What a Difference 10 Months Makes

Rolling Stone‘s Web site is offering a sneak peak of its next cover, which features a cleaned up, seemingly elated Britney Spears with the hopeful, Obama era slogan, "Yes She Can!" (Best to ignore the smaller coverline for "Skanky Brits.")

As you can see, the last time Ms. Spears was on the cover (February 21, 2008), the magazine referred to her as "An American Tragedy" (though still airbrushed her within an inch of recognizability). The accompanying story, by Vanessa Grigoriadis, was unflinching in its depiction of a star in complete free-fall. The new issue has a more upbeat profile by Jenny Eliscu in which the pop star is described as "silly, sweet, humble. She has never been very articulate, but she always tries to be accommodating."

To celebrate the new cover, the Web site presents outtakes and a slideshow of Ms. Spears on Rolling Stone covers past. The covers track Ms. Spears’ life from her early nymphet period ("Inside the Heart, Mind & Bedroom of a Teen Dream," the April 15, 1999 coverline fairly drools of the then-teenage star) to her growing pains ("Don’t treat me like a little girl" Britney says two days after 9/11) up through to the present. It’s like a time lapsed version of an E! True Hollywood Story or a lost episode of VH1’s Behind the Music.

Strangely, the American Tragedy cover image is broken in the slideshow. It can be found in the magazine’s cover archive. What a Difference 10 Months Makes