Today I put my ipod on shuffle and at one point a Britney spears song came on. Instead of changing it, I let it play, and for some reason I found myself considering the lyrics for the first time, ever. And doing so made me feel strangely uncomfortable. The song I was listening to is called “Till the World Ends” and it’s off her most latest album, which came out back in 2011.
Here is the song:
Okay. I’ll start by saying that when I think of “Britney Spears”, as a person, aside from her music, there are three “Britneys” that come to mind.
1.) 2000 Britney
2.) 2007 Britney
3.) 2013 Britney
Britney Spears has gone through some very “dark” phases in her life, and her worst moments were plastered on all of the magazine covers I gazed at in grocery store check-out lanes when I was in middle school and high school. I was younger when “Britney 2000” existed, so I only barely saw her youthful innocent side, before whatever happened between 2004 and 2008, happened.
Whatever Britney went through is not a “light” subject. When your “Personal Life” section on Wikipedia has many dense sub-categories, that’s a warning sign. She’s struggled with drug addictions, arrests, and multiple trips to rehab. She SHAVED HER HEAD in front of the PAPARAZZI with nothing but a dazed/sad expression on her face (and supposedly she chopped off her hair so that it couldn’t be tested for drug usage so she wouldn’t lose her kids). She has a CONSERVATORSHIP in place, and until recently her parents/husbands have managed all of her money, because she is not mentally stable enough to do so. People have said it’s likely that she has a mental illness, and the only reason she’s “functional” today is due to a strict dosage of medication her managers feed her every single day. Like OKAY, this is dark, and its plastered across her wikipedia page for anyone to see.
NOW, this brings me back to why I have an issue with this song, and most of her songs she (and her team… because you know there are tons of people that craft her image/music) continues to release today. SHE STILL SINGS ABOUT PARTYING, DRINKING, DOING DRUGS, AS IF EVERYTHING SHE DID LEADING UP UNTIL 2008 NEVER HAPPENED!? WTF?!
Here are some examples off this song I listened to earlier and a few others that were on her 2011 Femme Fatale album…
“See the sunlight, we ain’t stoppin/Keep on dancing till the world end/If you feel it, let it happen/Keep on dancing till the world ends” – I’m pretty sure Britney hasn’t been allowed to stay up past midnight for awhile, in fear that she’ll have another psychotic breakdown..
“I notice that you got it, you notice that I want it/You know that I can take it to the next level baby”- yeah, we know, Britney..
“Show your knee socks/Drink tequila on the rocks”- BRITNEYYYY why are you still singing songs all about getting drunk and partying, when clearly that didn’t work out too well for you?!?!?
“Shame on me/To need release/Uncontrollably…I wanna go all the way/Taking out my freak tonight/I wanna show all the dirt/I got running through my mind, whoa” – Ughhhh This is just so frustrating because I’m pretty sure 2013 Brtiney gets release from Dance classes her managers make her go to, and talks about the dirt running through her mind with a therapist.
Obviously she doesn’t write the music, she has teams of people that pick songs they think will be commercially successful for her, but its still disappointing that they are choosing for her to sing songs about things she DOESNT DO ANYMORE BECAUSE WHEN SHE DID SHE WAS A TOTAL MESS. And what’s worse is that it still makes tons of money!
At parties her songs will sometimes come on and everyone will sing along with the drug/alcohol/party references, ignoring the fact that the girl singing the lyrics likely was famous just a few years ago for completely falling apart because of partying, and probably a mental illness.
The message that “Britney Spears” sends to her fans/people that randomly listen to her music (I’m in that category) is confusing, hypocritical, inauthentic, and messed up.
The way woman are portrayed in the media is very contradictory and confusing at times, and I’m not really sure what the best thing would be to do about that. We love to praise and talk about strong independent women like Tina Fey and Lena Dunham, but at the same we love to obsess about women who are struggling (amanda bynes, lindsay lohan, britney spears) and follow their breakdown. It’s a very mixed message, and something about it seems wrong. UGH.