It has been a long and interesting journey for Britney Spears. She started out as a member of the iconic Mickey Mouse club and after a life that some would envy, she’s become a Smurf. It’s as though she is going back to her roots. A simpler time in her career where she supported a cartoon character and didn’t have all the hassle of stardom and the paparazzi. We have put the video to Ooh La La down at the bottom of this article for your enjoyment.
But Britney has grown up, if you doubt it, look at her two boys, Preston and Jayden, who appear with their superstar mom in her latest video. Titled Ooh La-La, it features Britney with her two lads apparently watching the new Smurfs 2 sequel in the cinema.
Just as Britney says, “This is the best bit,” the on-screen villain shoots a magic bolt at his on-screen foe. The bolt misses its target completely and “zaps” Spears and transports her into the film. Her two sons gleefully watch this new interesting turn of events and one of them waves cutely at the screen and says, “Hi mom.”
Ms Spears is providing the voice for one of the characters in the new film and it’s a bit ironic that after her long “independent” career with all its up and downs and her spectacular, very public, meltdown that saw her cutting off all of her hair and exposing a lot more of herself that her old pal Mickey Mouse would have approved of, she’s now back in the land of children’s entertainment.
Besides making male, and female, hearts race with her first hits like …Baby One More Time and Oops I Did It Again, she moved rapidly into the public’s consciousness with a mixture of being the girl next door who oozed sexuality from her every pore.
That she was still really “the girl next door” could be seen in her interviews, where she exhibited an endearing naivety and country charm underneath all that “healthy” sexuality. These were not things that she learned at Uncle Mickey’s knee, it was already a part of the young girl who was busy building a faithful following of fans.
Fans, who have not deserted her and stood by her while she re-shaped her career goals and learned how to deal the the day-to-day pressures of stardom.
What is fascinating about the 31 year-old singer is her influence over younger artists the world over. While Britney has always said that Janet Jackson and Madonna were her biggest influences as a girl, other artists from as far away as Korea have listed Spears as their main role model and someone that they aspire to be like.
Even the pop star’s public meltdown had its influencing factors. Gwyneth Paltrow said that her performance in the 2010 film Country Strong was in fact inspired by Spears’ tragic and very public downward slide to rock bottom.
But she has recovered. She has learned that even stars cry and that the (self-confessed) lack of freedom that her stardom enforced on her personal life can be overcome. Britney has spent more time than perhaps any other pop star on her image. An image born on the Mickey Mouse Club show and then honed throughout her early career and her re-creation of her image and her style. A style that now has a blue tinge to it as she voices a Smurf.
It is Britney’s image that has made her the star that she is. Image in the Spears’ camp is more important than vocal range or ability. If the star is one of those singers who is guilty of “lip-synching” her songs in concert, it is mainly done so that her overall performance is spectacular. Britney Spears concentrates on the image that she portrays, not just her singing talent.
Which brings us to the Smurf 2 film. With Britney being the mother of two boys, who are at the age that they still enjoy the Smurfs and she wants her image to be one that her children can like and respond to. She’s changed her focus from being the Britney Spears that the world knows and recognises to being the Britney Spears who is mother who cares about how she appears to her children.
This move alone explains why she’s returned to her roots. She started out as a child on the Mickey Mouse Club and when that show was cancelled she changed her career path. She’s changed it back into the direction of childhood again with Smurfs 2, for her children. If you didn’t love Ms Spears before, this latest action of hers will surely make you fall in love with her now. Watch the Smurfs video and see if you don’t agree!
By Michael Smith