Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Britney has looks, tons of money, enough talent by her fans standards to make more money, and two healthy kids. Seems like she has most of what she said she wanted. But she can’t buy respect, from others or from herself. And she’s doing everything she can to prevent herself from earning it. When the public begins to regard K Fed as the better parent for the Britney pups, you know she’d better start swimming upstream fast!

Too many young, hot stars jump into adulthood in the limelight of adulation and tons of money. The press and their fans put them on pedestals. People kiss their butts. They believe they’re all that. And their worlds revolve around what they wear, who they sleep with, and dodging the paparazzi who chase their superior derrieres. But arrogance doesn’t lead to self-respect. Nor does being inflated by media attention.

Britney may act all self-important, but her lack of self-respect is obvious. We tend to treat others the way we view ourselves under the layers of façade and attitude used for self-protection. When you love yourself, you’re much more likely to be loving to others. People with sincerely good self-esteem have much less or no need to demean others or do nasties. When you respect yourself, you’re much more likely to respect others.

Britney’s behavior shows her true self-image. She disrespected her appearance when she shaved her head. Her lack of self-respect endangers her kids. It doesn’t take much to know you don’t drive with a child on your lap, for any reason, or be so lax you almost drop one. Now she may lose custody of them. Brit pushes people who care away. She hires and fires based on mood. People with self-respect work things out, not cut everyone off. While no one is perfect, this has become Brit’s pattern.

The OK! magazine interview illustrated Brit’s lack of self-respect. The magazine went the distance to accommodate Brit by arranging the photo shoot, paying her a huge fee, and getting expensive designer clothing for her to wear. Did Brit show appreciation? Nahhh! Her actions—wiping greasy hands on a designer dress while her dog pooped on a Zac Posen gown valued at $6,700—reflected a lack of self-respect and self-love. She got grease and dog poop on her reputation. Does she think she’s much better than us? Not at all. She poses like that but her actions give the true picture. By disrespecting folks who try to help her, and the props like designer clothing, she expresses how little she respects herself. You can’t buy self-respect. It must be developed within.

People who love themselves don’t sabotage their careers or do blatantly stupid things that they know will cause a negative media frenzy. Young celeb types like Britney and Lindsay don’t learn to love themselves for who they are inside or look beyond getting love and attention from fans, and press attention. Their actions show what a superficial level of happiness they have—basing self-image on the accoutrements of being a celebrity. Money, expensive possessions and career success don’t translate to happiness. It begins inside and radiates out. The material stuff is just extras!

I’ve been happy even when I didn’t have much money, because I love me, not what I have. My compassion for Brit is deep. She had too much attention, too early in life to develop good self-esteem. Fame tainted her outlook. Everything focused on her image. I’m sure she’s a nice girl who truly wants to be a good mom and be happy. But she doesn’t know how. Nor can she doesn’t trust herself, so she doesn’t trust people who want to help her. That makes it hard to grow into a happy woman.

Meanwhile, many girls and young women look to Brit, et al, as examples of being cool. But they’re not cool. Britney is stone cold self-disrespectful. The grass on the other side may seem greener but some of these young stars in the public eye are hurting inside. Those who look to them as role models set themselves up to also have low self-esteem by valuing the external. Feel compassion for these young women who don’t know how to behave and self-destruct because of it. Envying their money and fame is also envying their dysfunctions and unhappiness. Happy in your own skin is much more fun!

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