This post is a bit late because low-key, I have gotten crazy obsessed with Britney Spears for the past year. Why?! She never went anywhere, you may say. Now it an opportune time to talk about my everyday kind of Britney obsession after Britney Ever After (barf) premiered on Lifetime this weekend.
I was a kid when …Baby One More Time came out, so I have virtually grown up with Britney. She was the epitome of beauty when I was a child and I look nothing like her… At all. Britney: blonde hair, super skinny, dancer, singer, abs. Me: red hair, chubby, low-key uncoordinated, super-shy writer type. You know, there were some pointed differences.
I didn’t even listen to Britney often as I got into tween/teenage years. I wasn’t a massive fan of Toxic and I never heard Me Against the Music until a year ago (I think I was caught in the gap between never watching MTV and becoming obsessed with it in middle school, so In The Zone flew a bit under the radar). But holy shit, I LOVED My Prerogative and Do Somethin’ when they came out. Moving forward…
So lalala, I don’t think much about Britney til a year ago. I’m living in my little apartment in Chicago where I spent 98% of my time in my bedroom hiding from my two obnoxious roommates. I had just gotten laid off from working part-time at a boutique, given up on freelance writing after feeling whored out by the process, feeling generally broke and fucking cold and spending so much zone-out time on the train worrying about money while watching a friend I went to college with, who was also in writing, get a salaried job at an advertising agency straight after graduation. The only things that saved me this time last year were three things: 1) that federal tax return 2) nannying 3) oddly enough, Britney.
I’ve been away from home for a long time now and I’m always struggling to carve out my own and random memories from childhood flit on by, like always having Trix at the house, so I go buy a ton of Trix cereal because I miss my mom or something . One day I thought about Britney and figured, “Huh, I wonder what Britney Spears is like in real person.” It was random as fuck, but I started watching Britney Spears interviews. And more. And more. And suddenly I had watched virtually every Britney interview I could find online. Post-Mardi Gras visit 2016 I sat on my bedroom floor and hot-glued beads to vases and lamps while listening to Britney interviews from the UK. I started listening to a Britney Spears Pandora station on my walks to the bus stop to go to babysitting gigs. When it got warmer, I listened to My Prerogative and started taking jogs around the neighborhood to help me feel more confident. My life may have looked unfortunate at the precise moment, but I wasn’t following anyone else’s rules and I was going to make my future on my own terms–I needed to believe it.
We all come back to a sense of home–and ourselves–through odd means. And for some reason, Britney not only brought me back home to childhood but also to my sense of self. And my low-key childhood jealously melted into fascination. Wow, watch her be so shy and quirky and funny in interviews but when she performs, POW! POW! POW! BOOM, GOES THE DYNAMITE. And I thought, I can do whatever I want in this whole world, because look at fuckin’ Britney, she’s doing her thing no matter how shy or scared she is on the inside.
Alas, I adore Britney. And Britney Ever After was pretty garbage, but it made me think a lot about how behind the scenes her life was anything but easy and I don’t think I could ever handle feeling so controlled, but part of me will always be thankful that she sucked it up and moved forward anyway, just like I know I will, too.