I'll never forget the first time I heard your music. It was October of 1999, and I was in a friend's Volkswagon Beetle. He was blasting "Hit Me Baby One More Time," and I told him that, while cute, this sugar-coated music would just be a flash in the pan. Was I ever wrong.
Since then we've seen you rise to the top and reach a crescendo professionally, and we've seen your heartbreaking fall from grace. Over the past two years we have watched you piece your life back together, and we are rooting for you. We really are.
But let's talk about your style for a moment. At the beginning of your career, it was sweet schoolgirl outfits and belly-baring tops, and we loved you so much that you really could do no wrong in our eyes.
Then K-Fed happened, and your style took a turn for the worse: The ragged cutoffs, not-washed-in-days messy hairdos, and cigarette-as-accessory were not the look that we wanted to see on America's Sweetheart. But maybe that was the point: to get as far away from those expectations as possible.
Fast forward five years, and we are sitting at the edge of our seats, watching warily, hopefully, as you put yourself out there again as a judge on "The X Factor." Your hair and makeup look great -- the natural, seemingly extension-less loose waves and light cosmetics suit you. We hope you will continue down that path, and avoid the hair extensions that wreak havoc on your locks and can skew a little, well, declassé.
When it comes to dresses, you seem to subscribe to the Very Short And Very Tight school of thought. Don't get us wrong: Your body looks amazing. We've seen pictures of you in a bikini and you are working it, girl. But that doesn't mean you have to display it in a bandage dress every week.
You have the body of a gymnast -- fantastically petite and muscular. We'd love to see you continue to show off your legs in short hemlines, but opt for more fit-and-flare type dresses. Go for something that cinches in at your waist, and then offers some volume in the skirt. We'd be thrilled to see you in styles that are a bit more demure -- it would be so unexpected.
Look to fellow star Nicole Richie as an example, and her phoenix-like rise from the ashes. Her style is impeccable, and she has managed to leave her more dubious style completely in the past. Victoria Beckham is another example of a popstar who has transformed her style from over-the-top and silly to elegant and ladylike. Even Kim Kardashian is showing signs of improvement!
So, dear Brit, please leave the bandage dresses behind, and forge a new path. I remember very clearly starting a job at Elle magazine in 2000 when you were on the cover in a Givenchy Couture bodysuit by Alexander McQueen -- what a moment. We know you have that style chutzpah in you -- now do something about it.