You don’t know me but you have been in the public eye for so long now that I cannot help but know a little about you, willingly or not. We have more differences than anything else, but we are similar ages and both mothers, and I would like to say a few things.
Starting your career as a talented child on that well-known springboard “The Mickey Mouse Club”, you found recognition at an early age. When you grew into a young woman you emerged as a stunning pop ballad singer with a naturally strong voice and accessible teenage lyrics, i.e.: "Genie in a Bottle," "What a Girl Wants," etc.
Almost inevitably, having been a "manufactured" pop star, as you grew you desired more artistic control and in 2002 we found out what that looked like when "Dirrty" exploded into the charts with your new, "more honest" styling: wearing strips of leather, seemingly angry and looking rather disheveled. You wailed loudly about dirt, being nasty and more clothes coming off which I found hard to imagine - you were wearing so little already! This was feminism, or at least your version of it, you insisted.
There were a few other songs after this: "Beautiful" being one I can remember which was a big ballad, not provocative, with an inclusive message. In your personal life you acquired a husband and appeared to find happiness. Perhaps you did for a while. But sadly, your marriage didn’t last. I know it’s not fashionable to express regret over a broken marriage (you may rather a high five and a congratulations. I don’t know).
Over the last couple of years, presumably busy with mother and wife-hood ( no need to be ashamed of this), you’ve seemed to lose the crown of pop-raunch to newcomer Lady Gaga who has usurped your cavalcade dirtiness with a blatant sexual sadism and apparent necrophiliac tendencies that would, more than likely, make the 2nd Earl of Rochester blush. Ms. Gaga is ubiquitously mainstream with a captive fan base aged four years old and up. You may feel some pressure to compete, I understand.
The 2750 complaints to Ofcom that followed your burlesque performance on prime-time family show "The X Factor" obviously didn't like being used, however. It may be “empowering” for you to writhe around the stage in your underwear but some of us don’t think it’s suitable for our children to witness and, frankly, we’re pretty bored of it too.
I also hope for your sons sake that you develop a healthier attitude towards men and clarify your professed practice of “feminism” because the lyrical content on your new album, for example Bionic: I Hate Boys “All these dirty little boys; they think that girls were only made for toys; ooh boys” (Then later you repeat )“ If you hate them boys, shake it, now shake it”, is, at times, inane, damaging and extremely self defeating. A little word, woman to woman: if you want those boys to stop treating you like a toy then take the tassles off; perhaps put a shirt on, and say something interesting.
You say you stand for female empowerment yet it seems to me that the base desires of the most voyeristic side of male nature are actually directly catered to and encouraged by your up-on stage style of exhibitionistic sexuality. Your "empowerment" is their entertainment. Tassels, shaking and all. But this is not news or even surprising, it is just accepted that words are empty, philosophies irrelevant and instead we should be rating your outfits, figure and strings of could-be relationships. We're getting far too comfortable being cynical and we expect so little.
All in all you seem to be exhibiting the classic symptoms of a self destructive spiral, albeit a very lucrative one, and unfortunately for us the media is, yet again, happily skipping along for the ride. For you this is a career, with buffers and big rewards but since you are professing a search for deep fulfilment and rebuking of female exploitation, I felt the need to respond and take you seriously.
I don't mean to single you out unnecessarily. And I understand that you have undertaken many charitable endevours and this, too, is part of your legacy.
My argument is ultimately with the current state of projected femininity: sex kittens with a rampant and ruthless exhibitionism, all under the guise of feminism. Yes it does work: as a tool of promotion for the few top of the ladder performers, like yourself. But, this model does not translate into a workable or relevant outline in real people's lives in any tangible way. This is an idealism founded on selling, to put it mildly, false hope, not unlike the spin doctors who marketed cigarettes as a cure for sore throats all those years ago.
The endless onslaught of meaningless claims and unchallenged hyperbole has to be confronted once in a while if have any regard for our females, our culture and ourselves. At different times in the past women had no voice in society, now our voices are once again rendered almost silent in the mainstream by their collective unquestioning, compliance to inane norms. We need the inner authority to be able to demand something different and more representative of human experience--something that has truth, not manipulation, at the core, if we value life at all.
For a moment, I'd like you to think back to when you said "I'm an ocean, because I'm really deep. If you search deep enough you can find rare exotic treasures." and ask yourself if there is, within you now, any unexpectedness and real non-conformity, waiting to come out, and try expressing that. It may even be empowering in the real sense.