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Britney Spears is my favorite celebrity. My obsessions with others came and went — Paris Hilton, Oprah, Lindsay Lohan — but Spears has stayed in first place ever since I was 6 years old.
The first time I remember listening to Spears was in 2008, when her single “If U Seek Amy” was released. I had no idea what the song I was singing meant, but was instantly hooked. I used the remainder of my birthday money to buy the deluxe version of her sixth album Circus on iTunes, then jailbroke my blue iPod Nano to listen to her first five albums.
The reason I wanted to share this is because I firmly believe that Spears is one of the most unproblematic celebrities in history. There has not been anyone else in my life I have been magnetically drawn to as much as Britney Spears — and I believe it is because of her divine unproblematic energy.
Spears has been on camera her whole life. I am not exaggerating when I say every moment of her life had been filmed, from her start on The Mickey Mouse Club up until her Las Vegas residency show “Piece of Me.” If she were to get canceled — like countless other celebrities — she would have by now. Instead, videos come up of her thanking the LGBTQ community for their dedication as fans, which is something she never fails to do every Pride month, almost getting into a physical fight with paparazzi when they hurled racial slurs at her bodyguard, and praising the success of her fellow female pop stars. While celebrities use “2007 Britney” and references to her shaved head as a “joke” in interviews, Spears rarely has anything negative to say about anyone. She even received 2018’s GLAAD Vanguard award, which is given to media professionals who have made a significant impact in promoting the acceptance of LGBTQ people.
From the start of her career, she has been slammed with hate — more so than any other celebrity during the 2000s. From being sexualized at the age of 16, shamed for wearing crop tops and constantly getting asked if she had breast implants, Spears faced it all. At the time, the media only focused on tearing her down and making a profit off of her name. The fact that she did not have a public break until 10 years into her career is mindblowing to me — only to come back less than a year later with the chart-topping comeback hit “Womanizer.”
Growing up in the late 2000s with three other siblings, I would barely get any time on the one laptop we had to share. When I finally got my 90 minutes of screen time, I would immediately go to YouTube and spend all of my minutes watching Britney Spears music videos. I felt free watching her and singing along. For an hour-and-a-half, her music cured all of the stress I was facing about accepting my sexuality and the fear of anyone finding out.
Many people are shocked when I tell them that I am a Britney Spears megafan, especially when they learn I am only 18. Yes, I realize I may have missed her “peak” in terms of popularity, but I believe her music and personality transcends time. I can recognize her impact in pop music to this day, from Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” to Charli XCX’s “Pop2.” However, her message of kindness and acceptance can be seen in all of her fans.
“Society has always put such an emphasis on what’s normal. And to be different is unusual or seen as strange, but to be accepted unconditionally and to be able to express yourself as an individual through art is such a blessing.” – Britney Spears
See Spears’ acceptance speech at the 29th GLAAD Media Awards here: