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Paper Monitor

13:14 UK time, Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Fat, thin, a health freak or a digital cheat - which is it to be? Welcome back Britney Spears, we have missed you.

The singer is the subject of as much media attention as always in the newspapers today. But it would seem a bad Britney story still makes a better headline than a good one. For most anyway.

Newly released shots for new album Femme Fatale show her in a skimpy polka-dot outfit looking trim - or suspiciously trim if you're the Daily Mail and Daily Star. Both suspect digital enhancement, especially after a live performance on a US TV show on Monday in which she looked slightly fuller figured.

"Britney at 30, a bigger star than ever" says the Mail's headline, running a large picture of her performance in a PVC basque. It says she has been accused of trying to "dupe fans" after releasing a heavily airbrushed image of herself as she prepares to release the new album.

"Brit of a cheat" is the Star's headline - a tad harsh when you think how many album covers aren't heavily airbrushed these days. That would probably be zero.

A "source" in the Star points out that she's "changed a lot since she first found fame as a teenager". The Mail kindly prints a picture of her when she was 17 to illustrate the point, and says she now has a fuller figure and "more rounded thighs". Again, a tad harsh - isn't this the case for 99% of the human race?

The Daily Mirror's Polly Hudson does cut Britney some slack:

"It's been (prepare to feel old) 13 years since Hit Me Baby One More Time, and who among us looks as good now as they did in 1998?"

But that's right after calling her "dead-eyed" and "desperate" for attention.

But coming out fighting for Ms Spears and her "super new figure" is the Sun, claiming she is fitness mad and has "completely turned herself around". In fact, it says she's so healthy now, she has reportedly warned her aides that they will be sacked if they turn up to work with a hangover. There are no compare-and-contrast pictures and no whispers about airbrushing.

So chin up Britney. The red-top is right behind the new you.

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