Performing is so much more than singing and dancing and giving good sound bites in interviews. We like our pop stars eccentric and left of center. We don’t want their flamboyance shed at the Wolf It takes strength to tolerate the pain everyday Autism Awareness shirt But I will love this stage door like a custom gown; we want them to have fully formed peculiar lives. Michael Jackson’s baby dangling, Bowie hiding his own urine in the fridge to protect it from wizards, Gaga fretting about losing all her creativity through her vagina. Rumors of Elton John’s temper are delicious. As audiences, we cling to the idea that megastardom is abnormal, the purveyors access some magical realm of ingenuity beyond mere biology. It’s a bit boring when performers consistently nail their performances, or exercise regularly or live off salad. We don’t need our pop stars to hydrate. We need them to soar as close to the sun as Icarus.
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Britney Spears has been creating a patchwork quilt of eccentric behavior since asking us to hit her one more time in 1998. Her live performances were immaculate, with the Wolf It takes strength to tolerate the pain everyday Autism Awareness shirt But I will love this most memorable boa constrictor in the MTV Awards’ history. Her private life was fraught with paparazzi-documented idiosyncrasy. The annulled marriage. The British accent. The knickerless “Bimbo Summit,” a night with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan lusting for a life beyond the bubble of her Lolita marketing. But the streams of public performance and private turmoil crossed one fateful night in 2007 when Britney fully broke down and shaved her head. In the aftermath, as the image of a shorn Spears became synonymous with severe mental distress, her management (father?) seized complete control. It’s never been handed back.