LOS ANGELES – Cover your kids’ ears, because Britney Spears still loves the big bad "B word."
On Monday, the pop princess debuted her latest single, titled “Work Bitch” a day earlier than anticipated after a low-quality version was leaked on the Internet. In it, she croons about one’s desire for a hot body, a Lamborghini, and a big mansion – and to get that, “you better work, bitch.” In fact, she uses the B-term no less than 15 times throughout the song.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Spears sing out the term that once was used to describe female canines, but is now used mostly as a derogatory jab at her own gender. Almost six years ago to the day, amid a highly-publicized meltdown, Spears released “Gimme More” with the catchy opening “It’s Britney Bitch.” In November, she released the song “Scream and Shout” with will.i.am and played homage to that hallmarked phrase with the lyrics “you are now rocking with will.i.am and Britney, bitch.” And in her 2009 song “Lace and Leather,” Spears told us straight up, first verse: “French fingertips, Red Lips/Bitch is dangerous.”
And while it has been a long time since Spears was the sweet smiling, wide-eyed Disney-darling turned teen pop star, she is a mom of two boys and still courts young fans, which has some critics saying the B-word thing is both inappropriate and getting a little long in the tooth.
"Using curse words in pop songs doesn't show off artistic talent, it shows lack of creativity. It’s sad that so many female recording artists think in order to stay relevant they must degrade themselves,” entertainment publicist Angie Meyer-Olszewski told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “And as a parent, it becomes more difficult to set a proper example for our kids, when mainstream musicians are portraying images and lyrics that contradict traditional teachings of right from wrong."
However, very little has been said critically of the title word in the mainstream media since Spears dropped the song. According to New York-based PR guru Elissa Buchter, that's because the once shocking B-word really doesn’t have much of a sting these days.
“The word doesn't hold quite the stigma that it used to and has become a part of the mainstream; younger women even use it as a term of endearment to describe their friends now. That could signify the decline of American culture or perhaps it's just a product of changing times,” she said. “Britney and her team are savvy in capitalizing on that shift to create a song her demo will respond to, however her song would probably be a hit even without the controversy Miley Cyrus is courting in order to build her brand. Despite her own personal struggles, Britney has a huge built-in audience who will devour any catchy dance song she releases, controversy or not.”
But as veteran PR guru Roger Neal pointed out, eyebrow-raising lyrics isn’t a necessity for hitting the big time.
“It does not have to be like that. Look at Donny Osmond, in his day he was bigger than Miley and Britney together,” he said. “Today, he’s hot all over again and never had to push boundaries.”