Abstract

Abstract:

This essay examines vacillating affective responses to pop star Britney Spears. I juxtapose Spears's career ascent as a teen queen from the rural American South to her career descent into "white trash" rebellious adulthood. I contend that Spears exposes the cracks in the celebrity system: while it promises transformation to ordinary people, it treats cruelly those who fail to transform into the "right" kind of celebrity. In Spears's case, she was chastised as a working-class woman from the rural South who could never rise above her roots. Ultimately, Spears's "failure" became an individualized shame, which reifies a celebrity system built on neoliberal, bourgeois ideals of transformation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 72-94
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-18
Open Access
No
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