Celebrating the Britney Spears clips that predicted the end of her conservatorship
It’s Britney’s 40th birthday, and with age comes wisdom and reflection. For more than 20 years, society mistakenly viewed Britney as an agencyless teen pop princess. But look again, comrades! His oeuvre and body of work have been littered with subversive messages, anti-capitalist ideas and, yes, foreshadowing. Is it possible this 40-year-old mother of two (and 2007 survivor) has been cleverly hiding secret messages in her music videos and songs all this time?
With 2021 being a banner year for Brit – after the #FreeBritney movement snowballed and a string of small legal victories in the courts and huge shifts in public opinion and pressure led to her disbanding 13-year-old guardianship – we thought we’d use the occasion of his birthday to look back at his most iconic music videos. But not just any hits, the one we think may have just possibly predicted the end of his tutelage. Could she have known that emancipation was on the horizon? Let’s inspect these videos with a new lens.
It is therefore obvious that his tutelage did not exist in the year 2000, but the images of the video, combined with the emancipatory lyrics, cannot be ignored. It’s like she announced she’s 40 and free when we watch her use her fists to slam a locked door, sending everyone in the room back on their heels. Then she drives a car nearly over a cliff and instead walks purposefully and confidently across the bridge.
Unlike her other music videos from that era, like “Sometimes” where she plays cute and lighthearted, here she’s bathed in dark tones, surrounded by shadows, and has a fierce face. Add to that lyrics like “I’m not your property from today, baby/You might think I won’t make it on my own But now I’m/Stronger than yesterday/Now , that’s just my way.” and you look like you’re out of your conservatory, baby.
I am a slave 4 u (2001)
Aside from the title’s obvious reference to being in bondage, stripped of one’s free will or agency, the symbolism in this video is off the charts. When Britney sings she wants to ‘dance next to us’ but she ‘can’t hold it/can’t control it’ she’s stuck in an abandoned building, sweating her ass off to perform for someone just sitting there to look at her. Countless other bodies continue to touch and grab her, giving her no moments of peace, and when a single drop of rain falls beyond the balcony, everyone runs for a drink. She knew she would break those chains one day!
Britney sings ‘baby can’t you see, I’m call’, about a ‘poisoned paradise’ she’s ‘creeping’ under, then shows us how she’ll use her creativity, cunning, intelligence and enthusiasm to get him out of this mess. We watch her push a service cart onto a plane, catering to every passenger’s whim, only to reveal herself as a secret agent, here to explode and take no prisoners. Yes, my daughter, set it all on fire!
B***h Job (2013)
Now this one is almost too obvious, and even lends itself to the already established socialist ideas of Britney (who could forget last year when she called for a general strike and the redistribution of wealth on her Instagram?) Britney here clearly denounces the illusion that work grants freedom and emancipation. We see Britney, with a “hot body” and “beautiful in a bikini” and a “Maserati”, but she is all alone in the desert, and her followers who want what she has must be whipped. Britney even indulges in flogging! Given that this video was posted during the height of her tutelage, we think she clearly draws a line here.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that Britney sings about a ‘Hollywood girl’ who is ‘crying, crying, crying in her lonely heart’ and yet everyone thinks ‘she’s so lucky’. In the video we see what we can only infer is that 2021 Britney travels back in time 20 years to 2000 Britney trying to warn her of the perils of the industry and all people who want take advantage of it. Today’s Britney sits atop a peak overlooking Tinseltown, older, wiser and seeing through fake people straight to their hearts. Britney knows the score. . . if only she could have stopped him!
Piece of Me (2007)
This simply states it. As she sings about ‘resorting to havoc’ and then ‘settling into court’, Britney shows us all the ways society, culture, media and the Hollywood machine have let her down as an entertainer. and as a young woman. We watch as paparazzi stalk her at her home, take upskirt photos, verbally and physically assault her, and then blame her for reacting. They call her “Miss American Dream since I was 17” but at the end of the video, she’s the one with the last laugh. She dances, she smiles, she leaves victorious. And isn’t that exactly what happened this year?
BEFORE LEAVING: Sandra Bullock said she begged Viola Davis to be in ‘The Unforgivable’
[video_embed id=’2332819′]BEFORE LEAVING: Sandra Bullock said she begged Viola Davis to be in ‘The Unforgivable’ [/video_embed]