September 10, 2007

"You could tell by the expression on her face. Instead of just blocking everybody out and doing her thing, you could tell she was thinking about it."

Poor, humiliated Britney Spears. She didn't sound bad, because it's an excellent recording, but she made almost no effort to move her lips in the general area of the lyrics. And all those gyrating dancers around her only made her look more unsteady and confused. The choreographer's exaggerated expressions of sexuality -- the undulating torso and the overarched back -- expressed only: oh, I have to do another one of these things.

Watch the nightmarish scene here. And note the looks on the faces of the stars in the audience. The men all look stunned and sad and seem to feel sorry for her or embarrassed to watch. The women, on the other hand... I'm seeing exultation as their competitor falls.

The worst thing seems to be that Britney's own people sent her out there in a bra-and-panties outfit that is begging the entire world to call her fat -- when she could so easily have been encased in dark spandex that would make you look mean-spirited for talking about her weight.

Or was that the Britney equivalent of Elvis Presley's Vegas outfit? Why was that jumpsuit white? Were they trying to make him look like a beached whale? Perhaps there is some level of stardom where you don't try to disguise your flaws, you're just out there saying That's The Way It Is. I'm showing you my flobby belly because It's Britney, Bitch.

AND: Did I say Britney was fat? No! Reread if you think I did.

128 comments:

AllenS said...

Lobotobritney: a surgical incision to remove brain and install pelvic gyrating impulse nerves.

MadisonMan said...

Not a lot of energy in that dancing.

Lisa said...

I agree that she didn't look "into it." But your calling Britney fat would be hilarious, if not so sad. She's fat because she does not appear anorexic? Sick.

suffragette29 said...

It was a mess!! I do not think she spent enough time getting her routine right. She did not seem to know her moves and she kinda seemed out of it. Maybe she just was not in to it. Fat, well she did not look fat to me she may not be as fit as she use to be but she did not look fat to me.

Ann Althouse said...

Lisa, it's not me calling her fat. Look around and you'll see all the commentators calling her fat. She is probably at the high end of normal and not "overweight" from a medical perspective. But for a dancer, she does look fat, and she's too fat to go on stage in an outfit like that without people going on about how out of shape she is.

Ann Althouse said...

And as for anorexic, she's could lose 20 pounds and still not be "underweight" according to medical standards. Don't call everyone who's nicely thin and in shape anorexic. It's not the case.

Terri said...

I'm sad for Britney - she has become something of a mess. And I agree her performance was catatonic. But every article calling her "fat" and out of shape? That is why we have so much of this. Our celebrity press is ridiculous.

save_the_rustbelt said...

What is really terrible is that her performance was no worse than the rest of the alleged music.

Best performance - Kid Rock decking that greaseball Tommy Lee!!

Jennifer said...

Yikes. It reminded me of that scene in one of those Anne Rice books where the girl was onstage in a vampire show. The audience thought it was acting but the girl was bewildered and terrified with no idea why she was there or what she was doing.

Poor Britney. I actually think she looked decent - she's never been a twig. But her extensions were awful, and she looked like she'd just learned to dance last week. Totally wobbly and unsteady and with no confidence. And what was up with the underwear!? Even back in the day she'd at least put some pants on.

I just don't understand why she doesn't seem to grasp that this is her last chance.

Simon said...

I don't know which is worse: that a woman can enjoy fame and fortune for a decade despite being talentless, plain, dumb as a box of rocks and twice as vacuous, or that, for all those failings, the one career-ending sin she can commit is to be a healthy weight.

I'd have to agree with Lisa and suffragette29. There's a picture with the story, and it pretty much repudiates the statement in the story that there's a paunch. Of course she could be thinner without being anorexic, but that's beside the point.

Fat relative to a ballerina, maybe - but not necessarily for a dancer. I've always thought she was plain, and ironically enough I now find myself in the position of wanting to defend her for being normal - a healthy weight and build.

(Of course, she was talentless before and remains talentless now, so who really cares - a manufactured Madonna whose fifteen minutes expired long ago.)

David53 said...

Just the thought of Britney gives me that "embarrassed for mankind" feeling that makes me want to put my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and say, "la la la la." What a sad waste.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Her body was fine. The problem was she looked like she was high and lip-synching.

Ross said...

I like her tummy, she could gain 30 pounds and look beautiful! Don't perpetuate the Hollywood anorexia campaign. Rubenesque women are attractive. PS. I love your weblog, especially the Madison stuff. Thanks

dbp said...

I have to agree with earlier commenters: Britney looks fine. It is possible that if she were 20Lb lighter she would move better. Just as likely though that more rehearsal time and much more enthusiasm would have improved the performace more than weight loss could have.

Paddy O. said...

More rehearsal time would have solved all the issues. That much activity gets the body to its ideal state.

But, rehearsal is discipline. And that's not been her strong point recently.

I've never really been a fan. But, I'm rooting for her. She peaked early and has absolutely no idea who she is or could be. She's lost. Which is sad. But sometimes that kind of state is what it takes to become real and whole again.

Much better than constant low-level adoration and success which never provokes needed changes, as most of the audience there illustrate.

Maybe this is her end. But maybe this is also her Glitter moment.

Britney is young. She's flailing about trying to find an identity and sense of being, trying everything without any satisfaction. Now she's trying what used to work, but she's six years or more past being that person.

I think she'll find herself eventually. I hope so.

. said...

poor untalented britney... does anyone really care?

Skeptical said...

It's not that she's particularly overweight. But some outfits are not for those at the high end of normal. Dancing in a bra and panty set is not aesthetically pleasing. And she would not need to be anorexic for it to be aesthetically pleasing. Ann has it right: drop the weight or go with an outfit more suitable to one's body weight.

SteveR said...

Other than the fact that she is untalented, not very smart and acts like a slut, she's fine. I question her parenting skills in a "why in the hell are you shopping at Wal Mart at 11 pm with your kids and getting mad at them for crying" sort of way, but really its America we should worry about. How could she ever have been so popular?

Mortimer Brezny said...

At first I thought she was acting high as a part of the act. Then it became apparent the act just sucked.

Kirby Olson said...

I felt sorry for her.

I also felt sorry for Hillary when you made the dentata comment.

I didn't like Sarah Silverman's commenting on Britney's children. Children should be safe.

I cried when Sarah Silverman did that.

I wish women would show a little solidarity esp. in regards to protecting each other's children.

I think Britney now knows she's a target and just about nothing more. Everybody is gunning for her.

I don't like her music, and I resent her vacuum of values. I hope she finds a creed other than girls just want to have fun.

There's so much wrong with our culture.

No one even thinks about the moral content of her songs as long as she looks "sexy." It's so horrifying.

Synova said...

She's not fat.

Look at the video at the link. It's *squashed*. When the commentators are talking, look at the woman's face. It's *squashed*. Look at the other dancers. They are only slightly thinner than Brittney and have the glutes and quads of body-builders. It's *squashed*.

The still photos look fine. In fact, she looks pretty darn good in them.

And figuring that people look fatter in pictures and flim... no, she couldn't loose 20 pounds or more without being way too thin.

Simon said...

Paddy O. said...
"I've never really been a fan. But, I'm rooting for her. She peaked early and has absolutely no idea who she is or could be. She's lost."

http://www.despair.com/mis24x30prin.html

Skeptical said...
"... [S]ome outfits are not for those at the high end of normal. ...[D]rop the weight or go with an outfit more suitable to one's body weight."

That's purely a question of aesthetic taste. Of course, I agree that one's weight affects what one can wear without looking absurd or inelegant, but I don't think Britney is remotely in the range that would prohibit that outfit (ceteris paribus, of course), while I think that a lot of people who are far skinnnier ought to wear more. Rule of thumb: if you're so skinny that I can see ribs showing, you need to put on more clothes. But these are ineluctably my personal aesthetic preferences, and just because yours are more common doesn't mean they're right. ;)

Ann Althouse said...

First, I never said she's fat. I said that going out in an outfit like that is begging for people to comment on your body and say you're fat. To wear that is to claim physical perfection, and people are going to answer back. You can't writhe for millions of people in your bra and panties and escape scrutiny! If she were more dressed, people would apply more lenient standards. And, obviously, most women are more out of shape than she is. My post ends on a positive note, saying that she may be claiming that she's so great she can boldly show off imperfection.

PatCA said...

All these desperate "stars"--it's like soft porn or a Roman orgy when you add in the suite parties with Timberlake and various rappers.

It's like their part of the music industry is circling the drain. Good!

Seven Machos said...

Youth is wasted on the wrong people. It wasn't like that when I was a lad. Our pop idols understood the value of hard work and clean living.

Simon said...

And my point is that what constitutes "perfection" is a question of personal aesthetic taste. :) I agree that it begs for people to comment and give their opinions, but let's stress: opinions. To say that the clothing is inappropriate for someone of her weight, or to say that she may be showing off imperfection, necessarily starts with an aesthetic judgment, even if that judgment is restricted to applying received wisdom and commonly-held tastes.

Taste is idiosyncratic. You might as well say that a pickled onion is "imperfect" or "flaw[ed]." Or an egg salad sandwich, for that matter. ;)

Personally I agree with Kirby, to an extent, that it's a little undignified for her to be out there gyrating in that outfit in the first place, but that's not because of her weight. (Hence my "ceteris paribus" qualification earlier.) Personally, I'd say if you're going to go out there in that kind of outfit, I'd far rather see someone that weight doing so than someone Paris' weight, or Christina's, or (angels and ministers of grace defend us) Keira's.

Not everyone shares my aesthetic tastes, and that's fine. And I'm not suggesting that I think Britney's attractive - I think she's terribly plain and far too young (not to mention dumb) for me to have any interest. But too heavy for that outfit she isn't, IMO.

Mortimer Brezny said...

But too heavy for that outfit she isn't, IMO.

Perhaps she isn't too heavy for the outfit (and I think her body looks fine), but she certainly didn't look good dancing in it. Whereas doing the same moves in similar fashion at rehearsal, with clothes on, she looks fine. (The video of her researsal is online, too.)

Still doesn't explain why she looked high.

John said...

"Or was that the Britney equivalent of Elvis Presley's Vegas outfit? Why was that jumpsuit white? "

The difference is that Elvis even at his over weight pilled out worst, could still really sing and perform and people loved him because he could sing and perform not because he was a train wreck. Brittany in contrast never could sing and was never an musical artist in any meaningful sense of the term. Brittany was and will always be a kind of late 20th Century circus freak. This breed of freak was pioneered by Madonna. Basically, you make passable pop music, look good, and do such outrageous things that no one bothers to care much about your music. People come to see you, not to hear the music. The problem for Brittney is that her freak act was to be a completely sexualized 14 year old. Since she is not 14 anymore and can't pass for one, her freak act now is to be a complete pathetic train wreck. A 21st Century Judy Garland without the ability to sing. Looked at that way, last night was a triumph for Brittany. Did she suck? Absolutely, but when hasn't she been awful? That is just the point. Brittany has never been and will never be a musical performer. She is a performance artist playing the roll of Brittney Spears. Her coming out fat, pilled up and unable to even lip sync properly is an absolute stroke of genius. Is there anything she could have done that would have gotten her more attention than that? I don't think there is and since getting attention is the whole point of the act, I don't see how you can criticize her. As performance art, I think Brittney may be headed for her best days yet.

Katie said...

Mortimer, I totally agree that at first I thought it was part of the act! I thought she was acting all coy and confused and then suddenly there was going to be a big musical beat or flourish and she was going to pull out a huge dance sequence and the crowd would go crazy. I was giddy with excitement for the moment ... and it never came! Oh Britney ... I miss you so.

Seven Machos said...

John: brilliant analysis.

Also, I'm sorry, gentlemen: but any heterosexual man who says he does not find Britney Spears ridiculously sexy is not being honest with himself.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My husband is most definitely heterosexual. He finds her disgusting, classless, untalented and unattractive. In any other venue than being a "star" created from nothing, she would be a slut-o-rama and the town pump. My husband's very words.

I feel sorry for the girl. She needs to get away from everyone who is encouraging her slow destruction and feeding off of her like vampires, concentrate on her children, detox and probably get some psychological counseling.

As to the outfit. Classless... and no one should be gyrating in public, in what was essentially underwear, no matter what kind of shape you are in. She looked a bit chunky, but could have looked much better in something else.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer, I totally agree that at first I thought it was part of the act! I thought she was acting all coy and confused and then suddenly there was going to be a big musical beat or flourish and she was going to pull out a huge dance sequence and the crowd would go crazy.

Yeah, exactly.

Seven Machos said...

Classless. Slutty. Slut-o-rama. The town pump. Gyrating in public. A bit chunky. In what was essentially underwear.

What part of ridiculously sexy are we not agreeing on here?

PM said...

This makes me love britney more than ever. I have always been a huge fan - one need only to watch scenes from the MM club and starsearch to see that she really does have a talent, it's simply been run over by tasteless managers, synthesizers, and techno-track additives over the past decade.

I'm sure the coreography was waaay beyond her control. I can't imagine her horror when someone suggested that a classic, lauded, maternal (one might say madonna-esque...not that madonna) trailblazing pop icon such as herself jump into another slutty black spandex outfit like the good ol days and start learning to roll her abdomen like shakira.

At this point in her life and career she deserves more respect than that. And if anything can be gleaned from her tired, non-committal demeanor, it's that she's SO over this type of scene. She probably didn't rehearse much - perhaps out of frustration at the concept - and her apologetic smile and 'thank you' at the end seemed to say 'my managers made me do it. Please realize that I know this isn't 'me' anymore.' And NOT because of her body, which is kickin' I might give my right arm to look like that NOW and maybe both arms to look like that after two kids. And I'm not overweight - just impressed w/ her proportionality, perfect weight, and abs where cellulite and stretch marks should be.

Finally, as for the faces in the crowd, I think Ms. Althouse may have mistaken shock&awe at the over-the-top bondage pole dancers for sympathy and smugness.

Bottomline - the performance was certainly lackluster, but understandably so. Britney should be holding her head higher than ever for refusing to take this performance (an insult, really) seriously.

Simon said...

Seven,
"I'm sorry, gentlemen: but any heterosexual man who says he does not find Britney Spears ridiculously sexy is not being honest with himself."

Personally, I find attractive women who're smarter and older than I am, and who have a sense of who they are and what they want. And with a few exceptions, not blondes. Possessing at least a semblance of modesty doesn't hurt, either. Britney fails on every single one of those counts, and several others. I think she's as dumb as a box of rocks, and almost as sexually appealing.

Seven Machos said...

No, no, no. We are confusing our terms here. Not attractive.

Sexy.

Simon said...

Unless you're positing that one can be sexually appealing without being attractive, I fail to see the distinction.

Seven Machos said...

Without question, someone can be sexy without being attractive. This is one of the things that irks me about conservatives: there's a lot of baggage built up with regard to relationships. It's really a form of political correctness. It's moral correctness.

I'm saying, in a vacuum, on a dessert island, a woman walks up looking like that and built up as a personae like that, do you find her sexy? And by sexy, I mean: don't you in some basic, unchecked way lust after her for just this instant?

I find it possible that people can stifle that feeling, but impossible that people can't feel it.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Unless you're positing that one can be sexually appealing without being attractive

I think that's exactly what he's saying. Not every woman who is sexually desired is attractive.

Seven Machos said...

On edit: yes, a dessert island. Like an apple strudel island.

Mortimer Brezny said...

on a dessert island, a woman walks up looking like that and built up as a personae like that, do you find her sexy?

What an aptly named island.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Damn. It's crossposting, bitch.

Simon said...

Seven Machos said...
"Without question, someone can be sexy without being attractive."

I question it.


"I'm saying, in a vacuum, on a dessert island, a woman walks up looking like that and built up as a personae like that, do you find her sexy?"

Well, I imagine that in a vacuum, I'd be more concerned about breathing than heavy breathing. ;) But in any event, while (as Yogi Berra put it) it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future, I think the answer's still no. I can't imagine finding sexually appealing someone I didn't find attractive.

Simon said...

Mort - I think I'd rather have the apple strudel, myself. ;)

Mortimer Brezny said...

I can't imagine finding sexually appealing someone I didn't find attractive.

What a horribly limited imagination. Also, you might want to see a doctor to cure your insanity. I do not think Jennifer Anniston is attractive. That has nothing to do with whether we would make the beast with two backs on a desert island.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Here's what I want to know: on the luster scale, does Brittney lack more luster than Fred Thompson?

Simon said...

Now, if we can play substitutes, obviously the apple strudel comment no longer holds good. Drop Scarlett, Mary-Katherine or Hillary in there and it becomes a much closer question. ;)

Mortimer Brezny said...

or Hillary in there

That is nasty. Your imagination is a terrible curse I would wish upon no man.

Simon said...

Mort, I guess it depends on whether you're stuck there for life and have nothing else to do to pass the time. But then you're into a situation that seems more akin to consensual homosexuality in prison relationships, wherein the issue is the desire to have sex more than the sexual appeal of the, uh, candidate.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What part of ridiculously sexy are we not agreeing on here?

Pretty much all of that part. Being a woman myself, I am mostly ambivalent on whether Ms Spears is sexy. She might be labeled cute in a cookie cutter, girl in the mall, kind of way. Being sexy does not necessarily mean being attractive (in the sense of looking good.) Being an attractive person (in the sense that people want to be around you) does not mean sexy.

Again. Just repeating my husband's feelings on Brittany and "her type" (again his words) she has bad news written all over her. Town pump. I think Simon expresses the same feeling.

There are a lot of men that are sexy, who don't have classical attactive good looks. My husband in one :-) I can also find a man sexy with those attractive looks and know that I wouldn't want to touch him with a ten foot pole because he is morally bankrupt.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I can't imagine finding sexually appealing someone I didn't find attractive.

You know, there are married couples who still find each other sexually appealing long after they no longer find each other attractive. (Or divorced couples who still have sex despite hating each other.) Insanely limited imagination.

Mortimer Brezny said...

you're into a situation that seems more akin to consensual homosexuality in prison relationships

Having sex with Jennifer Anniston is akin to having homosexual sex in prison? God. Seven Machos is 100% right.

Seven Machos said...

1. Britney

2. Jennifer Aniston

3. Hillary (great story)

4. Apple strudel

5. Consensual homosexual prison relationship

That's how I'd rate it all.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Being sexy does not necessarily mean being attractive (in the sense of looking good.) Being an attractive person (in the sense that people want to be around you) does not mean sexy.

Absolutely.

Mortimer Brezny said...

1. Britney

2. Jennifer Aniston

3. Apple strudel (actually enjoyable)

4. Hillary


That's how I'd rate it all.

Simon said...

Mort - she's a smart, assertive, blond in her mid-fifties with distinct features, a law degree, and lots of opinions I don't agree with. What part of sexy are we not agreeing on here?

Seven Machos said...

And you, Simon? Correct me if I am wrong here...

1. Apple strudel

2. Hillary

3. Consensual homosexual prison relationship

4. Jennifer Aniston

5. Britney

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mort - she's a smart, assertive, blond in her mid-fifties with distinct features, a law degree, and lots of opinions I don't agree with.

Let's just stipulate that most women with law degrees are smart and assertive and that many women dye their hair blonde. Not every old woman with a bleach job and a law degree is sexy. Sorry.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Remember: Althouse thinks Larry David is sexy.

Seven Machos said...

And some women with law degrees who are smart and assertive and who dye their hair blonde are sexy and attracive.

My wife calls this website "that blogger you have a crush on"

Mortimer Brezny said...

And some women with law degrees who are smart and assertive and who dye their hair blonde are sexy

Yes, but not because they are:

1. Old; or
2. Have law degrees; or
3. Dye their hair.

Mortimer Brezny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

I want to stipulate that I don't lust after Ann Althouse. This is all in fun at this point, people.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I want to stipulate that I don't lust after Ann Althouse.

It has to be obvious that this is all in jest. And very funny.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"Having sex with Jennifer Anniston is akin to having homosexual sex in prison?"

Before or after she emaciated herself? ;) Lookit, that's not what I'm saying and you know it full well. The point was that there are situations in which the combination of the raw biological drive to which Seven adverted above, combined with lack of partner options, operates to lower one's standards. In a post-apocalyptic or desert island scenario, of course I can imagine accepting a partner who would otherwise deemed sub-optimal out of sheer necessity.

"Not every old woman with a bleach job and a law degree is sexy. Sorry."

Uncontestably true, and I don't think I suggested otherwise, as Seven recognized.

XWL said...

she's a smart, assertive, blond in her mid-fifties with distinct features, a law degree, and lots of opinions I don't agree with.

Sen. Clinton?!?

(it's a slight stretch to call 59 'mid-fifties', but otherwise...)

As far as Britney Spears, she was a mess last night. She could have been a hot mess, but instead she was merely a mess.

Her lack of 'hotness' to go with the messiness has nothing to do with her BMI. Her complete inability to wiggle and writhe in time were disturbing when compared to what she was capable of not so long ago.

Also, for a 25 year old mother of two, her body looks fine, better than most, but she was ill served strutting in that costume in front of that audience.

She's always been muscular, with a dancer's build and a very strong looking core. That those muscles are wrapped in a few more pounds of not-muscle doesn't make her less attractive than her 16 year old self (a reminder), it just makes her a normal human being.

She's always been kind of 'thick', even when she was thin, but the crappiness of her performance should be the focus, not whatever her weight may be.

Prof. Althouse was quite correct to say that Britney is not fat, but that the outfit she was in would highlight Britney's relative weight gain when comparing her shape to her glory days.

Judging from that performance, she's incapable of being professional, and isn't in a mental framework to handle her fame.

That wasn't just a bad night, that was a cry for help.

Seven Machos said...

Apple strudel, Hillary, Consensual homosexual prison relationship, Jennifer Aniston, Britney: on a desert island.

You can choose only one.

I choose Britney.

Mortimer Brezny said...

operates to lower one's standards. In a post-apocalyptic or desert island scenario, of course I can imagine accepting a partner who would otherwise deemed sub-optimal out of sheer necessity.

Having sex with Jennifer Aniston would require you lowering your standards?

Trooper York said...

A blowsy drunken healthy sized bleached blonde who flashes you her cooch as she gets into the limo is the very definition of sexy.

Mortimer Brezny said...

the crappiness of her performance should be the focus, not whatever her weight may be.

Absolutely.

Simon said...

Seven Machos said...
"I want to stipulate that I don't lust after Ann Althouse. This is all in fun at this point, people."

This post has been removed by the author to save the administrator the trouble.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"Having sex with Jennifer Aniston would require you lowering your standards?"

Yes (although I was referring to Britney in the comment you replied to).

Simon said...

Seven: does the apple strudel have a burnt cinnamon powdering?

;)

Trooper York said...

Sort of a Courtney Love on training wheels….she will get there eventually.

Mortimer Brezny said...

This post has been removed by the author because it mistakenly misrepresented the post it was responding to, in which a man mentioned his wife's belief that he has a crush on the blog administrator, and because the blog administrator would not have removed the comment, as there was nothing wrong inherently with it.

Mortimer Brezny said...

"Having sex with Jennifer Aniston would require you lowering your standards?"

Yes[.]


I don't find Jennifer Aniston attractive, but that's ludicrous.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"I don't find Jennifer Aniston attractive, but that's ludicrous."

Finding that ludicrous is presumably a side effect of whatever it is that allows you to disconnect attraction from sex appeal. But it's emminently rational if your desire to have sex with someone is tethered to whether you find them attractive.

Trooper York said...

Gentlemen, gentlemen...although I agree that Ms. Aniston is way too
skinney...I have the number of a great ophthamologist on Remsen St. that I will glad to pass on to you.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Finding that ludicrous is presumably a side effect of whatever it is that allows you to disconnect attraction from sex appeal.

No, it's based on this: Let's say you return from the island to tell your story. Being known as the former lover of a woman considered attractive by millions the world over is clearly a huge windfall. To think you would have to lower your standards to have the privilege of being with a woman considered beautiful by millions of others (to the adulation and praise of thousands) is a little silly. I don't find Jennifer Aniston attractive (I think she's just mildly above average), but I would laugh hard at a man wearing a tee-shirt that read: "I had sex with Jennifer Aniston and all I got was this tee-shirt".

Original Mike said...

Some people have waaaay too much time on their hands.

Seven Machos said...

The questions Do you want to have sex with this woman right now? and Do you want to enter into a long relationship of a sexual nature with this woman? are fundamentally different questions.

All of the women in the second group are clearly in the first as well. BUt the first is much, much larger.

I don't claim to understand the mind of women. But I am certain that, in the state of nature, men think this way. It takes a great deal of will and conditioning to think another way.

Simon said...

I don't think that garnering social accolades for doing so is a sufficient (or for that matter, particularly healthy) reason to have sex with someone you're not attracted to. Just because other people think someone's attractive has no bearing on whether I think they're attractive, and last I checked, ceteris paribus, there are only two relevant parties to the transaction.

Mortimer Brezny said...

It takes a great deal of will and conditioning to think another way.

Or water-boarding.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I don't think that garnering social accolades for doing so is a sufficient (or for that matter, particularly healthy) reason to have sex with someone you're not attracted to. Just because other people think someone's attractive has no bearing on whether I think they're attractive, and last I checked, ceteris paribus, there are only two relevant parties to the transaction.

I think you're confusing attractive and attracted. Again, women who aren't beautiful can be sexually desireable.

Simon said...

Seven Machos said...
"The questions Do you want to have sex with this woman right now? and Do you want to enter into a long relationship of a sexual nature with this woman? are fundamentally different questions."

Well of course they are, but the former no less than the latter is contingent on being attracted to them.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"Or water-boarding.

I hear that's Hillary's very favorite game with paramours.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"Again, women who aren't beautiful can be sexually desirable."

With the reservation that beauty is 100% in the eye of the beholder, my answer to that is "not to me."

Mortimer Brezny said...

Just because other people think someone's attractive has no bearing on whether I think they're attractive

That depends on whether your measure of attractiveness takes into acount that all human brains have the same basic architecture.

I would also point out the social accolades might help you garner more partners you do find attractive, either because you are respected or because Ms. Aniston is envied.

Trooper York said...

Now blondes (bleached or otherwise) are really not the epitome of sexiness to me…I prefer plush, voluptuous brunettes such as Kay Parker, Joanna Cassidy, Queen Latifah or the immortal Delta Burke…yummy!

Seven Machos said...

We're going to have to agree to disagree, Simon, because I just can't fathom the idea that someone could look at two women who are obviously hot and say they are not that way.

Mortimer Brezny said...

With the reservation that beauty is 100% in the eye of the beholder

Except the vast majority of beholders work the same. It's not random that people considered attractive by millions are considered attractive by millions.

Mortimer Brezny said...

"Again, women who aren't beautiful can be sexually desirable."

With the reservation that beauty is 100% in the eye of the beholder, my answer to that is "not to me."


If I read you correctly, Simon, not only are you saying 'only beautiful women can be sexually desireable,' but you're also saying 'Hillary Clinton is beautiful.' Right?

Simon said...

Seven Machos said...
"... I just can't fathom the idea that someone could look at two women who are obviously hot and say they are not that way."

Which just brings us back to my point throughout this thread, that personal aesthetic taste is personalized and idiosyncratic. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Mortimer Brezny said...
"Except the vast majority of beholders work the same. It's not random that people considered attractive by millions are considered attractive by millions."

The biological imperative is to reproduce, and the most rational mechanism to service that would be to instill in men a strong sexual desire for women who are of physically healthy appearance and of (biologically) prime reproductive age - say 18-30. But that "imperative" is plainly defeasible. If it weren't, it'd be tough to explain why I'm not as a rule attracted to women in that age group, and why most men in this day and age are attracted to women who do not appear physically healthy. If pure biology controlled, no one would be attracted to Keira Knightly, Paris Hilton, and all the various members of the anorexium. Clearly other factors are at play.

Palladian said...

Ugh, it smells like a high-school wrestling match in here.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"If I read you correctly, Simon, not only are you saying 'only beautiful women can be sexually desireable,' but you're also saying 'Hillary Clinton is beautiful.' Right?"

To an extent, yes. Of course, she's no Ann Althouse, but still. ;)

Simon said...

Actually, Palladian, I'd be particularly interested in hearing thoughts from you or DTL on the principle issue in contention. You have a somewhat different perspective.

Trooper York said...

Of course to cleanse the palette and have a delicious little appetizer….how about a saucy redhead such as Greer Garson, Rita Hayworth, Samantha Eggar or the one and only Maureen O’Hara

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Trooper York: If you have Delta Burke, can I have Gerald McRainey? Please?

Or Patrick Stewart?

There's something about those Scottish, bald men. Mm-mmm.

Simon, Mortimer, Seven Machos: Can you wrap this up, please?

Trooper York said...

You can even have Yul Brenner and a certain Scot named Connery

Mortimer Brezny said...

If pure biology controlled

You're knocking down a strawman.

First of all, I'm talking about faces only, not bodies.

Second of all, I'm talking about neural recognition of faces. I'm talking cognitive science in specific, not evolutionary biology in general, which I take no position on here.

Third of all, your belief that "most men in this day and age are attracted to women who do not appear physically healthy" shows that you're wrong when you argue that 'only beautiful women can be sexually desireable.'

Palladian,

Perhaps that stench is coming from the same room in Simon's mind where Hillary Clinton is water-boarding him.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Can you wrap this up, please

I'm done.

Trooper York said...

Hey Mort...this is a Britney Spears thread...can't we just leave it open-ended....

Mortimer Brezny said...

open-ended

Oh, that is witty.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Trooper: I'm shaken. And, somehow, stirred.

Y'all. Please remember that Simon is from across the pond. That makes him throw in Latin phrases Tourette's-like, and acquire weird tastes for whateverthehellthatvegemitestuffis.

De gustibus. Yeah. Get on da bus.

Trooper York said...

Wow Ruth Anne...you dig Jerome Bettis too!

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"[Y]our belief that 'most men in this day and age are attracted to women who do not appear physically healthy' shows that you're wrong when you argue that 'only beautiful women can be sexually desireable.'"

Those two statements would be in tension if I'd actually said the latter. But my 1:51 comment couldn't have made it any clearer that I wasn't stating "only beautiful women can be sexually desirable" as a general proposition applicable to most of the population (that would have been an absurd claim since it would be preempted by your and Seven's comments in this thread), but that women who aren't, aren't to me.

And I was only joking about the waterboarding thing, and thought that was abundantly clear...

paul a'barge said...

You can't writhe for millions of people in your bra and panties and escape scrutiny!

Ann, women have been writhing in their bras and panties for thousands of years and have not been called fat.

Britney's not fat. She's at her perfect weight. And she's hot. That writhing did it for me.

Joe said...

To me it looked like she had very little rehearsal.

As for her weight--I've never been that enamored with her, but I thought she looked fabulous. She puts shame to all those skinny-ass skeletons that pass for models these days.

Beth said...

I have to weigh in on the side saying Britney looks great. I agree, wearing what she did invites scrutiny, but I disagree with those scrutinizers who'd say she looks fat. She doesn't, she's perfect. And I hope her comfort with being normal in size leads other women in the public eye to stop with the "walking candy apple" look (credit Elaine, on Seinfeld with that phrase). There's nothing wrong with a dancer being solid.

Now, unpracticed is lousy for dancers, and singers. I can't say much good for her on those counts.

I have no opinion on whether she's "sexy" or not--I hated how she was sexualized as a child, and I haven't gotten past that. But I think she's pretty, not at all ugly. She's got what Louisianians call "sugar eyes," big, dark brown and sparkling. I'd guess she's a mix of Cajun and Kaintuck, and that's a nice blend. If she was just a girl walking around Kentwood, or on campus at SLU in Hammond, she'd still stand out. I'm sad that she probably couldn't pass a GRE much less attend college. I sincerely doubt much attention was paid to educating Britney Spears.

I have to wonder if Britney Spears is just the product of her chaotic childhood, with parents that pimped her for fame and fortune and no eye to her future, or if she's actually dealing with some sort of personality disorder that isn't being treated. I wish her well, though. I hope she makes better decisions and doesn't become a drug-addled joke.

Mortimer Brezny said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaintuck_Territory

Wow. I didn't realize Britney was raised on a theme park. Explains a lot.

Beth said...

Mortimer, her life is a theme-park ride, didn't you know?

wikipedia is slim on kaintucks -- they're frontier folks that would barge down the Mississippi River to Mississippi and Louisiana to trade, then walk or ride back north up the Natchez Trace--by the way, the Natchez Trace is one of the prettiest drives you can take in America.

Beth said...

Oh, make that GED, for goodness' sake. I can't fault her for not passing the GRE, or MCATs or LSATs!

Cedarford said...

test

Cedarford said...

People make the comparison between Britney and Madonna a lot. Madonna can't sing, and has gone through quite a few trashy images.
But they miss the mark - Madonna crafted herself into a 1st rate entertainer and kept her "edge" for 20+ years in the business. Madonna delivered.
Britney was marketed as the next Madonna - and Britney's latest disaster was not about how plump she was so much as she ignorantly went into a major music event with an album with huge costs sunk in - ill-prepared. listless, half-assed....just more of the trailer trash gyration, moaning crap that made her big 10 years ago.

Madonna's big edge over Britney is in two areas: (1)Madonna was hyper-dedicated to doing the exercise, rehearsals, image-refinements that made her shows and videos really pop out and her music, despite her low-average singing ability - fresh, entertaining, original. (2)Madonna has intense intellectual curiosity and interests - she has an IQ of 140-145 - which puts her 35-40 above Britney. People in the biz say Madonna when not performing prowled the clubs to not Party - but prowled the clubs to learn. She hit the designers to learn new styles coming, the museums and artists for classic old visual styles. Much of the choreography, song pacing, style, trend-setting focus that made her so successful came from Madonna herself, not her retinue.

I think the disappointment is not that Britney was pudgy...but people realizing this was just "same old, same old Britney" delivered low energy....and she doesn't have a fraction of the brains, drive, creativity, and discipline to be the next Madonna.

And that is good - because there are probably 7-10 woman as good as Madonna out there - some with less brains but better singing abilities, no smoking hot exercise-crafted body but with more musical training and composition talent than Madonna - who are undiscovered.

Undiscovered because the Moguls now believe it is too much effort to locate them or give the ones they know of time, money for development.
Much of that is from their contempt of the stupid rubes out there - that they are convinced will fork over their money for heavily promoted, talentless hacks like Britney, Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie. the latest "Reality TV" star. Who actually like it whan their talentless hacks go to rehab, show their bald pudendas off, get in car accidents, get sued for child neglect - because all that is like big billboards the hawkers and shills stand in front of as they urge suckers to pay up so they can go in the circus tent and watch the freak show.

Cedarford said...

There seems to be a filter at work. I tried commenting on the "bald pudenda presentation to Paparazzi" phenomenon but used a different word than pudenda and 3 posting attempts were blocked...

Joe said...

One of the problems with your thesis, Cedar, is the statement "Undiscovered because the Moguls now believe it is too much effort to locate them or give the ones they know of time, money for development."

Madonna didn't wait around to be discovered. Nor did she wait idly by for money for development. This isn't to say that all hard working artists will succeed, most won't, but very few artists of all types are simply "discovered", let alone pampered to success.

Freeman Hunt said...

Judging by these comments, you'd think my taste was unpopular:

For aesthetic purposes, I like women to be very thin and men to be very musclebound.

/dons flame retardant suit

Trooper York said...

That just means your gay dude...there is nothing wrong with that...what ever floats your boat.

Freeman Hunt said...

Trooper, I'm female.

Freeman Hunt said...

Or does that make any difference in your assessment?

Trooper York said...

Not at all...taste is all individual...but you should know that it's great to have a little junk in the trunk so that there can be some cushion for the pushin' ...I mean you could be like Andy Sullivan and get off while fisting your Beagle....and nobody wants to deal with that.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wrote that that was my taste for aesthetic purposes (i.e. watching people on screen). My taste as regards certain other activities would only apply to men and may or may not line up with my aesthetic taste. Whether or not it does shall remain a mystery here.

Trooper York said...

Cool...just remember Ruebens wasn't wrong...so there is nothing wrong with a lady enjoying a few extra ruebens heavy on ths slaw.... to get the party started.

Theo Boehm said...

Pass the apple strudel, please.

Revenant said...

If you saw her at the beach in that outfit you wouldn't look twice. She's got an average body, squeezed into an outfit one size too small.

She's not "fat", but she no longer has the body to be doing that routine.

Trooper York said...

This discussion reminds me of the terrible fate that has destroyed the strip clubs of New York City for the real boulevardier…at one time you could go to a club and get a full appreciation of the many shapes and sizes of the female form….skinny girls, chubby girls… girls who shaved, girls who didn’t….old school dives like the Pussycat Lounge, the Doll House, the Foxy Den and the immortal Wildfire…had every shape and size for a man to appreciate and marvel at the wondrous work that God had done in creating woman…but then Flashdancers and Scores and the other more homogenized and corporate set ups came in…they imported strippers from out of town…most of them plastic Barbie doll types with phony breasts and liquid tans…sort of like Britney….now so many people are locked into one archetype of the female form…but the true connoisseur can only sigh, hang his head and sorrow for the times gone by…thank god for the internets.

rjschwarz said...

I don't think she looks fat at all, it looks like she has really bad posture and is sticking her belly and butt out. That posture is common amung African-American women (who wouldn't consider that look while dancing, by the way) and looks foolish when Brittany tries it.

Brittany cannot hope to compete with her 18 year old self and needs to take a look at what Madonna and Christina Agullara did to revamp their image. I believe most people were rooting for her after the failed marriage and meltdown, but she flailed the opportunity.

. said...

i realize this topic is a few days old, but i just saw the britney video for the first time... i think britney is suffering from some form of mental illness... i'm serious--i worked in the mental health system for many years and i wouldn't be surprised if she has been diagnosed with a mental health condition... i think the look on her face--the flat affect--and her overall 'puffiness' is a result of psychiatric medication... i believe mental illness would also explain some of her questionable behavior