I'm not a celebrity gossip kind of person. I don't care who is dating whom or what is going on where, and I'm heartily sick of Paris Hilton. But, dang it, I was really really rooting for Britney at the VMAs. I wanted her to kick it old school, you know?
I didn't watch, didn't even know when it would be on, but then my hubby told me yesterday that Brit blew it (he was reading CNN online). So I went and read it. And viewed part of the disaster. OMG.
Yeah, I know she has more money than sense, and that she's been pretty privileged so far, but I think it's the writer in me that wanted her to show everyone she still had it. I wanted her to strut out there and leave them all wowed. Far from it, she's actually attracted more pity and censure.
When we write, we're supposed to really sock it to our characters. We have to stick them so far down in the muck that it seems impossible they'll ever get out. And then we watch them change and grow and claw their way back even better than before. You ask yourself what's the worst thing that could happen to your character and then you make that happen. The beauty of a romance novel, however, is that your character will survive. She'll get it all back and then some.
And I love that part of the process when I'm reading. I love it when a writer is able to wrench at my emotions and make me root for the character. I love it when the character emerges triumphant.
But life isn't always like that. Britney didn't kick it old school. She sunk even further into the muck and it was damn painful to watch. She's made some dumb choices (K-Fed, anyone?) and earned a lot of rancor with her train-wreck lifestyle these days, but I still hope that won't define her. I want her to come out on top so I can go back to ignoring her the way I always did. I want her to show that young women sometimes choose the wrong guy, and give up their careers for a man, but that they can get it all back again, that they can emerge stronger and wiser for the experience.
I hope she ignores the comments about her belly (puh-leeze, most of us would love to have that body, even with the post-baby jiggle). I hope Madonna calls her up and tells her to persevere. I hope she rebounds. Yeah, if she were my character, I'd probably take her down a few more notches before letting her succeed.
Is Britney really an underdog? My hubby says no. I say yes, at least in my writing brain where characters get kicked around a lot before they manage to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. I'm just a romantic at heart. 🙂
(Note: pic isn't from the VMAs. It's an older photo of a more successful Britney.)