By Susannah Clark
Along with releasing a new album, Britney Spears turned 27 years old on Tuesday. Besides being seven years older than I am, the superstar has also sold 83 million records, created three fragrances and made out with Madonna on national television.
And I can totally relate to her.
Granted, writing a weekly column in my college newspaper hasn’t made me famous enough to be stalked by paparazzi on campus walk—Okay, being a Bullet columnist hasn’t even made me famous enough to make the “Overheard at UMW” Facebook group.
It is not Britney’s celebrity that I relate to, but her vulnerability.
I grew up with Britney. Starting with a dance to “Baby One More Time” in the 5th grade talent show, I was a loyal Britfan all throughout middle school, climaxing to seeing her “live” in concert, with opening act P. Diddy. (I believe this is the third Susannigan that I’ve mentioned that concert…this semester.)
Her simpleton lyrics and synthesized hooks spoke to my body-glittered soul. I wasn’t a girl back then, and I’m still not yet a woman.
As I entered high school and college, Britney went from being America’s sweetheart to spiraling down into a Michael Jackson-esque realm of sex, drugs and mental instability.
I ripped down the Britney posters in my bed room, and hid her music deep in my iPod to protect my indie-snob reputation.
But in the back of my mind, I still had faith in my bubblegum goddess, even after she married K-Fed.
In “For the Record,” a documentary about the circus that is Britney’s life that aired on MTV Sunday night, the mother-of-two poured her heart out on camera, reflecting on fame, family and fake eyelashes. The tell-all was made to kick-off her “comeback,” and reintroduce her to the world as a mentally-sound, articulate MILF.
In one particularly heart-breaking moment, Britney compares her life in the limelight to being in prison:
“There’s no excitement, there’s no passion. I have really good days, and then I have bad days. Even when you go to jail you know there’s a time when you’re gonna get out. But in this situation, it’s never ending. It’s like Groundhog Day every day.”
People will always be fascinated with Britney Spears, whether she’s a train wreck or temporarily reformed by Kabbalah.
You can’t help but feel sorry for her.
I may not have two kids with double names, but what I’ve dealt with in adolescence hasn’t been completely different from some of Britney’s turmoil: 18-hour-days, nasty rumors and ill-placed hair extensions.
While it was Facebook and not People magazine that announced my break-up, it was still somewhat public.
Maybe Britney’s just like me.
If Britney can make it through rehab, custody battles and panty-less limo rides, I can make it through finals week.
Ms. Spears will be performing in DC next March, and even though P. Diddy won’t be opening, I’m buying a $90 nosebleed ticket. Together, Brit and I will be celebrating the trials we’ve overcome, with lots of lip-synching and pyrotechnics.
2009 is weeks away, and Britney shared her new years’ resolutions in the latest issue of Glamour magazine:
“I would like to stop worrying so much, because I worry all the time. And to learn how to be happier, just in general. I have to learn to take things not so seriously. And to stop biting my nails!”
Ya know what Britney? Me too.