These have to be some of the most fascinating magazine covers I have seen all year. Britney's role in popular culture has always intrigued me, particularly after her epic public breakdown. Like Marilyn Monroe before her, Britney is a tragic figure who was built up by the public around her only to be sacrificed later on, a sort of a sacrificial virgin. I think the way Britney is represented on these covers both reinforce and feed into this image. On one cover, she is a subservient bride, passively looking up to the viewer with her piercing sad eyes that shield her inner emotional turmoil. She is sweetly and saccharinely smiling, but the grin is forced and fake. Her tousled hair and dissheveled appearance--which is very similar to the way that Britney appears in public nowadays-- suggest that all is not as it may appear to be. On the other cover, she takes on the role of the teenage sex bomb, a role she so perfectly embodied when she first arrived on the pop scene more than 10 years ago. In a way, she is playing her former self. In addition, she does not have the same dead look here as she does on the first cover. On this cover, she looks more sultry than sedated. She coquettishly ogles and teases the viewer much like she did on her infamous Rolling Stone cover. In my opinion, the two covers sum up Britney's life in two different images which, when combined, tell a consecutive story. Britney started off as the teenage sex-bomb, but then was eventually forced to become the subservient (sacrificial) bride by the world around her.
I am probably reading too much into this, but I really do think the mise-en-scene and costumes invite some sort of interpretation that goes beyond the whole Japanese schoolgirl theme. Britney was specifically chosen for these covers for a reason and the way she is depcited, in my opinion, was carefully thought out. These images actually remind me of Warhol's garishly colored paintings of Marilyn Monroe (particularly the use of tacky, kitschy aesthetics and also the fact that Britney, who is sort of a modern day Marilyn, is the one being depicted), which, of course, commented on Monroe's own role as an icon and a tragic figure. Maybe the Warhol paintings served as some sort of inspiration?
"The only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest really comes from it." Diana Vreeland
Last edited by vavavinny; 24-08-2010 at 09:44 PM.