Many people can’t understand what strength, inspiration and encouragement can come from idolizing superficial pop stars…. Namely, Britney Spears. But I’ve grown up with her as a role model most of my life. And no, I am not a dancer or a singer, but she’s been one of the only figures in my life I’ve had to comfort my uncertainties and empower me when I’ve had to find the answers on my own. It’s hard to explain unless you, too, relate to what I’m about to say…
You’ve never seen Britney Spears on a talk-circuit shouting “you’re beautiful and worth it” like many other public figures in history seem to campaign for their “inspiring” image. No, that’s too on-the-nose for Britney and myself. I was in elementary and middle school and learning about life — I can’t say I didn’t have friends, but I CAN say I was bullied worse than most kids at my school. Then after growing up, being bullied in school was traded for a few abusive relationships… Now, you still might be lost as to where Britney’s lack of “Firework” and “Born This Way” anthems played a part in the empowerment of her fans and myself..
So I will break it down as concise and quickly as possible.
Britney Spears’ worldwide success came nearly overnight. And after all the awards won and all the records she was breaking — it was always EQUALLY followed with critics mocking her, calling her talentless and begging for her career to end. The time was grossly notorious for making Britney the butt of every joke. Being bullied as a kid feels exactly the same… Like walking into a room with a huge confident smile then immediately being greeted with laughs and paper wads thrown at you… And sometimes… It wasn’t just a “feeling” (thank you ELA class – sixth grade). Seeing Britney avoid most of the criticisms and ignoring the countless and unwarranted insults by continuing to stay true to the art and the things that made her happy was exactly what I needed to witness at the time.
No one can make a scene like Britney Spears.
We forget that most of our problems, worries, and pain are temporary. Someone telling us that “it gets better” for every time we’ve hurt becomes synonymous eventually. We’ve heard it all before… There’s no actual working response-advice for every problem. What worked for me is having Britney’s albums to come home to, her smile in her pictures, and her music videos endlessly rotating on MTV. I’ve come home and cried about my day alone in my room before playing some of Britney’s music. After a few songs or music videos, there’s no doubt that the investment she occupies in your senses — the sparkly dresses, beauty and spontaneous dance routines — can overtake any bad day. To add to my last point, Britney never took the stage to lay all of her problems on it. She used the stage as a place to separate art from reality. Her performances gave the audience an altered sense of reality. A much more pleasant and sexy one.
There’s not a story in pop music of someone as triumphant as Britney Spears. The breakdown, pain and abuse Britney was subjected to between 2005-2008 bares no reason to revisit other than the fact that she OVERCAME THEM ALL. There’s going to come a time in your life that you feel that every single thing has fallen apart and there’s no way to correct the mistakes you’ve made. And Britney is a testament to that: Although it may feel like it can’t get any lower, it will. But you have to persevere. And no one, NO ONE, has shown their resilience to do so like Britney has. If that can’t prove to you that the worse is yet to come.. But it will also pass… Then maybe this note isn’t for you.
And maybe this is the part where I’m realizing this note is for me.
I’ve been in a three-year slump of bad decisions; bad luck; bad relationships; bad habits; and countless people and situations that have made me feel like the best is all behind me. It’s not. And reminding myself what adversities Britney Spears has overcome to live a successful and fulfilling life solidifies why Britney Spears has always been an unknowing support system my entire life. And as I sit here, nearing an opporunity and chance to change my lifestyle and career for the better, I can proudly say that it is Britney Spears empowering me to do so.
So if you didn’t quite understand how someone can look up to someone so “superficial” and “shallow” like Britney Spears before this letter, hopefully you can now.
A note to you. A note to me. A note to Britney.