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February 22, 2007

Celebrities in the Sty

As I was jogging at the gym the other day, the news flashed yet another notice about Britney Spears's latest buzz--shaving her head. The announcer followed with a statement along the lines of "Research has shown that celebrities are actually more insecure and are on a path to self-destruction." The woman on the treadmill to the left of me chuckled a little as I felt a smile creeping to my own lips.

Britney's life, along with Brad Pitt's, Angelina Jolie's, Jennifer Aniston's, and Anna Nicole Smith's, has become a joke to us--a soothing balm in the grocery store line that reminds us that no matter how awful we may be feeling, at least we don't make out with Madonna and shave our heads.

But I (and I'm sure you can relate) have struggled with the correct response to People magazine's latest headline. Britney has made a mockery of herself, but does that give me the liberty to make a fool of her as well?

David Kuo has a better approach:

Now there is this runaway, this breakdown, the shaved head, the tattoos, the parties and the presumed drugs. And it all makes me wonder if the lost, little girl who now has two little boys isn’t trying to do whatever she can to get back to who she once was. I wonder if she’s looked at the pictures of her onstage kissing Madonna and writhing around on the floor and felt much as the prodigal son felt when he found himself lying in a pig sty. Britney’s sty may be different – more luxe and less slop – but the self-loathing, hopeless destination is the same. They both reached the end of the of the glam road and discovered it looked a lot like hell.

For the son there came the conclusion that his father’s house would give him a better chance at life even if the father he had once shunned no longer loved him. So he went home to confess and ask for forgiveness. He was greeted with a party; a party to celebrate his life.

For Britney now there is a trip to rehab; a trip to rehab with a newly tattooed cross on her left hip. And there is the prayer that as she goes into rehab that she might remember a simple faith that she once had in a man named Jesus and that she might return to him and find that he is waiting to welcome the little girl back and throw her the kind of party she has really been looking for.

Before we cast the first stone, I wonder if we ought to look in the mirror and see what slop is in our sty. And, instead of picking up that next issue of Us, say a prayer for Britney, and countless others, that they would run back to the Father who is waiting for them with a glorious feast.

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"...struggled with the correct response to People magazine's latest headline"?

What headline? It always amazes me how Christians are infatuated with the latest tabloid headlines about the world's idols.

Greg Laurich

It's not just people, stuff like this is everywhere. On the news, the internet etc.. Just look at the train wreck that was Anna Nicoles tragic life and death.

Also isn't a bit presumptious to think that Christians aren't people too? Some of them even subscribe to People or they read them while on break at work. I see Britany and I feel very badly for this poor lost girl with 2 kids and a life that has spun totally out of control.

I wouldn't wish that kind of chaos on anyone...


I must say that, though I have zero interest in the lives of celebrities, it is *impossible* to escape the headlines. They are *everywhere.* Drudge is our homepage. There was no escaping the picture of Britney's shaving. I'd *never* buy the mags in the checkout line, but certainly can't help my eye falling on them as I walk past.

I have had the same sense of urgency lately, to pray for people like Paris Hilton, Britney, et al. I really do feel pity for them. I think your impulse to shy away from mockery or a false sense of superiority is right on.


I was never a fan of hers, but I find myself moved to Pity.

She has suffered so much. She had no normal childhood, and was raised like prized poodle, she married her childhood sweetheart, only to have her mother force her to get an annulment and then 'marry' a man that her mother thought would be a good career move for her.

It is no wonder that she's been so damaged. We should pray for her. Not mock her, or make ourselves feel better about ourselves by looking down on her. She isn't at that place of promoting immorality any more, she is instead, pretty close to rock bottom.


Greg wrote, "...I wouldn't wish that kind of chaos on anyone..."

I certainly would not, either. Where did you see someone doing such?

I am still amazed at Christians whose energies are expended on vicarious suffering with Hollywood tragedies, and am remided of this--

Recently THE POINT had this quote from C. S. Lewis:

...It is one of the evils of rapid diffusion of news that the sorrows of all the world come to us every morning. I think each village was meant to feel pity for its own sick and poor whom it can help and I doubt if it is the duty of any private person to fix his mind on ills which he cannot help. (This may even become an escape from the works of charity we really can do to those we know).


Greg Laurich

Michael I was simply commenting on the chaos many stars seem to live with every day. I don't spend much time worrying about Britiany et al, but when I do see things in the news like this, it saddens me.

herman greenstein

...no wonder the book "Hollywood Babylon". maybe more people out there in Neverland should read it.

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