Can Britney rise again?

By SHARON STEEL  |  October 18, 2007


Category Five: The Born Agains
Few people tend to focus on the fact that, before she morphed into a rather fetching combination of Princess Di and Mother Teresa, Angelina Jolie enjoyed making out with her brother at the Oscars and exchanging vials of blood with tattooed then-husband Billy Bob Thorton. (Certainly not the folks at Esquire magazine, which, as Ron Rosenbaum pointed out recently on Slate, cluelessly featured her in the “Worst Celebrity Profile Ever Written.”) Now it’s all about how she managed to drop-kick Bono off the celebrity-humanitarian pedestal just by being Mommy of the Year. Jolie’s wily feral-charms scammed Brad Pitt into fertilizing her womb while he was still married to Jennifer Aniston. The tabloids still hate here and there, but nobody is really painting her as the “villain” these days, thanks to the magical steps Jolie took to re-brand herself, including a series of adoptions, charitable donations, a world tour of political hot spots, and a demure St. John’s modeling contract.

Justin Timberlake similarly reinvented himself, finally coming of age from a goofy man-child with a ghetto-pass, questionable style, and a strange falsetto to a steely-eyed solo act with Prince’s moves and Frank Sinatra’s taste in fading blondes. Ann Coulter would have cackled in your face if you told her that Bill Clinton, the married president who inserted cigars into his intern’s va-ja-jay, could ever wipe the rust off his tarnished reputation with a little post–White House profession finessing. Then there’s Mandy Moore, the formerly blonde sugar-tartlet singer who couldn’t quite keep up with Spears back in the day. She’s transformed herself into a worldly, issue-ridden, sultry indie chanteuse who has dated several douches, admits to battling depression, and says she feels sorry for the people who bothered to pony up the dough for her old music. We never thought the chick who could belt the lyric “I’m missin’ you like candy” with cloying starchiness could become such a sneering badass. Congratulations on a job well done!

If you are auditioning to be one of Britney’s new backup dancers, Sharon Steel would like to know about it. She can be reached at

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  | 
Related: Slideshow: Britney Spears at the Garden, Review: Britney Spears at the Garden, Photos: Britney Spears at TD Garden, More more >
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Britney Spears, Eddie Murphy, Babyshambles,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   YO, JONNY! THE LOVE SONG OF JONNY VALENTINE  |  February 05, 2013
    Sometime after becoming a YouTube megastar and crashing into the cult of personality that has metastasized in contemporary society, Teddy Wayne's 11-year-old bubblegum idol Jonny Valentine is hanging out in his dressing room getting a blow job from a girl who doesn't even like his music.
  •   LENA DUNHAM AND HBO GET IT RIGHT  |  April 13, 2012
    When a new television show chronicling the lives of young women arrives, it tends to come packaged with the promise that it will expertly define them, both as a generation and a gender.
  •   EUGENIDES'S UPDATED AUSTEN  |  October 12, 2011
    For his long-awaited third novel, Jeffrey Eugenides goes back to look at love in the '80s — and apparently decides that it's a lot like love in the early 19th century.
  •   REVIEW: RINGER  |  September 08, 2011
    Sixty seconds into the CW's new psychological thriller Ringer, star Sarah Michelle Gellar is seen running from a masked attacker in the darkness.
  •   LOVE'S LEXICOGRAPHER  |  February 10, 2011
    As the editorial director at Scholastic, David Levithan is surrounded by emotional stories about adolescents. Being overexposed to such hyperbolic feelings about feelings could easily turn a writer off pursuing such ventures himself — despite the secrets he may have picked up along the way.  

 See all articles by: SHARON STEEL