Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Britney Spears at VMAs: The Modern-Pop Definition of 'Statuesque'

From Spencer Kornhaber, at The Atlantic, "Lady Gaga and Britney Spears Share a Surreal Moment at the MTV VMAs." Here's the kicker:

The two almost kissed, and then broke off at the last moment. But Gaga kept leering, standing uncomfortably close to Britney as she attempted to give a barely felt acceptance speech. What's more, Britney had to simultaneously thank the world and introduce the next performer, Beyonce Knowles. It was a moment of weird indignity for Spears: a younger star awkwardly hogging the spotlight, a roughly contemporary diva waiting in the wings to take the stage.

But the optics of the things were the most striking. Britney, at 29, remains sturdily, conventionally beautiful. Outfitted in boots and a short but glamorous black dress, she appeared the modern-pop definition of "statuesque." And then there was Gaga as Calderone: blonde hair replaced by dark mop, her features elfin and unspectacular, her get-up shapeless and drab, her stature tiny. By pairing the two for a kind of lifetime achievement award, MTV was necessarily asking us to contrast the women. Gaga, it seemed, had picked out her shtick for the night in part to play up that contrast. And why not? With her endless parade of costume changes and her guilt-free lyrical message, Gaga's obsessed with remaking standards of beauty and achievement so that they're set by individuals, not establishments. She's the incredible, cross-dressing, anti-Britney.
Video at the link, in case this one gets yanked.

RELATED: At London's Daily Mail, "What a difference four years makes: Britney Spears gets her sparkle back as she returns to scene of THAT awful MTV performance."