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article imageOp-Ed: Weighing In on Britney

By Mr Garibaldi     Feb 10, 2008 in Entertainment
How much is too much media exposure? Do photographers go too far in looking for the "perfect picture?" What will it take for the celebrity crazy public to realize that they have lives of their own, and don't have to go into every aspect someone else's?
I don't do "celebrity" pieces. They aren't my thing. I'm not a celebrity follower. That doesn't mean I don't have an opinion from time to time on what I see going on in the media.
Britney Spears is one of the most over-exposed woman in today's media, in my opinion. I'm not talking about the clothes that she wears. I'm not talking about the clothes she doesn't wear. I'm talking about the media exposure.
The media is literally going to kill her. With her release, again, from U.C.L.A Medical Center earlier this week, I've decided that I'm going to officially weigh in on the situation.
Britney Spears, removed from her home to a psychiatric ward on Jan. 31 after repeated bizarre behavior, was released on Wednesday, prompting her parents to complain that “her life is presently at risk,” The Associated Press reported.
According to People magazine, her release was connected to the involvement of a court representative, in direct conflict with the wishes of her parents and the recommendations of the doctor in charge of her care.
How much of someones life is open to public scrutiny? How much is too much? When we look back at the lives of such figures as Princess Dianna, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe, we see individuals who had become so famous, so successful as media icons, that they had to literally run from the public in order to have one moment's peace and privacy.
Running still didn't help them.
Elvis Presley had to rent out the entire theme park, Libertyland, in Memphis so that he and his family and friends could go to the park together and spend a day out. The park would be closed to the public on those days. It still didn't keep the media away. They would use high powered lenses to take pictures of the King and company in the park. I remember other pictures that I would see of him doing other things to escape the crowds. Graceland was constantly under siege of people standing outside the gates and walls trying to get a glimpse of the King. Even at his death, hundreds of thousands of people made a pilgrimage to Memphis to line the streets and bear witness to the final journey of his body back for burial at Graceland. The Enquirer paid a huge fee for photographs of Elvis in his casket as he lay in state before he was buried.
Graceland remains the most heavily visited spot in Memphis today, still.
Princess Dianna never met a camera that didn't love her. In her life, she was literally the most photographed woman in the world. From the time of the announcement of her engagement to Prince Charles until her tragic and untimely death, the Princess was constantly and consistently hounded by camera flashes. No aspect of her life was left to her for herself. I honestly don't see how she was able to maintain her sanity.
Marilyn Monroe. What more is there to say? Norma Jean was the subject of notoriety and the thrill of the hunt by photographers looking for the "perfect picture" of Monroe in her most private and intimate moments. Throw in her marriages and her affair with John F. Kennedy and that was even more fuel to the fire and frenzy of media over attention. Elton John even addressed the lack of respect paid to Monroe by the media after her death in his song, Candle in the Wind, with the words, "Even when you died, oh the press still hounded you. All the papers had to say was that Marilyn was found in the nude."
And still we learn nothing, the photographers, the press, the media at large, learn absolutely nothing from the lessons of the past. It wasn't enough that Dianna was killed in a car wreck as she was fleeing a feeding frenzy of paparazzi. It won't be enough when Britney has her final collapse. The cameras will catch every second of it, and the public will eat it up, picture by picture, demanding more.
From her mouseketeer days to her up-skirt pantiless shots climbing out of a car while she partied with the other "poptarts" to her ride to the hospital and release from it this past week, it's all been captured on film. And it doesn't seem to show any signs of slowing down as Britney makes that slow, spiralling journey into the abyss.
I personally feel sorry for her that she's not being allowed the breathing room to even have the chance to try to back up and regroup.
And now I have weighed in on Britney. Needless to say, other than this piece, there won't be another Britney piece by me. I would truly hope that others would follow suit and let her have a little space before she completely loses her mind, and possibly her life.
More about Briteny spears, Elvis presley, Princess diana
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