Britney is back - and so are the brickbats

Wed May 16, 2012 6:23pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britney Spears hasn't even taken her seat as the new judge of "The X Factor," but the pop icon is already getting a lesson in the media glare of live, talent show television.

Spears had barely wrapped up an appearance in New York confirming she is joining the singing contest before the celebrity knives were out, raising the question of how well the singer, who went through a public meltdown in 2007, can handle all the newfound attention.

Her dress, nails, shoes, legs and figure have all come in for scrutiny - most of it negative - in a taste of what may come when the show returns to TV in September for two nights a week over four months.

The New York Daily News ran photos of the "Toxic" singer's "bloody picked fingernails". It also showed a close-up of her thighs, commenting that she "appeared in a short white mini dress that showed off her famous pop star legs - and what looks to be a bit of cellulite."

Spears, famed for raunchy dance routines and music videos in her heyday, is now 30-years-old and a mother of two. Outside her sell-out global concert tours, she has been largely shielded from the media since a career and personal breakdown in 2007 that resulted in her affairs being handed over to her father.

Mary Fischer at The Stir on website, said the singer was "a hot mess" in the cream dress she wore for her New York appearance on Monday before Fox TV network executives and advertisers.

"She might as well have just thrown on a nightgown or racy piece of lingerie. She would've achieved the same effect (showing off the fact that she's shed a bit of weight and gotten her groove back), but she wouldn't have looked like she was trying so hard," Fischer said.

She suggested Spears should take a tip from Prince William's wife and style icon Kate Middleton who "is the definition of being sexy without revealing too much skin."   Continued...

Singer Britney Spears poses with her award for Best Pop Video and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles August 28, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok