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Janet's breast vs. Madonna and Britney: One man's view

Let me take you back a few weeks in time to February 1, 2004…Super Bowl Sunday. I was sitting at a friend's house watching the halftime show and enjoying the show. Then, right at the end, Super Bowl history changed forever when Justin Timberlake ripped off part of Janet Jackson's outfit to reveal her naked breast.
All I remember after that moment was hearing "DAYUM!!!!" yelled out in unison from all of the other people in the room. In the next 10 minutes, I had 4 or 5 phone calls with astounded friends of mine, including one in England, to make sure that what I had seen was real and they all verified it. I was dumbfounded for a few minutes, but that all passed when the third quarter started and the game changed from a first-half snoozer into one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever. The Janet Jackson incident didn't register in my mind much after the game and I was shocked to see how much news it got the next day and ever since.
OK, let's go back in time again to August 28, 2003…the night of the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. I didn't watch the show when it first aired because I was on vacation, but I was shocked to check out CNN the next day and see a clip showing Madonna and Britney Spears French kissing on stage (Madonna kissed Christina Aguilera too, but that didn't seem to catch people's attention). Everyone knows that Madonna is a freak, but seeing Britney get down like that made my jaw drop. Also, two superstar singers engaging in a kiss like that was something that I don't think had ever appeared in a live performance before, so I understood why it made CNN. In the next couple of days, I saw pictures, articles, and even animated GIF picture files of the kiss all over the Internet and I expected it to be in the news for many weeks afterward based on sheer shock value, but it was basically forgotten within a week.

Now, here is where I'm confused…why has everyone made such a ruckus about the Janet Jackson incident while the Madonna and Britney incident quickly faded into the abyss of old news? The Janet thing has the SEC doing investigations, lawsuits being filed, Janet being banned from the Grammy Awards, and her formerly pristine image being dragged through the mud while Madonna and Britney avoided a similar fervor. I know that this is only one man's opinion, but seeing Janet's breast hasn't been a big deal to me since about 10 minutes after it happened. I've seen breasts before, so, aside from that weird piercing she had through her nipple, Janet's "asset" isn't exactly noteworthy to me…now, Madonna and Britney's kiss is something major. I can check out any R-rated movie to see nudity, but a same sex lip-lock isn't something that is seen every day and I was expecting a lot more negative press around it. I've heard some people say that Janet's flashing was worse because it was during the Super Bowl and kids were watching, but there were likely millions of kids watching the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, so shouldn't Madonna and Britney have been considered just as appalling? Plus, MTV repeats its award shows a million and one times in the month or two after they first air, so there is a high likelihood that even more kids saw "the kiss" during one of these repeats. 

Why is Janet being portrayed a pariah in the media over this when Madonna and Britney were able to avoid it???

Based on the difference in public opinion on these incidents, I've been left wondering about the source of this difference. Is Janet being penalized because her brother has been seen in a negative light because of the child molestation charges he's facing. Does race have anything to do with it (Justin Timberlake sure was spared a lot of the negative publicity that Janet got)? Is it due to speculation that Janet planned it all to help promote her new album? Is it because Madonna has always been seen as "out there" so this sort of thing has become expected of her and is now acceptable from her? I wish I knew the answer because, from where I stand, Janet's reputation is taking a beating, the severity of which doesn't seem warranted.

Honestly, I never knew that one breast could cause so much commotion. With all of the media attention that Janet got for the incident, something tells me that her new album "Damita Jo" will set some sort of sales records because her name is all over the place…now that's what I call great marketing!!!

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