Opinion: “The Woman In Me”: The Heartbreaking Truth Of The Princess Of Pop

Courtesy of Stereogum

 

By Katherine Hepburn and Rami Mansi

 

   The life of pop icon and legendary performer Britney Spears has been on full display ever since she was a kid. As a teenager, Spears was repeatedly asked by journalists about her sexual life. Then, as an adult, Spears was under a conservatorship from 2008 to 2021.

   In those 13 years, Spears went from not being able to choose her meals to not being able to see her two sons without approval. When the courts declared that Spears could make her own decisions again, the conservatorship order was lifted last year on Nov. 12, according to Women’s Health. Although this may seem like good news, her new memoir, “The Woman in Me,” explains that this was still not a happy ending for her.

   The memoir exposes the truth of her experiences with conservatorship, motherhood, constant media attention, and life as a musician. Many shocking revelations were disclosed even before the official release of the memoir, as the first sneak peeks became available a couple of days before the release date on Oct. 24.

   This memoir details Spears’s perspective on the appalling treatment she endured during the 13-year conservatorship. Once you finish the 191 pages offered in “The Woman in Me,” you might begin to understand her antics on Instagram. The influencer-like modeling stemmed from being told how to dress for her entire career. The repeated dancing came from the intense choreography she was known for and, in turn, made her a legend. Finally, the display of playing with fake knives was an effect of being restricted and medicated, with this being Spears’s attempt to rebel against the standards that were put on her.

   One of the moments that shocked audiences worldwide was Spears divulging information about the abortion she went through during her relationship with Justin Timberlake. “For me, it wasn’t a tragedy. But Justin wasn’t happy about the pregnancy. He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were too young,” Spears wrote, explaining what happened after she found out she was pregnant.

   According to Page Six, Timberlake is reportedly “not at all happy” about the perspective this puts on him, and he has gone viral on various social media platforms due to both his cultural appropriation and past mistreatment towards Spears. Spears shared that Timberlake would use a “Blaccent,” and along with his NSYNC bandmates, tried too hard to fit into the hip-hop scene. Pictures of him having dreads during an award show in 2003 have resurfaced and gone viral on social media, much to Timberlake’s dismay.

   With little to no recent public appearances made by Spears, we are left to wonder if this book is indeed her long-awaited return to the mainstream. While most artists would conduct a press tour following their book release, Spears declined almost all of her options, including appearances on “Oprah” and “60 Minutes.” According to Inquisitr, a spokesperson for Spears, “Britney is just not in the right space to sit down for a full-scale interview to address many areas of her memoir. Firstly, she doesn’t like to be face-to-face with a TV camera anymore when dealing with questions.”

   Spears spent years being forced into doing interviews and being asked invasive questions, including the 2003 Diane Sawyer interview, where Sawyer displayed relentless attacks on Spears’s “raciness” through demeaning questions and going as far as to call a montage of Spears’s midriff area the “the most valuable square inch of real estate in the entertainment universe.” Spears points to this interview as a breaking point in her life, according to TIME. In turn, Spears has turned down many interviews to protect her peace and take time to focus on her endeavors and well-being.

   However, Spears did post on Instagram on Oct. 20, sharing that she wanted to “enlighten people who feel particularly alone in most cases or hurt or misunderstood!!”

   Although there has not been any grand-scale marketing from Spears like we might have expected, the public has been promoting the book for her. Reacting to quotes in the memoir, expressing both their pride and sympathy for Spears for publishing this powerful book, social media users and Spears fans alike made the book jump to an instant bestseller and the #1 celebrity memoir of all time, as reported by The Economic Times.

   “There’s been a lot of speculation about how I’m doing. I know my fans care. I am free now. I’m just being myself and trying to heal. I finally get to do what I want, when I want,” Spears wrote at the end of her book.

   This book has been the beacon of reconciliation and hope for many readers across the globe, as well as both a literal and metaphorical chapter that ends this period in Spears’s life. The tell-all book to end all others, the rise and fall of the princess of pop herself is a must-read; the vulnerability and truth expressed offer emotions unlike anything the public has seen from Spears before, but was needed.

   Spears has come back to the public view in a new light, with an emphasis on healing and a new understanding of showing the world who Britney Spears truly is. At the end of the memoir, Spears wrote, “It’s been a while since I felt truly present in my own life, in my power, in my womanhood. But I’m here now.”

   Writing this memoir helped Spears gain a closer understanding of everything that happened to her in the past. With this newfound closure, hopefully, her future will now be full of joyful moments and unconditional love.

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