Peter Kramer / Associated Press
Image is a slippery creature, and one months style sensation is the next months tasteless trend. For those keeping score, we offer the 2008 Image Index, a sliding scale of the people, places, ideas and trends that moved up and down the pop culture barometer this year. The Image staff UP: BRITNEY SPEARS At the beginning of the year she was a mess, having just lost custody of her sons and been hospitalized for mental-health issues. But all that melted away, thanks to a few well-chosen TV appearances, an MTV documentary, her new hit album Circus and a European comeback tour. Pop musics favorite fashion train wreck is blond again, and looking better than she has in years, thanks in part to über-stylist Marjan Malakpour, who has been dressing her onstage and in photo shoots. Were even digging Brits new ringmaster persona.
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