I’m no Britney Spears apologist. While K-Fed is clearly a spineless, gold-digging sperm donor creep of the first order that in no way excuses Britters for jumping off the sanity wagon with both feet. In the more innocent days immediately after their break-up the fact the stripper-loving, Las Vegas addicted, foul-mouthed would-be rapper was suing for sole custody was a joke. Britney would have to work hard to fuck this up, I thought.
And has she ever! If mommy wasn’t a globally famous, imminently pap-able millionaire superstar train-wreck little Sean and Jayden would have been quietly given to a grown-up months ago. Hopefully. But of course she is, and they weren’t, and by the looks of it no one with two brain cells to rub together is going to get their hands on those poor kids any time soon. (That Kevin “I abandoned my first two children for Britney” Federline and Britney’s horrific, pushy stage-hag mother who – let’s not forget – paraded her daughters for public consumption pretty much from the moment they could walk, are plausibly the more suitable guardians is both compelling and depressing.)
Scanning the gossip column inches about the custody spat is Schadenfreude-fuelled bliss, of a sort. Stuff like a judge’s recent ruling that neither parent is allowed to drink or take drugs in the 12 hours before caring before their children (thereby ensuring JaySean get to grips with the concept of a comedown at an early age) is harrowingly funny. If it weren’t for the fact two quite innocent kids are at this moment having their tiny heads fucked up it would just be funny.
When judges start handing out instructions like that, and saying – as this one did – that Britney habitually abuses alcohol and controlled substances, you’d say the case against her is pretty well made. That and the fact she is rarely pictured looking like she’d be able to repeat her full name and address, if asked, would tend to indicate she might not be the best caretaker for two infants. But K-Fed, with an amateur fact-finder’s enthusiasm for stating the bleeding obvious, has been on a mission to get everyone who’s ever shared breathing space with Britney to dish the dirt on her. He hit the mother lode (if you’ll excuse the pun) with her ex-bodyguard who apparently claimed he saw her take drugs in front of JaySean and also “alleged Britney paraded around naked in front of the children.”
Just take a second and read that again. “Britney paraded around naked in front of the children.” Mind, these are her children we’re talking about. You know, the ones that gestated in her womb. Note, also, that they are both less than three years old. Think about it. Isn’t it much weirder that her bodyguard saw her naked than that her toddler sons did?
For god’s sake – Britney is a walking disaster and, at the moment, her maternal duties are obviously not priority number one. But if the court decides to entrust her kids to the dubious care of K-Fed and co. please Jesus let it be for reasons that are saner than she is. Because what is writ large between the lines of that allegation is the really fascinating/horrible suggestion that for a mother to be unclothed in the vicinity of her small children is some how deviant.
American prudery is the wonder of the rest of the (adult) world. Only in America can you screen brutal murder while a two-second sort-of-almost-kind-of nipple flash causes total public meltdown. But surely even in America, where breasts are treated with the same sort of uneasy deference the rest of the world shows to mad cow disease, people can’t actually think a naked mother is the last word in moral degradation?
Personally, I think the fact the rest of the world has seen Britney more or less in the altogether is a lot more telling. If she could only stick to parading around naked at home, instead of displaying her front bottom every time she staggers out of a nightclub, she – and the kids – would be in a much better place.
Once again, it seems America has got their ideas about freedom all mixed up. Brits is free to make a public display of herself, ruin her career, guzzle all the booze she can get her hands on, make out with girls in hot tubs, swap underwear with strangers… but she’s going to be called to account for not swathing herself from head to toe in front of her small children? What’s a mum to do? Put on a raincoat when it’s bath time? Put the baby in the other room while she gets changed? At what point does hitherto un-noted maternal nudity clause kick in? Three years? Two? One? Should women even be allowed to give birth naked? Should they cover the baby’s eyes before they smack its bottom, just to make sure it doesn’t get an accidental flash of the land from whence it came? I bet even the Taliban never thought of that…