No more Spears, please

Without a proper album release, Britney Spears is once again scoring front-page headlines with the announcement that she’s expecting her first child. One has to wonder why this sudden news is shocking when tabloids and gossip columnists have been speculating since the singer’s strange, pimped-out wedding to Kevin Federline last year.For the most part I know that this column is only contributing to the starlet’s need for constant attention, but this girl has got some serious problems to deal with. If she isn’t walking out of a public bathroom barefoot, logging one of the shortest marriages in Hollywood history at a mere 55 hours or publicly grabbing Mr. Spears’ “boys” in front of a crowd of hungry photographers, this troubled pop star is committing career suicide.

Here’s a retrospective of Spears’ progression from girl next door to trashy tart.

Remember back in January of 1999 when she was a sweet girl just being a little naughty in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform? That was the Spears who gained the admiration of prepubescent teens everywhere. She began to blur the line when she squeezed her newly purchased “twins” into a red catsuit for the “Oops … I Did It Again” video but still maintained a subtle innocence. Then Spears became a complete sexpot with the premiere of “I’m A Slave 4 U,” which had a group of dancers licking sweat off her barely clothed body. Her most scandalous moment came at the MTV Video Music Awards when she swapped spit with the material girl herself, Madonna. All the while, her album sales dwindled and public affection and attention turned toward newlywed Jessica Simpson.

It has been a few days since Spears addressed her fans via her official Web site with the joyous news, and most media outlets have yet to relent. Various publications are speculating everything from how far along she is to the gender of the baby, but none of it is at all necessary. The only question one should be wondering is what will the baby’s name be? My guess is that Spears/Federline’s baby will give Gwyneth Paltrow/Chris Martin’s Apple a run for the worst child name. But all joking aside, we (the media) are just playing into the game of a lonely –pardon my French –attention whore. As an industry, we are forced to report on whatever interests the public, but a line must be drawn as to how much strange, pathetic behavior we should cover when it has all been clearly staged.

Why should anyone care that some washed-up pop tart is knocked up? Does her pregnancy really merit front-page headlines nationwide? Of course not. This isn’t meant to attack Spears, but hopefully open the eyes of the public so we don’t keep falling for these promotional surprises that are only used to maintain a celebrity profile between projects or while on a supposed hiatus. This is me saying, “I don’t care anymore about Spears or any other attention-starved celebrity — and others are beginning to feel the same.”