Not since Samson has a haircut said so much, said Tanika White in the Baltimore Sun. Last week, less than 24 hours into her stint at a drug rehab facility, former teen pop star Britney Spears checked out and proceeded to a beauty salon in Tarzana, Calif. There, she grabbed some clippers and publicly shaved off all her locks. Weeping that her mother would be mad at her, she went to a nearby tattoo parlor to get some body art. Days later, Britney went into a swearing, raging fit in front of the paparazzi, bare dome and all, before checking into rehab again. Psychotherapists are still wondering what to make of it. 'œSome have called the spontaneous shearing a cry for help.' Others think it 'œmight indicate the onset of a nervous breakdown.'

Whatever it means, said Rebecca Traister in, Britney's disintegration is becoming 'œrapidly less funny.' Late-night comedians and a fascinated public are eating up her 'œsalacious narrative.' But this is still a real person—'œa classic angry teen who is mutilating herself and her body as a way to express anger.' Just why is she so angry? Think about it. 'œShe was a little girl plucked out of Louisiana, dressed in school uniforms, and told to swing her hips and pout.' Her Lolita act made her the biggest sex symbol of the age, and racked up tens of millions in record and concert sales. But then she had a quickie marriage to an old friend, got it annulled, and entered into an even more ill-considered marriage to Kevin Federline. While he ran around town, she had two babies in rapid succession, and got chubby and sloppy. No longer a fantasy object, 'œshe was unceremoniously tossed back to the trailer park.' In recent months, the fallen star has been tramping around town without her underwear, partying her way into vomiting incoherence, then making 'œ5 a.m. phone calls about what venues might still be open.'

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us