The cover of the new issue of Rolling Stone featuring, who else?, Britney Spears, keeping the record alive: bare abs every time.

But take a closer look at that nasty fake thumbnail.


That’s the best they could do?


She can’t get rid of the glue-ons. Because she chews.

Am attaching a couple of images from inside the magazine – as you can see, especially from the side angle, that body really is the tightest it’s been in forever.

The article itself – the writer knows Britney, has interviewed her several times, and she acknowledges that this iteration of Britney speaks from behind a veil, protected all around by her father, by Larry Rudolph, by strict guidelines, by security…

She was not allowed to discuss the breakdown. She was not allowed to ask about anything other than the album and the babies. Not even about the election. It’s the Team rules. Team Britney packages things just so.

There are glimpses of Britney that she can’t help but reveal though. Like her reaction to anything involving Kevin Federline, the bitterness that seeps out automatically when she discusses how her children are growing up, the fact that her son knows the f-word. Excerpt is below:

Ever since she was a little girl growing up in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears dreamed of having her own children. She considered the experience “the closest thing to God,” she said in 2004 in a note on her fan site. “To be a really good mom, I feel your child needs to be your full-time job. I want to raise my kids and share all of those precious moments with them.”

But things haven’t turned out like she imagined. “I didn’t think my husband was gonna leave me,” she says, deadpan. She laughs to break the tension. “Otherwise,I’d be with my babies 24/7.”

And then there’s the search for a new man. There’s something at once disturbing but also refreshing about Larry Rudolph just putting it out there: that Britney always needs a boyfriend, that she is so boy crazy, she simply cannot function without boys.

Rudolph says that the next step in Britney’s recovery is a new boyfriend – “She’s a relationship girl,” he says – and she’s already started dating.

Needless to say, you can psychoanalyse this all you want. Father figure issues, attachment issues, lack of self worth… of course, of course, and all of the above. Britney doesn’t know herself. Or rather the self she knows is the one we know, created along with her for the better part of a decade.

This is why she’s written about with such caution. Like it could all come crashing down again, literally, tomorrow. A fascinating read, when you read in between. Rolling Stone  is on newsstands Friday.