Porn for Kids

At her recent Miami show, Britney Spears encouraged her young fans to embrace their inner sleaze

Britney Spears brought her megabudget Onyx Hotel spectacle to the American Airlines Arena on Sunday, March 28, to the high-decibel screams of what appeared to be thousands of teenage girls. The lovelies were prepared for their idol. Brace-face smiles sparkled with glitter makeup. High-heeled stringbean legs awkwardly slinked around in tiered miniskirts. Bellybuttons saw the light of the moon and flat chests held up halter tops.

Golden girl Britney represents everything these young fans want to be: curvaceous, bold women with the wonder twin power to be sex kittens while simultaneously projecting ice queendom. She's a goddess who can stand her ground in a vinyl bodice, yet play the ingenue when it behooves her. A princess carried by a band of nubile lingerie-clad freaks who she can call "my dancers."

That's power, and Britney is a superhero.

With this tour it's evident she wants to show the wild side to her audience. A night's stay at her Onyx Hotel involves sultry dancers gyrating in "naked" bodysuits, a boy and a girl in underwear dramatically masturbating on his-and-her beds, and our glitzy diva French-kissing a boy toy in a tongue-wrestling match that would make Madonna salivate. But despite the flash of skin and the big-ticket technical effects, Britney's sleepover at the Onyx smacks of a Motel 6 hoe-down.

It's cheap.

Everything looks recycled. In song after song, she was choreographed in a pyramid formation, busting moves and kicking, jiggling around and shaking her hair to a "five, six, seven, eight" count reminiscent of Flashdance or Solid Gold. Every song has a "break down."

The nadir came when an androgynous clown narrator told a girl in the audience that he knew she wasn't from Miami because "Your tits are real ... real small!" At this point I began to hate Britney for endorsing a "small tit" joke in an arena full of prepubescent girls, creatures who by their nature have deep-seated issues about breast size. It felt cold, childish, and mean-spirited.

Still her adoring fans didn't seem to mind. Rows upon rows of girls could be seen and heard singing along with their heroine and breaking into dance combinations. Their screams never fully subsided and occasionally a high-pitched "Go Britney" could be heard through the din. The lip-synching pop princess just can't go wrong with her minions as long as she hits her marks and flips her hair on cue.

One has to wonder what the purpose of Britney's "grown-up" show is all about. If she wanted to be fierce, she should have embraced her inner bitch. Instead she ruined whatever edgy effect the costumes and choreography created for her might have provided by continuously preening for the audience, like the homecoming queen everybody loves to hate, and repeating, "Thank you. No, really, thank you," and "You're a great audience."

The stay at the Onyx shows she's not ready to detox from her Mousketeer-ness. The only hope she has for attaining legendary pop culture status is to pull a Marianne Faithfull. Hook up with the rudest, baddest rock and roller, develop a nasty addiction, and emerge from rehab gravelly voiced and with a lot of venom to spout like Faithfull did on her riveting 1979 classic, Broken English.

Maybe then Britney will have soul.

 
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