My Odd Fascination with Britney Spears

Britney on screen (and in Spanish!)
Britney on screen (and in Spanish!)

Hi friends,

Here’s a fun fact for you: a few years ago I binge-watched Britney and Kevin: Chaotic. This is not something I’ve told anyone (except maybe Gav), because it’s really strange. Do you even know what I’m talking about? I don’t think many people would, and that is a very good thing, because this was not quality viewing. Well, I mean, I can’t talk because I watched the whole damn thing, but it’s not what I would want the young people of today to watch (I think we’re much better off with the 3298430 Real Housewives franchises, just quietly).

I found Britney Spears’ story really fascinating because it was so extreme and she just seemed so human. I guess in this day and age, every celebrity and his chihuahua live tweets and instagrams his morning tea, but you can pretty much tell when it’s staged. Because almost all of it is. But with Britney (first name basis from here on in), it seems like there is was no filter and it was a remarkable and worrying insight into what fame and excess and, really, poor parenting can do to a person.

Being a naive Cancerian, HSP introvert (how’s that for a personality profile), I sometimes find it difficult to discern fact from truth. As I was talking about with my best friend the other day, I like to think that the reason for this is because when I say something, I mean it. I can’t really fathom how people can say one thing and mean another, say they will do one thing and then just not do it or do something damaging instead. I’m not saying I’m a saint or that I haven’t told a lie in my life, because y’all know a girl’s got to have her secrets. But I would think of myself as a particularly consicentious person who is highly aware of the presence and feelings and experiences of others. As a by-product of that, I think I have a pretty heightened awareness of how my actions can affect or hurt others. It really hits me hard, so I try to do as little harm as possible and be as kind as I can.

This whole rant about myself was leading up to the fact that in the past I have found it really hard to see through the glitzy sheen of fame into its murky underbelly. In a previous life (aka a few years ago), I would pretty much believe what magazines said (to an extent) and I wouldn’t necessarily see how the shenanigans of celebrities were staged for their own benefit. I know this sounds incredibly naive and believe me, I’m very smart, but I like to see the good in people and I just didn’t jump to that conclusion. But I’m learning. Pessimism is coming!

Aaaanyway, all of this was leading me to the reason why I may be so interested in Britney’s trajectory: because it seems real. She was this massively charismatic, talented and really very beautiful girl who could dance like nothing else – and hold a tune, too. Even if she was not the best singer in the world, I think her energy more than made up for it. But after the whole 2007 era happened, she’s (evidently) never been the same. It makes me wonder: what is the real price of fame, and why do people agree to it?

It’s funny, in Australia we have “tall-poppy syndrome” where we like to tear down people who are rising too far up for our liking, but I think this is a phenomenon all over the world. That’s why I find it so interesting. Because she sacrificed her youth, her life, for her dream, but it ended up being a nightmare. Having old men chase you down the street and shove a camera in your face and ask you personal questinos about your relationships, your children, your weight, it’s actually my idea of hell. I know some celebrities love the attention and that’s their lifeblood, but this is/was a whole other level. It’s enough to make someone insane.

I truly have no idea how people like Britney Spears make it through whatever she had to go through. Living in Korea, I feel stared at all the time and it makes me really uncomfortable. I understand why it is, and I know people are just curious and I’m just different and they don’t mean anything by it, but still. I am in no way, shape or form saying that I am famous or that I am the next Britney Spears (lol), but I think in some tiny way I can relate to that fishbowl-ness of her life. To be fair, I am really conscious of this sort of thing, and I have come to accept it and just carry on with my own life, but it’s enough to get me to change my life in small ways so that I don’t have to feel so exposed or watched all the time. If I can feel this on such a small scale, then what the hell is she going through?

So yes, despite whatever opinions I or you may have about Britney’s talent, choices, decisions, it’s nice to know that there is someone out there in the public eye who still is human. Unlike the Kim Kardashian machine or even my fave, Beyonce, Britney has flaws and is in the unique position of having had them exposed to the world. Where do you go from there?

There is also the fact that she was/still is mentally ill. I think it’s pretty obvious that there is a big disconnect from the performer she was to the rather staid personality she is now. It seems like she’s lost her spark, which is actually incredibly sad. Maybe not, I’m no expert. But as was the case with Michael Jackson, we like to build people up when they’re great and then tear them down just to watch them fall. The thing is, it’s all fun and games until somebody dies.

In conclusion… I don’t really know what to conclude from this. I guess we always need to remember that all people are human, even the ones in magazines and on blogs. Even celebrities. I mean, I know they have an exorbitant amount of money and chefs and butlers and diamond-encrusted pinky fingers, but at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter. All people need love, and kindness is love. Ironically, I often feel disconnected from others for thinking such serious things as this, and sometimes I find my patience tested when the person walking ahead of me doesn’t hold the door for me, so that it almost slams me in the face… but still, you gotta keep trying. Be nice to people. You never know what they are going through.


And now, I am going to go listen to some ’00s pop to lighten the mood! I’m coming for you, Autotune.

Until next time,

Steph x

    1. Yep, she cool! I don’t know why I’m so enthralled, but I am. I find her really interesting. I think she would still put on a good show too 🙂

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