and the rest is – as they say – history.

She wants to be the next Madonna – if that tells you anything. Apparently the kid’s break came when she landed a spot as the opening act for a group call ‘N Synch. They are another of those rock pop groups worshiped by teens that spend their allowances and lunch money for CD’s. When asked for the first names of the group members, however, Britney could not remember them all. Does the term "dumb blond" come to mind, or is it just me again?

She is, of course, exploited and marketed to the hilt. All sorts of products, posters, T-shirts, dolls, records, anything a teenager might want to buy to show their love for Britney. The amazing thing is that teen girls love her pretty face and music while teenage boys think she will marry them some day… all of them, I guess.

So that’s pretty much the scoop on Britney Spears. With every album that comes out, she seems to try to sound more sexy and grown up to titillate teen hormones into spending even more money so she and mama can get even richer. She and mama also wrote a book. If it’s a life story, it must be a very short book. That will be perfect for teens since most have very short attention spans anyhow.

If she were my kid, I’d tell her to wash her face, put some clothes on, and go to college to grow up and wise up. But maybe that’s why my kids were never pop stars. I guess when your face is on magazines, your records are at the top of the charts, and you are rolling in the dough, you can do whatever you want and stick out your tongue at criticism. That’s a benefit of wealth and popularity and the privilege of a princess of pop.

Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss

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