Britney Spears’ music producers and video directors have had an eerily prescient take on the pop star’s life. A good chunk of her songs allude to mental instability (“You drive me crazy,” “I’m just a crazy type of girl,” “You say I’m crazy, I’ll show you crazy”), and her music videos can be seen as a pop study of multiple personality disorder (“Lucky,” “Toxic,” “Womanizer”). Yet it’s her sexiest single that has now become her ironic, if not tragic, tell-tale. As the star who once sang “I’m a slave” can’t even check her own text messages without being monitored.
Over four years have passed since the shaved head, the umbrella assault, the gurneys but Britney Spears is still under the conservatorship of her father and fiance. A 31-year-old woman, one of the wealthiest in the world, whose personal and financial decisions are being made by two men, and where are the feminists who once condemned Britney for her early lack of empowerment?
To anyone who’s ever caught a glimpse of the pop star post-breakdown, it’s evident that Britney Spears would rather be anywhere but in the spotlight. But despite her generally underwhelming live performances, her vapid interview responses and her abandonment altogether of choreographed dancing, public fascination with Brit hasn’t wavered one bit since her heyday.
Take for example “Scream and Shout,” her newest collaboration with Will.I.Am. The song skyrocketed to the top of the charts thanks to the straight-up sampled “It’s Britney, Bitch” line from her real crazy phase. She couldn’t even be bothered to re-record it.
So Britney will remain a slave — to the recording studio, the stage, the X-Factor set, the fragrance deals — for a very long time. She’s become the perfect cash cow: the most amount of pay off with the least amount of effort.
BOY TOYS TALK BACK: Should Britney be set free?