The yardstick used on me (figuratively) measured me as an unknown. I was at the mercy of only those in my corner of the world, not the entire world. It was stressful, stomach churning, and demanding enough to attempt to meet my mother’s expectations (whose rules of child-engagement curiously and secretly changed when she went from the role of mother to grandmother). To have had the expectations of a million or so mothers to live up to in addition to my own would’ve sent me over the edge. Shaving my head would’ve been the least of it. Ms Spears only aspires to what would’ve been my worst, and yet I still would not have been subjected to the judgment of anyone but my mother and those in moral cahoots with her.
As if enduring the tsk-ing of every gossipy, maternal figure in the land weren’t enough, Ms Spears is also dealing with the leering (and equally questionable moral centers) of her peers. Too, there is the spying eye of every man, young and old, gay and straight, who feeds into the gossip when no one else is looking.
While having (youthfully, therefore only tentatively) agreed to a relentless spotlight when entering the entertainment field, she did not agree to a barrage of the self-righteous. It was instead, and in fact, the other way around.
The society-paid, rag mag-feeding paparazzi machine is not a creation of the entertainer. That machine is the bastard child of all of us, created to satiate our need to focus on someone else‘s faults rather than our own. Initially allowing the rest of us to live vicariously through their successes, we now use that machine to revel in the their every mistake as if we were above making any such errors, as if we weren’t also human.
On behalf of every American who has fed into the idea that it’s okay to judge at all, much less from a cowardly distance, I apologize to you Ms Spears. I understand your pain, I empathize with your plight, and I hope you’ll get past it all in time to be the woman and mother you were meant to be in the first place.