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.

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

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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