Remembering The Iconic Britney Spears Breakdown Of 2007

Remembering The Iconic Britney Spears Breakdown Of 2007

A look back at one of the most sadistic moments in human history.
165
views

I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing, the moment I first saw that disturbing image of a delirious Britney Spears shaving her head with a wicked smile on her face. I will never forget that image. We were looking at a person, that came from nothing, defied all the odds against her, became the living epitome of the American dream, and then lost it all in a single moment. We all watched as a beautiful girl that was arguably the most well known and successful pop artist of the 21st century, slowly decaying into a shell of a person at our own hands. What many failed to notice in that picture, was that she is a human being. People saw an object to laugh at and judge, as she shaved off her long blonde hair and for once chose to stop making herself smaller and more "normal" to accommodate the public. For the first time, she did exactly what she wanted to do instead of being the version of herself that we wanted her to be. And while that image might still be strange and slightly cringe worthy, what we failed to realize was, this wasn't an attention seeking celebrity shaving their head for shock value or publicity. It was a deeply troubled young woman, broken down by the evil machine of the entertainment industry. And it was in this moment in our culture, my generation got a cold hard look at how cruel human kind can be.

The day before that still heartbreaking image was released, she was still Britney Spears the pop starlet that was a household name for every one in America, and all over the world. She came to us as a doe eyed, golden haired, baby doll in that iconic school girl uniform, and we ate it up. She was sexy, but innocent. And she was smart, yet dumbed down just enough to not intimidate her male counterparts. The day before the image was taken, she had checked out of a rehab facility and simultaneously lost her two children in a custody battle against her ex-husband Kevin Federline. What soon followed just hours later, turned to be one of the most memorable and iconic moments in pop culture. Four days after shaving her head while teetering back and forth from hysterically laughing to sobbing, Britney checked into a rehab facility again, for the second time in one week. While rumors had been circling for some time over Britney's alleged drug use, this time it was very real.

Arguably the most memorable moment in the downfall of the Britney Spears empire, was on February of 2007 when Ms.Spears attacked the car of a paparazzi who had been following her with an umbrella. This was the moment where it had seemed Britney had completely given up on life, on herself. It was also the biggest insight into what may have been fueling the pain and discontentment that led to her highly publicized breakdown. What we witnessed in the photographs and videos from that night, was a tired, hanging on by her teeth Britney Spears, finally standing up to the monster in her closet. And no it wasn't that paparazzi photographer specifically, but what he represented. The idea that she had to be perfect and camera ready at every waking moment. The notion that she must out-do herself every time to stay relevant. The demand that she stay young and not age a day in order to keep the attention of the male audience. The demand that she must edit every part of herself and craft it all into an illusion to feed the insecurities of the female audience. And most of all, the idea that without her gorgeous face and ship-shape physique, she could not be loved by the world or anybody in it.

The embarrassing part of Ms.Spears fall from grace, isn't in her actions or series of unfortunate events. The embarrassing part of the whole sad fiasco, was our reaction to it. We, as a group and as a society, met the incident with complete mercilessness and cruelty. She was mocked, she was slut-shamed, she was printed on the front cover of every magazine with the headline "Crazy Britney's done it again". No one took a single second to ask themselves "What must this girl be carrying inside her heart for her life to be falling to pieces like this?". The sad truth is, from the start of her career Britney Spears held the gold belt for pulling in profits. She made her record label and every other avenue that used her name billions of dollars. And in her moments of tragedy and loss, that was when she was at her most profitable. The publics interest in watching her fall apart in front of our eyes raked in millions of dollars, and those around her were rolling in the roses. Tabloids, magazines, the press, the media, her friends and family, and everyone she worked with, set her on a stage. They led her into the spotlights just to cage her, torture her down to her soul, and took our money as we sat down with stars in our eyes to watch the torment and decay of a young girl for our own personal entertainment.

This was not the first time human kind has shown we have a preconditioned craving to watch the demise of another person, a hunger to watch someone have it all and then lose it all in the most sadistic way possible. And surprisingly enough, it wasn't the first time we had seen this "lust for demise" in young female starlets. Bright young women in the entertainment industry have been broken down into tortured souls since the beginning of its existence. From Marilyn Monroe to Joan Crawford, and the more modern day examples, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears. While these women stories vary and are very different, they share vital things in common. All rose to fame from a background of poverty and disappointment, all receive worldwide critical and commercial acclaim. All have a lengthy career perched at the number one spot until they're seemingly thrown off the top into a spiral of mental illness, alcoholism, substance abuse, and loneliness. And the most disturbing part of all, all the women that have experienced this unfortunate fate, were by far the most talented and successful of their avenue. Thus, giving solid meaning to the phrase "the higher you climb, the further there is to fall".

The story of the Britney Spears breakdown and the stories of the women who came before her, can serve as a cautionary tale for current and future generations. It would be cliche to say fame isn't all its made out to be, but Britney is living proof that this statement couldn't be more accurate. If we analyze the way we, the public, belittled and mocked a helpless girl, we can change the scale we operate off of. Instead of turning a blind eye to another tortured soul, we can create a conversation on how to practice kindness, across all platforms, and with everyone in the world. The breakdown of Britney Spears was a sadistic mess that we created, endorsed, and supported. A moment in human history that will forever go down as us at our most wicked.

Cover Image Credit: famososnaweb

Popular Right Now

10 Reasons Your Big Sister Is The Best Person In Your Life

"There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you."
60732
views

As much as I hate to admit it, my big sister might be sort-of, slightly, cooler than I am.

Sometimes. She's the one I call when I can't call mom and the only one in the family who can properly handle my attitude. Big sisters are the people you'd choose if they weren't already family, and here's why.

1. She is your first and truest friend.

Big sisters are (literally) there from day one. They see every dirty diaper, every bad haircut, and every melodramatic breakup. They deal with every bad day and drama queen attitude and still love you in the most unconditional way.

2. Her closet is your closet.

For some reason, her clothes always look better on you. Funny how that works, huh? With a big sister comes a big closet, and who doesn't love having a double wardrobe? I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the clothes I will never give back (but I'm not really that sorry).

3. She knows what it's like to deal with your parents.

Anything you could possibly be going through, they went through it first. It's kind of like having an instruction manual or a key to the future. Either way, it's always nice to have someone who will always understand the struggle.

4. There are no boundaries.

Wanna dance around in your underwear all day? Cool. Life talks while she's on the toilet? Also cool. There's no awkward moments or changing in the bathroom with the door locked. There's just the kind of freedom that only comes with siblings.

5. Thanks to her, you know about all of the cool movies/music/fashion trends from years back.

Thanks to my sister, I have every Too $hort and Ludacris song you could ever think of downloaded on my phone. I've seen every cheesy '90s movie, and when a fad from 10 years ago comes back in, I already have the hookup.

6. She tells you like it is.

We all have those friends who tend to sugarcoat everything. Yeah, sisters don't do that. She's the first person to tell me when I'm making a terrible decision and that I really shouldn't triple text that boy again. She keeps it real with me and deals with my attitude, and that's why she's the best.

7. Her home is always open.

Sometimes you just need to get away from life and binge watch Netflix, and sometimes you need all of that plus your sister. She always has her door open when you're two seconds away from losing your mind, and she also has good takeout and a dog.

8. She knows what you're capable of.

My sister knows exactly who I am and what I can do. She knows when I'm not doing my best, and when I need to be set straight. She's always there to remind me who I am and what I'm capable of accomplishing. She's always been my biggest fan.

9. She's a lot cheaper than therapy.

For some reason, my sister always knows just what to say. Even if I don't see it at the time, she's usually right (don't tell her I said that). Big sisters are like wizards, somehow they always magically make you feel like life's gonna turn out alright in the end. If she wasn't already awesome at everything else, I'd suggest she be a therapist.

10. She will always be your go-to gal.

No matter the situation, she will always be by your side. There is nothing you could say or do to make a big sister leave, and that's why they're the best. Whether it's a speeding ticket, a mean girl or you just need to laugh, big sisters are always going to be there to lift your spirits and set you straight.

I couldn't make it without ya sis, I'm sorry for ratting you out on Thanksgiving that one time, and for running away at the zoo. Thanks for taking me to see Aaron Carter even though he's way too old to still be singing "I want Candy," and thank you always for being the best role model, sister and friend I could ask for.

Cover Image Credit: teaser-trailer.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

187
views

They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


Related Content

Facebook Comments