Thursday, March 13, 2008

Britney's New Avatar

The video for Britney Spears' "Break the Ice," the third single from her album Blackout, was officially released today, and it features what one can only assume is an animated version of Britney by way of Aeon Flux. To say that this new avatar is a bit out of proportion to how Britney actually looks these days would be accurate but not entirely fair, since the animated version would look idealized next to anybody, even Britney six years ago. As it turns out, though, one of my particular criticisms of Blackout when it came out specifically had to do with lyrics on "Piece of Me," wherein Britney states "I'm Mrs. Lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous/I'm Mrs. Oh-my-god-that-Britney's-shameless/I'm Mrs. Extra-extra-this-just-in/I'm Mrs. She's-too-big-now-she's-too-thin." Maybe I just was not as up on my celebrity gossip as some, but I asserted that no where had it ever been stated that Britney was too thin. Despite the fact that it took a cartoon to get us here, that is now a patently false observation on my part, to which all I can say is this: Well-played, Spears.

For a project like this, I think the new look is appropriate, and even a trend that I hope continues. Animated music videos are always at least a little bit awesome, and sometimes all the way awesome. Using real female singers as a starting point for animated eye candy is a step in the right direction, and one that could potentially lead to Kylie Minogue as Dazzler in a music video, an idea that really seems to work for some people.

However, and I cannot stress this point enough, using an idealized animated version of yourself in a music video should never be a substitute for a proper diet and regular exercise. This may not be that big of a problem now, but continued advancements in technology will soon allow everyone, not just divas, to lie about their appearances with avatars, as shown by this image from "14.2.99" in Alan Moore's Magic Words (Avatar, 2002), illustrated by Juan Jose Ryp:

So remember, it is impolite to use an avatar that does not at least reasonably simulate your appearance. Or at least it will be, once everyone is jacked into the metaverse.

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