Sit down, honey. We gotta talk. Wanna Diet Mountain Dew and a piece of watermelon Bubblicious? Cheddar Ruffles and a Kool? Sure, Knock yourself out.
What happened, Britney? Once, you were the pubescent light of our lives, the lip-synching fire of our lions. Talentwise, we never confused you with Maria Callas, or even Maria Conchita Alonso, but you were sexy, precocious, and ambitious: Madonna meets JonBenet. You made a couple of good songs-we really like “I’m a Slave 4 U,” we didn’t care what anyone said-and you were America’s ranking pop princess. Britney versus Christina? Britney versus Christina was like Reagan versus Mondale.
But now we’re worried. Your reputation’s plunging faster than Courtney Love’s blood sugar. Your latest album was a disappointment. You canceled your summer tour because of a bum knee.
Your fifty-five-hour ex-husband squealed to the tabloids about hot Britney sex. While Christina was catwalking Dsquared in Milan, you were catwalking Cinnabons in Santa Monica. And you’re doing what you always do when you’re feelin’ down: You’re getting married.
You look sad, honey. We saw photos of you and your mom having a run-in with the paparazzi at a pet shop. You cried and your mascara ran so much you looked like Tammy Faye Baker watching Terms of Endearment . Michael Moore filleted you in Farenheit 9/11 , showing you saying, “Honestly I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes.” Good grief, Britney. Thinking like that got Monica Lewinsky a Montecristo between the thighs.
You know how bad it’s gotten, Britney? Here’s who’s hotter than you: Hoobastank.
And getting married isn’t going to solve anything. We’re sure this Kevin Federline is a sweet young man with a bright, bright future, but look at him. Baggy clothes, tilted baseball cap, permanent scowl-the George Clooney of the food court. We won’t even mention that K-Fed’s already a babydaddy or that he left his babymama for you with another baby on the way. We’ll let Jerry Springer sort that babydrama out. (Oh, and Kevin, Vanilla Ice called-he wants his sideburns back.)
To think we had all freaked out about Fred Durst…
We know what you’re thinking. We know you are only 22 and you’re entitled to make a 22-year-old’s mistakes. But when we were 22, our mistakes usually involved drinking Jack Daniel’s after pineapple pizza.
But this is GQ . We know how to give advice, and less than 75 percent of it is about ties. (Halfway down the belt buckle, K-Fed, in case you’re wondering.)
Here are some tips to get that career of yours back on track.
>> FOCUS ON MUSIC. Like your idol, Madonna, you’ve never done so well when you’ve branched out into other areas. That New York restaurant, Nyla? We ate there. Ducasse meets Denny’s. Your movie, Crossroads ? The best we can say is that it was no Kangroo Jack .
>> REINVENT YOURSELF. Now, Madonna knew about this one. No one thinks you should become, say, a singer, but it may not be a bad idea to recast your musical image. Maybe ditch the dance pop for acid rock, country, or crunk. You don’t even have to be convincing. Look at Ashlee Simpson-she’s now a punk rocker. Ashlee Simpson’s about as punk-rock as Lynne Cheney’s underwear drawer.
>> MAKEOVER! You knew this one was coming. Britney, we love ya, but sometimes you dress like one of those fine ladies we see on Cops , getting arrested for smoking methamphetamine in the 7-Eleven parking lot.
>> A NEW BOY. We know it’s in the poor taste, but we can’t resist. Here’s just a quick rundown of eligible bachelors we think may be good for you: Ben Affleck; Mike Piazza; Ralph Nader; Nathan Lane; that Senate-candidate guy in Chicago who blew it because of the sex clubs; John Stamos; David Lee Roth; David Gest; and our assistant editor Kevin-his parents have a Mercedes and let him drive it on weekends.
Britney, we want you to be happy. No one wants to see you train-wreck in your career and become the next Liz Taylor. (Okay maybe E! True Hollywood Story and Us Weekly wouldn’t mind.) We want you to rediscover that joy you had as a schoolgirl in kneesocks, singing Hit me baby, one more time, and discover there is life after teen pop.
After all, look who’s on the cover.
P.S. Yes, you can have one more piece of Bubblicious.