Even if the latest single from Britney Spears featuring Iggy Azalea didn’t sound like a complete knockoff of “Fancy” (now Azalea is ripping herself off in addition to Clueless and Kill Bill), the message conveyed throughout the song is still enough to make you cringe.
Opening with “All around the world, pretty girls wipe the floor with all the boys,” the song sets a brief attempt at empowerment that ceases to exist when considering that the only way to wipe the floor with a boy is if your aesthetic is in the vein of Kate Moss. Extolling the benefits of being one of the beautiful people, Spears brags, “Pretty girls jump the line to the front/Do what we like, get what we want/We’re just so pretty!”
Considering that a large portion of Spears’ and Azalea’s audience is, to be frank, non-thin white girls with a basic face, this anthem possesses more than a hair of goading cruelty. The song puts none too fine a point on men either, with Spears noting, “They buzzin’ around me like flies/They got one thing on their minds.” Spears and Azalea’s mentions of ignoring men unless they can get something from them (like drinks) intensifies the utter shallowness of the single.
Spears, whose last album, Britney Jean, showed glimmers of maturity with “Perfume,” has somewhat digressed back to her old Mouseketeer ways with this single. The video, set to be released on May 11th, may be Spears’ only chance to attempt putting a more feministic slant on the narrative. Then again, this is the woman who has a single called “Born to Make You Happy” we’re talking about.