PLAY THAT FUNK-Y MUSIC, WHITE GIRL!
OK! magazine has Britney Spears
on its cover this week, proclaiming, "Britney’s new lover … yes, it’s a
woman!" The woman in question is her former assistant Shannon Funk,
featured in photos with Spears (including the one on the cover) swimming naked
in a pool. My favorite part is the subheading: "The troubled star searches
for comfort and attention in the arms of her female friends."
that’s just the kind of press bisexual women need. First Lindsay. Now Britney.
What’s next, revealing photos of Paris Hilton cavorting with Nicole Richie?
Between bisexual killers in the movies, promiscuous bisexuals on TV, and
tabloids constantly equating bisexuality with "troubled," is it any
wonder no one wants to identify as bi?
The magazine goes on to quote various anonymous sources saying
that Britney has been switch-hitting since she was 16, that she once hit on porn
star Jenna Jameson and is now dallying with Shannon. But Funk dismisses the photos
as harmless fun and says she’s not in a relationship with Britney, just that
"Britney needs constant reassurance of someone’s affection and is very
touchy-feely even if she likes someone. Brit loves the attention that comes
OK, sure. Whatever. But you better delete any incriminating MySpace messages before you get hacked. I’m just saying.
Although the "Britney is Bi!" story originated in the
tabloids, even mainstream media outlets have picked it up; TV shows Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight have both run pieces on it. ABC News
is using Britney’s "bisexual" exploits to lead off a three-page article entitled "Young
Women Defy Labels in Intimacy With Both Sexes"; the subheading
claims, "Bisexuals Take a ‘Flexible’ View and Don’t Follow a ‘Fixed Path,’ Say
Sexuality Experts." (It isn’t a bad attempt at exploring this topic for
a mainstream media outlet, but the two bisexual women they use as examples in
the piece both ended up with men — a little more balance would have been
This of course brings me to an exercise I like to call "Fun
with Headlines," which looks at how many different and creative ways the
news and gossip outlets can spin a story. Let’s take a look:
Britney just fooling or does she dig women? (MSNBC)
Britney’s topless lesbian fling (Daily Telegraph, Australia)
Spears Custody Bitchfight: ‘Lesbian Sex Pal’ Served (Hecklerspray)
"Lesbian Love In" (MTV UK)
Denies Setting Up Spears in Topless Pool Sting (ContactMusic.com)
I think that last one wins the "most sensationalistic" award for
managing to incorporate Britney’s name along with the words "topless"
Meanwhile, in other Britney news, the pop star graces the cover of Allure
magazine this month, looking like this:
Possible caption for this photo: Britney reaches out to her lesbian fans.
(Got a better one? Leave it in the comments.)