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What has Britney Spears taught us?

by Lauren Cartwright

We all learn lessons from the people around us ‘— parents, mentors, religious leaders’… Britney Spears? After watching the ‘“Dateline’” Britney special with Matt Lauer last Thursday, I realize that we can all learn a few things from the former pop princess.

Britney has taught me that my mother was definitely right about two things: chewing gum makes you look like a horse in public and you should never let them see you cry.

During the interview Britney was chomping her gum so hard I thought I was watching the Kentucky Derby. The tougher the question, the harder she chomped.

Lauer asks about her husband Kevin Federline, who left his pregnant girlfriend for her.

Britney: Chomp side gnaw smack chomp. ‘“Actually I didn’t know. I didn’t know till two months later.’” Smack chomp smack.

Was no one around to tell her to spit that wad out? Where’s her handler? Celebrities can’t think on their own, everyone knows that.

Then came the crying.

My mama was no fool: everyone looks horrible when they’re crying, particularly women in their seventh month of pregnancy. She looked like Rudolph, if Rudolph had the face of a Shar-Pei and wiped his nose with his hoof.

When you’re on prime time television, you’ve got to suck it up.

Hasn’t Brit ever seen that gleam in Barbara Walters’ eye when the biggest hardballers well up and blubber? Did she think Lauer was going to go easy on her? Hell no ‘— he’s still pissed about Katie Couric.

And let’s be honest: Our girl Brit really looked like crap.

Maybe her stylist got fired for eating the last Ho-Ho (never come between a pregnant woman and her chocolate). Brit’s greasy, bleach-blonde extensions ‘— I thought new moms needed low-maintenance hair ‘— hadn’t seen a brush in days. And I wanted to reach through the television screen myself and flick that lump of mascara off her eyelash.

Was this a ‘“VH1 Behind the Music’”? If so I was feeling it, especially when they kept rolling clips of ‘cute’ Britney, the teenager who introduced a generation of teenage boys to the capital vice of lust.

Maybe that’s why she was so emotional. I would be too if I realized what I once looked like in a red vinyl catsuit. The ‘“Dateline’” interview was more like ‘“Oops! I didn’t wash my hair.’”

And my favorite part of Britney’s knocked-up chic was the bra poking out of the tank top, straining to contain mommy’s mammaries. I’m sorry ‘— boobs go into a period of ‘not hot’ when they become functional as a feeding apparatus. The shirt also featured a sheer midsection. Nice. So if you weren’t sure she was pregnant, here’s a shot of her swollen womb, rich with incubation.

(And I’m not letting Lauer off the hook ‘— was that the sockless-loafer combo he was sporting with his jeans and sports coat? I hope his luggage got lost.)

Britney taught us that being a young, rich, married mom is tough. She spent a good ten years trying to be famous and now she wants to flip a switch and be ‘normal.’

Doesn’t she get it? She’ll never be able to drive down the highway with her 9 month old on her lap in peace? We’re still talkin’ ’bout ‘“what’chu talkin’ bout,’” and that guy hasn’t been famous for what ‘— 20 years? Get real, Brit. This is the wonderful, surreal, infamous life you always dreamed of. If it’s so hard for you to handle, then I could take a couple of those millions off your hands, and maybe you can get that tranquility you long for.

Lastly, Britney has reminded us that the difference between poor white trash and rich white trash is money. If Britney weren’t a pop star she would be doing about the same she is now ‘— pregnant for the second time in a year, defending a dirtbag husband who left his girlfriend with a two-month-old baby for her and making ill-advised wardrobe and makeup decisions.

She’d still be on television, chomping her gum, only she’d be explaining how she watched the satellite dish get ripped right off the side of her double-wide in the tornado. Or maybe she’d win the lottery and explain to Lauer how she’s ‘“gonna take that $100,000 and get myself a tummy tuck.’”

Either way, we’d still be watching her, learning from her mistakes and laughing, all the while glad we are not her.

To comment on this column, e-mail Lauren at lauren@yesweekly.com.

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