Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry and pretty much all young, female pop singers have experienced hideous moments in fashion, looking more drunk-slutty than pop-starry. But they share more than the scary times. They also have a common history of coming on to the pop scene looking relatively clean-cut and cute. There was Britney with the sexy schoolgirl outfit that we now consider tame, Christina with her stick-straight locks and rhinestone butterfly decals, and Katy Parry, who’s still more or less working an edgier version of young and cute. Who would have guessed that Christina’s half shirts and Britney’s mini skirts would prove to be the golden era of pop cleanliness?
Now we’ve got Ke$ha, who’s new to the scene and already about as trashy as the dollar sign in her faux-name would imply. Her inexplicably popular (read “crappy”) single, “Tik Tok,” only dropped a couple months ago and she’s already looking all Courtney Love. Doesn’t she realize that such an effed-up aesthetic must be earned? Britney didn’t get to shave her head until she’d made millions, Christina Aguilera didn’t go full-on crazy until she’d sold an ass load of CDs and Katy Perry hasn’t even begun walking the line between sexy-cute and hot mess. On the one hand, we feel compelled to applaud Ke$ha’s mold-breaking decision to start out a mess instead of ending up one. But where does she go from here? Her hair’s already mangled, her eye makeup has migrated to the cheek area and she looks as though she’s been drunk for years. Now what?