Mailbag

updated 03/06/2000 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/06/2000 01:00AM

Britney Spears
So Britney's mother claims she hasn't raised a promiscuous daughter? Will she at least admit to raising a stupid and selfish one? If Britney says her trashy style is simply "playing a part for Hollywood," then ignorance and irresponsibility seem to go along with her new look. Preteen girls see that "part" of Britney—the only side they know—and want to imitate it. But, unlike Britney, they won't have bodyguards to protect them when males try to get what has been flaunted.
Jennifer Martin, Burke, Va.

Oh, please! If the "princess of pop" denies the rumor of breast implants one more time, I'm going to be ill! She credits her new accessory to a weight gain of 15 lbs. and the miracle of a push-up bra. If any other woman gained 15 lbs., it would go directly to her hips and thighs. What makes this girl so special?
Melissa Bonham, Athens, Ohio

A "normal" teenager does not wear a dress with a V-neck cut down to her navel. I, as a mother, would ground my daughter for life if she ever walked around wearing the clothes Britney wears.
Sharon-Kathleen Corner, Locust Grove, Va.

Way to go, PEOPLE! Finally, a story that reveals the true star quality in Britney Spears. She is a talented young woman who has not let fame go to her head. She might have fun dressing up like a star, but it is obvious from your article that she is a good person who has kept close to her family, her values and her God. And to the American Family Association: I grew up with Madonna. If my young daughter grows up with Britney Spears as a role model, I'll consider myself lucky.
Jana Thompson, Tulsa

No one questions the talent of Britney Spears or other so-called teen sensations. What is disturbing is an industry that has created so many teenage girls who dress as if they are trying to entice men three times their age. This is nothing more than Pedophile Pop.
Jim Viner, West Greenwich, R.I.

This girl dresses like a tramp and then gets "freaked out" when men leer at her? She is either naive or stupid.
Name Withheld

I'm very sure you will get a lot of negative mail on Britney Spears, but what for? The girl is just having fun being young, and obviously, dressing sexy is paying off for her.
L. Scott, Southgate, Mich.

Britney Spears is nothing short of a goddess to my 9-year-old daughter. The fabulous part is that this young star inspires her to try harder in everything from dance class to math. Her clothes may be a little risqué, but after Madonna, aren't we used to it? It is Britney's sweetness and talent that make her worthy of my daughter's adoration—but if ya got it, flaunt it!
Laura Frazer, Omaha

Yes, Britney Spears does make me nervous—nervous for all the little girls out there who want to be just like her.
Jennifer Christian, Corning, NY.

Elián González
Your story on Elián is yet more proof why he should be returned to his father. He was taken, without his father's knowledge, from his friends, family and new brother. In America that is called kidnapping. If Elián weren't Cuban, he would have been returned the next day, and citizenship would not be an issue.
Name Withheld, Miami

Call me coldhearted, but I don't understand what the big hype about Elián is all about. Every day we have illegal immigrants, including children, trying to enter the U.S.; every day we send them home. Why, then, is Elián so special? Some claim he should be allowed to stay because he would be given a better life here. Isn't that the reason other illegal immigrants come here as well?
Lanchi Huynh, Piano, Texas

I am sick of hearing about, reading about and seeing this kid. He has a father. Send him home. And please don't spend any more of my tax dollars on this!
Phyllis McQueen, Fox River Grove, Ill.

Robert Downey Jr.
I have always adored Robert Downey Jr., but I believe his biggest problem stems from being raised by a father who he claims started him on drugs at age 8 and a mother who says, "I don't think it's his fault. We're a dysfunctional family." Is she proud of that? It appears Robert has more to overcome than drugs—like stupid-parent syndrome.
Kathryn Tompkins, Jefferson, Ga.

Terri Schiavo
I think Michael Schiavo has given up on his wife, Terri, and moved on with his life. He should divorce her and let her parents handle their daughter. Besides, how can a man who has been dating another woman for five years still consider Terri his wife?
Denise Ramon, via e-mail

As a licensed social worker in long-term care, I have seen many people in the terrible situation that Mrs. Schiavo and her family are in. This draws attention to the importance of a living will. The forms can be drawn up inexpensively by an attorney and will ensure that your wishes are carried out. You are never too young to have these documents. The worst part of this is that although Terri Schiavo is permanently comatose, she has the heart, lungs, etc., of a 36-year-old and could easily live for another 50 years. I hope this family can find some peace and let this woman, whom they all love so much, go.
Lisa Bellito, Painesville, Ohio

Scoop
I don't understand the controversy over the Christopher Reeve commercial. I got chills when I saw it. To me it was a symbol of hope and progress. No one knows what the future holds. What is wrong with having some faith?
Sarah Ott, Cincinnati

You bet there's controversy over the commercial that featured Christopher Reeve walking. Not only could it raise people's hopes that there is a cure, but it also reinforces the notion that people with disabilities are "broken" and need to be fixed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christopher Reeve would like to walk again and battles valiantly for a cure. That's fine. Yet at the same time he proves that disabled people are people, with the "ability" to make valuable contributions.
Peggy A. Bennett, Matthews, N.C.

Chatter
Poor Gwyneth! How difficult her "recovery" must have been after winning the Oscar for Best Actress. Not only has she insulted thousands of struggling actors who would have been grateful as well as gracious in her place, but I'd like to see her discuss her "posttraumatic stress" with a few Vietnam veterans or Columbine survivors. What's next? An autobiography about the mean streets of the Upper East Side?
Kelly Christopher, Leominster, Mass.

Mailbag
Those readers who chose to write negative letters regarding Rosie O'Donnell's adopting a third healthy baby need to knock the chip off their shoulders. It's obstructing their view of what a charitable, loving, admirable woman she is.
Diana Baran, Lake Orion, Mich.

News flash: Not much in life is fair! Rosie O'Donnell has been the first to say that her celebrity status has made adopting easier for her. Does that mean she should be penalized for being successful?
Holly Beck, Lincoln, Neb.

Dear friends: If quick adoption is what you want, do yourself a favor and visit your nearest animal shelter. I promise you a pedestal to stand on, unconditional love, and you don't have to send 'em to college. Rosie, keep adopting the children who need you. God will never give you more than you can handle, and maybe someday there may be a St. Rosie!
Terry Brown, Morganton, N.C.

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