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Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Britney baffled by sexy image
Britney Spears
Britney Spears: surprised to be seen as sexy
Teenage pop star Britney Spears says she is baffled by her raunchy image.

The 18-year-old singer claims she had no intention of promoting herself as a sex object and wears skimpy outfits on stage purely for practical reasons.

"I only wear these crop tops because other clothes would make me sweat when I dance," she told Germany's InStyle magazine.

"I never wanted this sexy image."

Britney Spears
Strutting her stuff, but Britney says costumes are for practical reasons

Whether she likes it or not, Spears is regarded as a sex symbol by millions of fans worldwide.

Along with the likes of pop rival Christina Aguilera and tennis star Anna Kournikova, she is one of the new generation of 'teen queens'.

The former Mickey Mouse Club star became an overnight sensation with her debut single Baby One More Time, which topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

School uniform

Released in the UK in February 1999, it became one of the fastest-selling singles of all time - shifting 14,000 copies on its first day alone - and was backed by a video of her dressed in school uniform.

It was followed to the top of the charts by the debut album of the same name and the follow-up, Oops...I Did It Again, also reached the number one spot earlier this year.

Spears has repeatedly denied rumours of breast enlargement surgery, but told In Style magazine she was unhappy with her hair, nose and feet and thought her legs were too short.

She said her ambition was to follow in the footsteps of Madonna "only without all the men, gossip and scandals".

In an article in last weekend's Sunday Express, the star insisted: "If I have on a short skirt it doesn't mean I have low morals. I have very high morals.

"I don't believe in sex before marriage. I don't believe in drugs or even smoking. I believe in God."

See also:

07 May 00 | Entertainment
Britney does it again
18 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Awards joy for Santana
09 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Britney and Backstreet Boys share glory
15 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Big night for Britney
21 Feb 99 | Entertainment
Spears tops the charts
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