Britney & Ellen’s Mall Tour Isn’t Just Retro, It’s Caustic

On the heels of a Washington Post article entitled, “Britney Spears Is A Pop Star Permanently Stuck In Another Era,” it seems the 34-year-old honorary Vegas showgirl continues to prove how little she cares about molding her publicity for Glory to the expectations of the media with regard to how she should be “modernizing” herself. Rather than take the invective about her being “old-fashioned,” trapped in the bygone era of her peak, somewhere around 2005 at the maximum, Britney has continued to be fiercely traditional in her promotion–if not all-out retro.

The latest case in point is a near eight-minute video segment she did for Ellen, in which the two “terrorize” the Westfield Fashion Square shopping mall in Sherman Oaks (the very epitome of Valley Girl retro) based on the fact that “we’re celebrities.” Mostly silent–playing, one supposes, Ellen’s straight man (no allusion to sexual orientation intended)–Britney nods along when Ellen says things like, “You’re right about the falling oil prices” and “You’re a big celebrity.”

Ellen, perhaps giving a fitting nod to the Showgirls/”It’s a Versayce” ignorance of Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley), by pointing out the “Channel” counter–to which Britney corrects, “It’s Chanel,” commences a rampage of entitlement from the outset of arriving through the sliding automatic doors.

As the two kick a random punching bag while “Gimme More” (a somewhat eerie song choice when taking into account how tied it is to Britney’s ’07 breakdown) plays in the background, Ellen parodies the ridiculousness of famous people–who have more money than anyone–getting high-priced items for free by asking the suit salesman, “So this would be 100% discount because she’s a celebrity?” With that, Britney, wearing the oversized suit jacket, walks off with Ellen to their next destination, the Family Play Space, where they encounter a teenage boy of typical awkwardness. Ellen asks, “How old are you?” He replies, “Fourteen.” She further demands, “What do you want to do when you get older?” He nobly admits, “I want to become a doctor.” Ellen balks, “No, no. You know what you should be?” Entertaining her, he asks, “What?” She declares, “A celebrity.” He muses, “Ah that’s gonna be fun.” Ellen goes on to tout what American youth has already been conditioned to believe by insisting, “Yeah it’s much better than a doctor. You know how much doctors make? Eh, I don’t know. But celebrities make a lot. You would have to go to college to be a doctor, right? Waste of time. Neither of us went to college and look at us.”

Though Britney’s tendency toward mum-ness (just as she was for most of Carpool Karaoke) is overt, she has occasional moments of clarity, as when she instructs Ellen on how to strut seductively through the mall by offering, “Use your hips ’cause hips don’t lie.” The mall cardio leads them to Ben & Jerry’s, where they’re given more “free samples” that they take to Pottery Barn where they can sit at a pre-designed dining room area and eat. While Ellen is doing most of the satirical commentary, it can’t be denied that Britney is the ultimate authority on just how absurd the nature of fame can be, even recently commenting of her two sons, “I think the magnitude of [this job] and the fame thing, I don’t think they’ve really comprehended what that would even be like… Hopefully they never will, because it’s kind of much.”