Philosophy Phriday: Britney Spears

Few people in history have a story as tumultuous as Britney Jean Spears. Her most shining moments include her glory days in the Mickey Mouse Club, selling 100 million albums worldwide, and graciously providing me with enough pop anthems to fill my Spotify playlists for years to come. But as for all of us, Britney’s life has come with seasons of hardship, pain and downright crazy. Some of her less impressive achievements include wearing a denim floor-length gown to the 2001 American Music Awards, marrying Jason Alexander for a total of 55 hours, driving with her small child in her lap, and inflicting us all with Curious (aka the most revolting fragrance of all time).

One of my favourite things about Britney Jean Spears is that on her Wikipedia page there are sections entitled ‘In The Zone and marriages’ and ‘Personal struggles and Blackout’. Another thing I love is how deep and thoughtful her lyrics are. Britney’s many ups and downs come through in her songs, providing unique insights into the triumphs and struggles of life as a young woman. Never is this clearer than in her 2001 smash hit, I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.

I used to think
I had the answers to everything,
But now I know
Life doesn’t always go my way, yeah

I too used to think I had the answers to everything. Hungry? Ask Mum how long until dinner’s ready. Thirsty? Ask Mum for a drink. Bored? Ask Mum to take you somewhere. Want something you can’t afford? Ask Mum to give it to you as an early Christmas present. These days life isn’t so simple. In fact it today I seem to have more questions than answers, questions such as:

  • What is life?
  • Where do people get all their money from?
  • Surely I don’t have to go to work every day for the rest of my life because that seems obscene?
  • How do you sew on a button?
  • How regularly should you empty the lint filter in the washing machine? (A quick google search on this one suggests after every use but that seems OTT)

I’m not a girl,
There is no need to protect me.
It’s time that I
Learn to face up to this on my own.
I’ve seen so much more than you know now,
So don’t tell me to shut my eyes.

This is where Britney’s maturity really shines through. See how willing she is to embrace all that life may throw at her and face up to it on her own, like a real life adult? What an inspirational attitude! My approach is much more down the “I’m just a girl, please continue to do everything for me so I can shut my eyes and pretend none of this real” end of the maturity spectrum.

I’m not a girl,
Not yet a woman.
All I need is time,
A moment that is mine,
While I’m in between.

Here is a refrain that does a better job of summarising the modern girl/woman’s daily struggle than any other. I know I’m not a girl – I don’t live with my parents any more, I’ve finished school and I earn my own money. But I am far from a woman – I have no idea what fabrics are safe to tumble dry or if it’s bad to just slice off the mouldy bit of cheese and keep using the rest of the block. Britney posits that all it takes to mature and grow is just a moment that is hers, but I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever reach true womanhood. Maybe if I model my life decisions on Britney I will follow her path and become not only a woman but internationally successful and incredibly wealthy.

BRB, off to stand on top of a cliff and sing for a bit.

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