Saturday, March 13, 2004

SMELLS AND SUICIDE: Mixed day for Britney spears, then, with the annoucement that's the hooking up with Elizabeth Arden to turn Spears into a smells-and-make-up brand; an odd choice of partner, since we've always thought of Arden as being an old lady type brand; products you use atop of an over powdered face recalling when the GIs found you quite the peach. And as such, Aguilera would surely have been a better match. Apparently Britney is "personally involved" with all aspects of developing the product - although more at the sniffing a sample and going "that's quite nice, I suppose" end than the squeezing monkey cocks to get the ingredients bit.

Less happily, she's got herself in a mess with the video for her next single, which was supposed to depict her committing suicide (or, if you believe her people, an accidental death) after having to avoid the paparazzi and putting up with all the stresses of celebrity. What's caused the outrage is not, as you might expect, the 'poor rich famous me' storyline of the video - which reeks of the sort of thing Robbie Williams would inflict on us - but the suicide at the end. Oddly enough, both Kidscape and Sane rushed to condemn a promo that isn't even being shot until today.

Now, Sane do a lot of good work, but we have to raise a weary eyebrow at the statement from their Marjorie Wallace:

"It's profoundly irresponsible to show anything that hints that you can take your own life. I know how influential pop videos can be."

Eh? It's now wrong to even hint at the existence, the possibility of suicide? Apart from buggering the Manics career, isn't there at least some merit in the video showing Britney being dead at the end, rather than the usual soap-opera approach which is of last minute rescue? At least Britney wasn't copping out with a cry-for-help-gets-heeded ending, which would have been pretty irresponsible. Unless Wallace really does believe that there are people out there who don't realise its possible to commit suicide, in which case she might want to reconsider her position working for a mental health charity - or she might want to turn her ire on, for example, those Samaritans campaigns which hint that you can take your own life. It's also somewhat unforgivable for a person to express an opinion on a piece of work that not only has she not seen, but hasn't even been made yet; is that her usual practice?

But, in the panicky capitulation world in which we live, the problem has gone away, as a smoothy-smoothy statement has been made, the storyline rejigged, everything made a little safer:

"[Spears] does not endorse [suicide] as a solution to any individual and fully recognises that people who go to this length need assistance and advice and should contact their local suicide prevention organisation."

Hear that, kids? If you're going to commit suicide, make sure you get some help.


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