Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

September 11, 2007

The problem is not her weight

OK, so everyone, from the most banal of bloggers to the esteemed Manolo and Spirit Fingers, are talking about Britney Spear’s soporific “comeback” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. (Video is here.)

Unfortunately, much of the discussion is about how Britney looks in that admittedly slutty (oh? did I say that out loud? I meant, uh, “unforgiving”) little hot-pants and bra outfit. In the past, Britney wore outfits like that and looked perfect in a “Hollywood definition of perfect” style. Now she wears it and looks, in the opinion of Francesca, either really hot in a womanly way, or just really slutty, depending on how much you generally enjoy watching any woman in hot pants and a push-up bra traipse around a stage on international television. If, before she bore two children, you thought she was slutty, well she’s still slutty. And if before, you thought she was hot, she’s still hot — Francesca would give two eye-teeth to look like her, only Francesca would still wear clothes over the bra– she’s just hot in the way a woman is hot when she is a little older than she was 4 years ago, and has had 2 children, but works out all the time and has lucky genes and is still really, really hot.

She’s certainly not fat, as some of her former fans, mostly teenage boys who want Britney to be 17 forever, insist.

But Francesca brings this up not to excoriate the teenage boys with their unrealistic and unkind comments about the curvy body. No, Francesca wishes to use Britney’s train-wreck performance as an example of the difference between between being mediocre and being on top of one’s game, regardless of one’s weight.

The problem is not that Britney has gained weight. The problem is that here she is supposed to be entertaining us, either with her singing (hah!) or her dancing (that’s what we want), or both (but we’d settle for good dancing and semi-realistic lip-synching). Instead of entertaining us, though, she went onstage and walked around a little (is it Francesca’s imagination or does poor Britney look like she’s taking tiny steps so she won’t fall over in the high heels?) and did a few gyrations while standing in place. Francesca is sorry, but Britney Spears did not build her empire by lip-synching and moving at 5 miles per hour. She built her empire by being one of the most talented, precise, enthusiastic dancers anywhere. She cannot rebuild it by performing like this:

Francesca submits that, had Britney been dancing her tushy off, had she acted like she was sincerely excited to be at the VMA and having fun, had she come prepared and put in the sort of effort and sweat that made her famous, fans would have been pleased no matter what her tummy looks like now. And Francesca submits that when the talent and effort are not there, it makes no difference how sculpted is the body.

Let this be a lesson to us: A gorgeous, sluttily-dressed body can never make up for mediocrity. And: curvy women can get away with a little bit of lumpy-squishies here and there when we are confident, happy, enjoying ourselves, and giving off positive vibes.


  1. How sad is it to be outclassed and out-entertained by sloths eating leaves? I could watch those sloths forever…but three cups of coffee couldn’t keep me awake for that lackluster Britney performance.

    I’ve never been a fan, but I always did have to say that Ms. Spears was a talented and energetic dancer. This was just sad.

    Comment by Twistie — September 11, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

  2. I completely agree and it’s been bugging me to see so many people commenting about her weight. Brittney has a lovely body and if she’d worn a touch more than her bra and underwear and danced like she meant it people would have been raving instead of making fun of her. Heck even if she’d just gone out in her bra and panties and performed like we know she could she would have been fine. I feel sorry for the poor woman. She’s obviously not in a very good place.

    Comment by Kimocean — September 11, 2007 @ 2:16 pm

  3. I feel a bit sorry for her because she is obviously not happy (and her hair extensions could use some help), but her body looked just fine. If anything, I think she looks better now than she did at 18.

    And the sloths in that video are cute.

    Comment by JaneC — September 11, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

  4. I think an even bigger issue than her lack of preperation, energy, stage presence and soberity during the actual performance was the outfit itself. You can look good at any size, sure, but that doesn’t mean any outfit will look good on any size. And if you don’t have a flat tummy, say from having two kids in the last three years, maybe a bikini isn’t the stage costume of choice when performing in front of a multinational audience. Moreso when you were once known for having perhaps the most perfect abs in hollywood.

    From what I’ve read elsewhere, MTV had an outfit all set for her, which she said wasn’t “sexy” enough. The sequined thing was her idea. She brought it from home.

    Comment by Kelly — September 11, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

  5. Yes! Awesome point of view.

    Comment by Tracy M — September 11, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

  6. I’m in complete agreement that that spectacle was sad. She is, however, not at all fat. She was acting like a drunk 23 year old at a Karaoke bar pretending to be Britney Spears. How sad for her that she’s become a bad caricature of herself.

    Comment by TNBelle — September 11, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

  7. It is my understanding that she heard some extremely nasty comments from some bitchy commentator before going out to perform, and that some of the comments were aimed, not at Ms. Spears, but her children. Regardless of preparedness or anything ingested, I submit that that, potentially, could have had a significant effect on the “confident, happy, enjoying ourselves, and giving off positive vibes” aspect of her performance.

    I hope she has the opportunity to pull herself together. Primarily it does seem as if the main problem, for which few people (and no men) can forgive her is that she isn’t fifteen anymore. My (EX)husband used to say to me, “…when you get back in shape …” (apply where needed; this referred to a time when I was 17). Well, there was a point when I was working out like an Olympic contender, three to eight hours a day (before things started breaking). I was down to a muscular size 4; and what did he say? This isn’t the shape I was expecting.

    Comment by La BellaDonna — September 11, 2007 @ 6:36 pm

  8. “A gorgeous, sluttily-dressed body can never make up for mediocrity”
    Well said!

    Comment by Jennfactor — September 11, 2007 @ 10:14 pm

  9. Did Brit look fat? No. Did that outfit flatter her shape? As much as a bikini can, yeah. Would I still kill to look like that when I’m at the beach? Oh yeah. But national television?? Methinks you have lost your mind.

    Comment by the unfashionista — September 11, 2007 @ 10:26 pm

  10. I totally agree too, and it should be noted that a lot of the women were not skinny, and they were very entertaining. Like Alicia Keys – okay, her outfit for her musical number was not the best (that belt was in exactly the wrong spot and I know this because I too have a round behind and big thighs), but she rocked it and looked very sexy because she was confident and talented. Anyhow, she’s beautiful. And Nelly Furtado also has the hip/thigh problem and she always dresses like an idiot, but again, talent makes her sexy. (Well, she’s blessed with natural beauty too it’s always fighting with her clothes.)

    Anyhow, Britney is not fat. Drunk, badly dressed, a little dirty, ill prepared, and maybe dumb but not fat.

    Comment by cristina — September 12, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

  11. Britney needed a hairclip. I couldn’t concentrate on her slow, unenthusiastic performance because I was too busy watching her push her weave behind her ears every 15 seconds.

    Comment by Never teh Bride — September 12, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

  12. I feel bad for Britney (and her kids – to have to start your life in the glare of all this negative attention). celebrities DO get a raw deal…especially someone who became a pin-up when she was fifteen. That’s gotta lead to maladjustment. Even on my worst day, at least I don’t have the entire world looking at my waistline to see if I’ve had too many snacks. I just don’t think most of these child stars have anyone to guide them, the parents are off spending the money their little cash cow made.
    I’m pulling for her, I hate to see people take shots at a sitting duck. Can’t believe MTV put her on when she has been so unstable just to reel in more viewers who might want to see a live train wreck.

    Comment by Danielle — September 12, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

  13. I think this theory has to confront one major problem. People who did not see the actual show were nevertheless repulsed by the still photos of her on stage. Of course, stills don’t show whether she was moving well or just in a zombie trance. They do, however, show that (sorry, but it’s the truth) she had no business wearing that outfit if she didn’t want embarrass herself on national television.
    That’s not to say that she’s fat, as that term is normally used in the general population. But she’s too fat for *that* getup. So are most healthy American women.

    Comment by Hmm — September 12, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

  14. Britney is not “fat” – but she is too tubby to be wearing that outfit or to be a hard-bodied dancer. which is what she is supposed to be. If she were a good singer she could gain another 50lbs and still be viable (though I suspect a lot of it would go to chins, so maybe not – she does not have great facial bone structure). Jennifer Hudson is quite pretty and a great singer – she’s a good entertainer. Britney, however, is a mediocre singer at best, so is she cannot be a hard-bodied, athletic dancer, she’s got nothing. The sad thing is that with 6 months of good nutrition, dance and other exercise she could be there again. She won’t be as skinny as when she was 17, but she could be toned, which she most certainly is not at the moment.

    Comment by Canoehead — September 14, 2007 @ 12:01 am

  15. Awwww… the sloth is CUTE!!!

    Comment by jj — September 14, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

  16. Britney is not fat. She is bloated, lethargic and out of shape. What I criticize her for is her appalling attitude. A lot of people worked hard to get her on the stage that night – agents, managers, choreographers, backup dancers, production staff, etc. They, along with her fans, deserved a hell of a lot more than she gave.

    If she’d gotten in better condition (quitting smoking would be a good start), rehearsed like the performance mattered, rocked her short hair and worn a flattering outfit, every celeb magazine would have her on the cover with variations on the headline “She’s back! Watch out, K-Fed!” She had lots of support, people ready to make her look and sound her best. She has no one to blame but herself for the debacle.

    Comment by Chicklet — September 15, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

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    Comment by Blog Comment Poster — September 22, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

  18. Glad to see someone is staying on top of things.

    Comment by — September 30, 2007 @ 3:59 am

  19. Hey!…Man i just love your blog, keep the cool posts comin..holy Friday

    Comment by Nelly Furtado American Music Awards — October 19, 2007 @ 7:06 pm

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