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"Britney couldn't have been prepared for the rumors that would follow her to this day, and if she was warned, she couldn't have begun to understand what it would actually feel like as she is accused of undergoing plastic surgery, having a fat belly, having no talent, and 'being stupid' - starting when she was only 16 years old!

Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Jennifer"If you ever got accused of even ONE of those things, just on your local school news broadcast or paper, you would probably run out of school crying when everyone joined in making fun of you," Jenn observes thoughtfully.

"Imagine someone blowing up a picture of your belly and airing it on television, putting it on the Internet, or printing it in a popular magazine. Who would you turn to for help?" And because Britney Spears is a person with feelings like all of us, Jennifer asks:

"So who do you turn to when you're the Barbie of pop music and no one understands how much the rumors hurt you? Why, the Ken of pop music, of course! Justin and Britney, whether or not they were originally thrown together by circumstance, they've stayed close as friends - a support system for each other, above all else.

"In a way, the Barbie and Ken of pop music are alone at the top. Most just see the talent, fame and the trappings of success - the mansions, cars, and designer clothes. What they don't see or understand is the blood, sweat, tears, shattered nerves, sleepless nights and disappointments behind the scenes of making a career in the limelight.

Britney Spears and N'Sync"Justin and Britney share a unique understanding of what it's like to be young and scrutinized by the whole world," Jenn explains. "It's important to have an anchor when the waters get rough and there seems to be nothing to hold onto.

"Friendship is trust, that was the original bond between Justin and Britney in my opinion. That trust was based on a familiarity they shared growing up together. Theirs is a trust - an enduring friendship built upon since they were kids 11 and 12 years old.

"I gave a seminar to young girls last December, called 'Make-Up & Manners'. Teaching the girls how to apply stage make-up was really fun. But when it came to the 'manners' part, I didn't know what to teach at first. I mean, I'm far from the most lady-like woman, with my ripped jeans and motorcycle boots! So I told the girls, 'Raise your hand if you have been in or witnessed a fight this year in school.'

"Every girl raised her hand. Then I said, 'Raise your hand if that fight happened because someone said something to hurt the other person.' Again, every girl raised her hand. I explained that the power of words is unbelievably strong, especially when they are used as emotional weapons.

"Words can leave physical injury when they cause a fight or cause a depressed individual to inflict pain on themselves or someone else. Think of what has happened to our schools in the past few years -- a huge increase in violence, specifically murder -- basically because of words. Think twice before you say something untrue or mean. Your words can cast such harsh judgment on other kids who are trying just as hard to find out what kind of adults they are going to be.

"In school, we have all contributed somehow to the low self-esteem of another student. I asked the girls in my seminar to set a day-to-day goal for the next semester: At least once a day, when you see someone you think is 'weird', 'ugly', etc., take a moment and stop yourself from saying something cruel about that person.

Jennifer McGill"Also, if your friend says something mean about someone else, take a moment and stop yourself from encouraging your friend with laughter or agreement," advises Jenn who has her own new Web site @ "Make a change that may seem small today, but may grow as it spreads through your circle of friends and their circle of friends, and so on.

"Celebrities get hurt by words, too," Jenn reminds us. "But sometimes we feel we're justified in our comments because they seem to have it all. They're rich, handsome, beautiful, successful - so you figure they can take it, or deserve criticism because you think they are better off than they should be.

"The question you need to answer for yourself is this: If you had the chance to meet and know a real celebrity, or just an 'ordinary' new person - do you possess the qualities that are necessary to build 'true friendship' and stay 'friends forever?'"

e-mail Jennifer

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