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&39;I blame showbiz mum for Britney&39;s breakdown&39;

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Some people blame the media for the sad decline of Britney Spears, while others put it down to wealth and the lifestyle that invariably comes with success, but me, I blame her mother, Lynne Spears.

In a relatively short period of time, Britney Spears has gone from the world's most popular, sweet and endearing musical darling to the world's most dysfunctional and mentally unstable celebrity.

The last year has seen Britney engage in bottom-baring, vagina-flashing, head-shaving, driving without a licence, nightclub collapsing, skirmishes with paparazzi, rumours of substance abuse, stand-offs with police and various other erratic endeavours.

On a recent car-shopping expedition, Britney opted to don the white lacy dress she wore for her wedding to Kevin Federline. Recent reports suggest that she is converting to Islam so that she can marry her boyfriend of only a month -- British photographer Adnan Ghalib. Last week, Britney turned up hours late to a custody hearing, thereby prolonging an order suspending her right to visit her two young sons Sean Preston and Jayden James. Last Wednesday, the American media went into overdrive at the news that she had written suicide notes. While on Thursday, she was spotted shopping for a pregnancy test.

God only knows how this sorry tale will ultimately play out. Yet, despite all this, the woman who brought Britney into the world and who devoted herself to her career is nowhere to be seen.

The root of Britney's problem is that, thanks to her useless excuse for a mother, she has never known normality, or ordinary living -- she is, without question, a by-product of her upbringing.

Prepped and groomed from an alarmingly young age by her mother to be a star, Britney has spent most of her life to date as a permanent spectacle and curiosity, her every word and move scrutinised ad nauseum. By being propelled prematurely into the harsh Hollywood spotlight, Britney hasn't been allowed to grow up as a normal child..

When Britney was three, Lynne Spears had signed her up for dance classes, singing lessons and beauty pageants.

Who will ever forget the MTV clip of a very young but nonetheless precocious Britney competing in a talent show, belting out a tune, bedecked in a frilly frock, sporting gallons of make-up and a bouffant hairstyle?

Aged eight, Britney had an agent and at the impressionable age of 11 she had a regular slot on the Mickey Mouse Show. Aged 15, she, along with her mother, moved to New York to pursue proper stardom.

At the height of Britney's stardom, her pretty girl-next-door looks, toned, tanned physique and cleverly contrived cutesy, wholesome personality made her the envy of everyone. Women wanted to be her, men wanted to be with her.

Nowadays, however, she cuts a disturbing figure. Her career as a singer has floundered, she looks lost, worn-out, troubled and worst of all -- alone. To be famous and to survive in the notoriously tough, fickle world of Hollywood, you need a strong, solid and close-knit family unit, one which keeps you grounded and on the right path -- something young Spears is sadly lacking.

Personally, I feel nothing but sympathy for Britney. In fact, I find it all quite tragic. Losing custody of your two young children must be the most heartbreaking experience for any woman to have to go through.

Just because she's famous, doesn't mean she is beyond feeling and heartbreak.

The dethroned Princess of Pop is a potent example of what can happen when you experience too much fame, too young, because shoving children into the spotlight sows the seeds for a very difficult life ahead.

But you'd think having experienced what a life spent in the limelight can do for one child, Lynne Spears would act responsibly to prevent such a thing happening to her younger daughter. Not so, unfortunately.

In recent weeks, Britney's little sister Jamie Lynn has been riding the fame rollercoaster that invariably comes with scandal; in her case, it's getting pregnant at the tender age of 16.

And surprise, surprise, the world's worst stage mother, Lynne Spears, seems to be fronting the publicity charge to earn as much money and gain as much exposure out of an unfortunate situation.

What right-thinking mother, upon hearing the news of her teenage daughter's unplanned pregnancy, chooses, almost immediately, to flog her story to the highest bidding rag?

It's a mother's role to protect her offspring from unsavoury entities, not to shove himher in harm's way.

But Britney Spears is not the only example of how living a life in the spotlight plants a seed of destruction, because the trend of child stars imploding dates back for decades -- think Judy Garland, River Phoenix, Macaulay Culkin, Michael Jackson and Drew Barrymore, to name but a few.

A recently aired programme detailing America's 'pushiest parents' made for disturbing viewing. The mothers, in particular, were clearly using their offspring to fulfill at a remove their own failed ambitions and dreams.

By sending their precocious children to beauty pageants, talent competitions and movie castings, they were essentially setting them up for failure and disappointment at an age in which they're too young to cope with it.

In Britney's case, her mother's doggedness did pay off, she did become a superstar and has earned an ever-increasing fortune, but, as the world is currently witnessing, that success has come at a massive price.

She believed there was no hope for herself or for Ciara, she explained to them. She planned they both would die

Due to an unforeseen set of circumstances -- largely drink related, it must be said -- this column has managed to miss most of this year's Big Brother, which has been morphed into the rather more cumbersome Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack.

A horrendous case has come to light in Britain involving twins who were separated at birth, met as adults, married one another and only then discovered that they are brother and sister. You can only imagine how traumatic that was. The marriage has since been annulled.



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Article publication date: 14 Germinal Ray80 (20 Jan 2008)


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