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"Britney Spears Is Still Trapped By the Stigma of Her Breakdown" : please READ THIS, It's WORTH IT!


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Ten years and five albums after she shaved her head, people won't stop judging Britney by her mental health.

This is the best article about Britney and 2007 that you'll ever read. It is about how we see her and why people keep remember the incident. Please guys, take your time and read till the end, it's really worth.

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/britney-spears-is-still-trapped-by-the-stigma-of-her-breakdown

Spoiler

Ten years and five albums after she shaved her head, people won't stop judging Britney by her mental health.

It's been ten years since Britney Spears shaved the hair off her head, leaving her scalp and her soul bare to the world. Ten years since she made her exterior match what she was feeling inside. Ten years since she attacked a paparazzo's car with a broken teal umbrella in a fit of rage, when we can only assume she was trying to reclaim her privacy and, in turn, herself. 

To mark the tenth anniversary of Spears' momentous breakdown, on the 18th of February Lifetime released the unauthorised biopic, Britney Ever After. Eight seconds into the trailer, actor Natasha Barrett (who plays Britney) has already got out the shears. The Britney shears. And so, right at a moment when Spears seems to be relatively stable, her breakdown is dredged up all over again.

That year – 2007 – was a dark time for Britney: she had lost custody of her two sons and was put under a conservatorship which signed her life and fortune over to her father and her lawyer. The legal framework for conservatorships is usually reserved for extremely ill people, and it basically stripped Spears of the right to make any decision in her own life, or access her immense fortune. 

A 2016 New York Times article revealed, shockingly, that Britney is still under this conservatorship, and that it may last her entire life. The extent of it is far-reaching; Britney basically cannot make any choices for herself. From the article:

"Ms. Spears cannot make key decisions, personal or financial, without the approval of her conservators...Her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control."

She seems contented enough, though, with a plush residency at the biggest theatre in Las Vegas, her kids back by her side, a coy Instagram presence and rave reviews for her most recent album, Glory. She has, by all the usual criteria, come back. Her story has become one of survival, resilience and redemption. But, we have to ask, redemption for whom? Redemption for Spears, or redemption for us?

It was us, after all, who destroyed her. She didn't crumble in isolation or simply of her own volition; she overdosed on fame and we were complicit in that. We made her the single most watched human being on the planet and then, gleefully, watched as she nearly died from overexposure. We celebrated her ascent to celebrity and then punished her for attaining the very perfection we demand.

As Sady Doyle, journalist and author of the book Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock and Fear, says: "To see the impossible, ****** ideal of Britney Spears become human, in front of us – someone who went to 7/11 for snacks, or had bad relationships, or gained weight during a pregnancy, or just didn't always wear makeup at every hour of the day – was so shocking that people wanted to punish her."

As it became clear that Britney was probably dealing with substance issues and mental illness, all of our revulsion for "crazy" women – and for women who are stereotyped as "crazy" when they dare to have feelings or flaws in public – just poured out onto her at once. We wanted her to be perfect, or be nothing. We wanted to idealise her, or annihilate her. There was no in between.

A ruthless 2008 episode of South Park summed up exactly that: Spears tries to kill herself, survives, walks around with the top half of her head missing and is finally sacrificed to the gods for a good harvest. 

This was possibly always her fate: a woman destroyed by the very people who loved her, for the brazen act of being female, beautiful, successful and human all at once. Pop culture scholar Dr Marc Brennan says that the tragedy of Spears was, at least in part, to do with her being female: 

"The world's fascination with her breakdown could be read as an opportunity to witness the destruction of artifice – something that many would argue was the embodiment of Britney Spears and possibly American popular culture more generally. To the more sympathetic, the narrative provided a cautionary tale of the perils of fame and celebrity. Britney to me is emblematic of how women are 'tamed'. Since her breakdown, she has been controlled by a court-approved conservatorship. This is something that it is unparalleled with male entertainers. If there is a moral to this story, then it is one that reminds us of the unequal rights between men and women in our society."

Where male stars would have been able to continue their careers as damaged, fallible human beings, Spears had to be contained and returned to the form in which we first worshipped her. That's why she's still gyrating on stage in lingerie: her flawless physical form is the only way we can measure that she's "OK" again. 

She has, as Dr Brennan said, been "tamed". She has had huge commercial success since her 2007 breakdown (Glory got some of the best reviews of her career, including Rolling Stone comparing her to David Bowie), yet in the public consciousness she is still treated like a 2000s relic. Compare Spears to her contemporaries from that first round of fame – people like Beyonce and Justin Timberlake. They've become nuanced mega-stars where Britney is somehow staid, still being judged on her mental health as much as her performances. 

She is a celebrity divided; part of her is present here in 2017, and another is stuck in her pre-2007 image. She is still being punished for what we did to her.

If you're lazy I'll quote the best parts:

Ten years since she attacked a paparazzo's car with a broken teal umbrella in a fit of rage, when we can only assume she was trying to reclaim her privacy and, in turn, herself. 

We made her the single most watched human being on the planet and then, gleefully, watched as she nearly died from overexposure. We celebrated her ascent to celebrity and then punished her for attaining the very perfection we demand.

someone who went to 7/11 for snacks, or had bad relationships, or gained weight during a pregnancy, or just didn't always wear makeup at every hour of the day – was so shocking that people wanted to punish her."

 for women who are stereotyped as "crazy" when they dare to have feelings or flaws in public – just poured out onto her at once. We wanted her to be perfect, or be nothing. We wanted to idealise her, or annihilate her. There was no in between.

 a woman destroyed by the very people who loved her, for the brazen act of being female, beautiful, successful and human all at once.

Spears had to be contained and returned to the form in which we first worshipped her. That's why she's still gyrating on stage in lingerie: her flawless physical form is the only way we can measure that she's "OK" again. 

:(

 

 

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14 minutes ago, car said:

It's cause shes' letting others define her mental health and not owning her own message. She could become an advocate, an inspiration, and a powerhouse by talking about it. 

I agree with this 1,000% 

Britney never gave anyone any honest or satisfying answers about her meltdown or her mental health.

I mean, I believe she should fully be in control and only speak about it if she's comfortable (she's not), but the stigma is largely because we were/are all left to fill the blanks in ourselves.

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2 minutes ago, Streets said:

I agree with this 1,000% 

Britney never gave anyone any honest or satisfying answers about her meltdown or her mental health.

I mean, I believe she should fully be in control and only speak about it if she's comfortable (she's not), but the stigma is largely because we were/are all left to fill the blanks in ourselves.

Pretty much. As long as she doesn't come clean about what she has or what she hasn't, people will continue to speculate.

:snapney:

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It's so true!!!! When Britney talks about paying for her mistakes "for a really long time" in For The Record she sure wasn't lying. 

What I find most interesting is that the media always tends to leave out the previous era when discussing a new one. 3 albums, 2 of them massive spawning #1's & Top 40 hits, 2 world tours... its as if they never happened in the medias eyes. 

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Its very powerful but at the same time kinda distorting. Saying we want her in her lingerie to know shes ok again is blowing it out of proportion. What we want is her being confident again, and because we only saw her being confident before "in lingerie" we expect that. But I bet that if she did a whole acoustic concert very confident about herself people would stop picking on her and she would be ok as well.

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38 minutes ago, Nando. said:

Its very powerful but at the same time kinda distorting. Saying we want her in her lingerie to know shes ok again is blowing it out of proportion. What we want is her being confident again, and because we only saw her being confident before "in lingerie" we expect that. But I bet that if she did a whole acoustic concert very confident about herself people would stop picking on her and she would be ok as well.

Maybe it's media vs fans in regards to intentions. I do believe that the fans want a more artistic and open Britney in terms of performances and music because we care about her/have been fans for so long.  I don't think the media will ever be off her back because the relationship she had with the media was too volatile and inappropriate. The treatment she received was disgusting and they don't have the same stopping point with her that they show with other celebrities. I could be wrong but you never know. I would be thrilled if Britney did an acoustic concert or even just a set posted on Youtube for her next album. 

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Nope.

Was the biopic not just blasted as being ridiculous on every social media outlet and late and midnight talkshow?  Was Katy Perry for example not just ripped to shreds for insulting her last week?  Come on.  This isn't 2009.  Her fans are the only ones perpetuating this bullshit.  STILL. Let it ******* die already.

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Britney doesn't want the extra attention.. She's said many times pre 2007 she wishes once she's off the stage that life was just normal and the fame stops while she's not preforming... I believe that's why she doesn't give her all on stage anymore.. She wants to perform.. But she doesn't want all the photographs and attention again.. She's doing enough to keep us "happy" but not enough to be a media sensation.. And I kinda feel like that's how she wants it..  

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