Just when you thought it was safe to venture into the world of pop music again Britney Spears has launched herself back into the public arena with a new single Criminal. Making a spectacle of herself and her former agent and now boyfriend, Jason Trawick, she has reached a new low (actually she has reached the bottom of the barrel and is still digging) in the attention stakes.
In her latest clip directed by Chris Marrs Piliero, we see her and her beau embark on a life of crime and passion. The lyrics describe his as “He is a villain of the devil’s law. He is a killer just for fun.”
The themes depicted in the video include: being in a relationship with an abusive boyfriend, walking straight into another relationship and a full on, graphic sex scenes (including a naked romp in the shower). It also makes a hero out of the ‘bad boy’ character as he wins the girl. He then encourages her to join him in his petty crimes and they hold up a shop whilst wielding guns.
It is a case of art imitates life as she is not shy of controversy. Her film crew caused a stir in London where some of the scenes were shot, when they filmed Spears fleeing from Stoke Newington Town Hall with a replica gun. The very spot where only a month earlier very real violence had taken place in the London riots.
A Hackney council spokesman said at the time: “While the agreement was for anonymous use of Stoke Newington Town Hall, we did not agree a replica gun could be used. We are disappointed the film crew made a last-minute change to the scene.”
Given that Britney’s music is primarily targeted at teenage females, we must ask ourselves what impact will the widespread dissemination of this video have on the rapidly growing real-world problems of sexting, risky sexual behaviour, body image and eating disorders that are particularly common amongst female teenagers?