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I’ve been a Britney Spears fan since the 7th grade. I would come home from school and watch TRL, knowing I’d see “Baby, One More Time,” her iconic music video. Over the years it became hard to be a Britney fan given that everyone seemed to bash her. I defended her even during the tough years, like 2007. Listening to “The Woman in Me” by Britney Spears was eye-opening despite being aware that she had been through so much in her life.
*Stop reading if you don’t want spoilers!*
My thoughts on “The Woman in Me”
Britney’s story is riddled with double standards. In her relationship with Justin, she was unfairly portrayed as the villain.
She wrote about how Justin cheated on her repeatedly during their relationship, but she never said anything about it, not to him nor the media. When she, too, cheated on him by kissing someone else, he later made a music video for “Cry Me a River” with a Britney lookalike giving the impression she had betrayed him. She was portrayed as a slut and heartbreaker in the media.
In a notorious interview, Diane Sawyer asked her what she did to Justin. Britney could have told the truth that Justin broke up with her over text and cheated, but she didn’t. She took the high road, but at a high cost.
Britney admits to taking Adderall, smoking and drinking, but she also says she never did hard drugs like she was suspected of doing. At one point she describes being sent to rehab for over-the-counter energy supplements provided to her by a doctor.
Her ex-husband Kevin Federline smoked marijuana yet he was able to care for the kids over Britney because she was portrayed as someone with serious drug and alcohol problems.
When she went out with Paris Hilton, she writes, she arranged for childcare for her children. She had drinks with her friends like many normal people do. But she was treated as if she needed an intervention. “The shame I felt killed my heart.”
“Justin and Kevin were able to have all the sex and smoke all the weed in the world, and no one said one word to them. I came home from a night at the clubs and my own mother tore into me,” she writes.
Thoughts on Justin’s behavior
I had heard snippets of the book on social media before I bought the audiobook, so I knew Britney discussed her abortion in the book. On top of what must have been deep, traumatic emotional and physical pain, what was also appalling was how Justin Timberlake treated her during the abortion and afterward. According to Britney, Justin got his guitar and strummed along as she lay on the bathroom floor in pain. It’s giving Ken vibes but in the worst way. Soon after, he started to pull away from her as he worked on his solo album. Breaking up with someone you lived with over text is also such a cowardly way to go about it.
Cheating aside, the fact that Justin did not stand up for Britney or shut down talk about her during interviews was disappointing. He was asked if he had sex with her, and instead of putting a halt to that kind of talk about her, he said, “OK, I did it.” In my opinion, he should have refused to talk about her in that way. He should have also clarified that he was the one to break up with her instead of painting himself as a victim. Of course, this was all years ago, but it says a lot about a person when they say nothing as someone is torn down.
Thoughts on Kevin’s behavior
I was never a fan of Kevin. Was anyone? I was still saddened to hear he kept Britney from seeing her boys when the youngest was only 5 months old. It was painfully obvious he was with her for the money and fame. She deserved better. I can imagine how devastating it must have been for Britney to not be able to see her kids at such a vulnerable time in her life.
Perinatal and postpartum depression
I can relate to her postpartum depression and anxiety. I, too, felt intense concern for my baby’s safety and my emotions were all over the place. I had to seek help for my mental health struggles. I can’t imagine going through that in the spotlight.
“Being a new mom is challenging enough without trying to do everything under a microscope,” she writes.
And she was alone during that time, with Kevin trying to make his own career and leaving her on her own.
“No one was around to see me spiral, except every paparazzo in America.”
She needed help and she didn’t get it. That is truely devastating.
There’s a lot more to “The Woman in Me” but these stuck out to me as compelling. Have you listened to the audiobook or read the memoir?
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Marette Flora is the founder of Floradise blog and personalized gift shop. Marette is a passionate storyteller and creator. She attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.
She is passionate about creating helpful and meaningful things.