2008 may very well be shaping up as the year of the tragic diva for me. I find myself falling into what I will call the Kelly k-hole, but this time it's even more insidious. This time it's for keeps. Kelly Clarkson was having a hard time last July, but Britney and Hillary have been having hard times for a long, long, long time.
I believe that 2008 may be both Hillary and Britney's most successful years yet if they can just get out of their own ways.
My mother will delight in telling you about how in 1992, when I was twelve and Bill and Hill were settling into the White House, I was as sure as I had ever been in my short life that I wanted to be Hillary Clinton when I grew up. I pleaded with my mother to take me to a Methodist Church. In case you didn't know, Hillary Clinton is a Methodist. I was determined to become a lawyer because Hillary was a lawyer. Actually, Hillary was one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America - a fact that I delighted in sharing with anyone who would listen. I was convinced that underneath her ever changing (almost as if in response to polling data) hairstyle was not only a great mind, but also a compassionate one. My mind hasn't changed even though Hillary is having a hard year and I would bet she doesn't even recognize who she has become since her failed attempts to pass universal healthcare for me, my mother and you. You may hate her, but she did push this idea that most of us are on board with long before it became trendy.
My love affair with Britney Spears started a little later and was a lot more surprising. About the time that Britney's Pepsi commercial that featured Bob Dole first started airing, I become obsessed with her stomach. I was one hundred percent certified scared-of-naked-girls gay (at the time). But, for some reason her stomach was like the sun. I wanted to be in its presence as frequently as possible and my mood improved just by knowing it was there. I didn't even really like her music with the notable exceptions of profoundly inspiring breakup anthem "Stronger."
If I am totally honest, maybe I just wanted to be that chair.
My point, and I do have one, is that we should all maybe be a little less hard on Britney and Hillary. I would imagine that both women don't recognize themselves when they look in the mirror. I am so convinced that neither of them meant to be exactly who they are now and had no idea the price that getting to where they are would have the impact on them that it has. Hillary Clinton seems tired and that may very well be the most electable thing about her right now as evidenced by the now famous "crying episode."
I guess I would argue that success of any sort may have a higher cost for women than it does for men. Vote for Hillary or don't vote for Hillary - buy Britney's surprisingly inspired album or don't buy it - either way maybe we could all resolve to be a little less hard on these two women. Both of them had a busy and tiring 2007 and both of them are starting to show the strain around their eyes and their growing waistlines.
Ultimately, I guess I am trying to say that if Hillary could win New Hampshire even though the polls, the pundits, and even Bill Clinton didn't think she could, then maybe, just maybe, Britney will have a better year in 2008. In order for that to happen, she just might have to rethink her current "I am too hot for clothes" approach and Hillary should dump the tired Celine Dion theme song and use Britney's new "Piece of Me." Clearly at least New Hampshire was sure that they wanted a piece of her.