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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Britney Spears’ ‘The Woman in Me’ is eye-opening to the realities of being a Pop Princess

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Courtesy Photo | Gallery Books

Britney Spears released her first memoir about her life in the spotlight.

Britney Spears released her first memoir titled “The Woman in Me” under publisher Gallery Books on Oct. 24 of this year. The book is 288 pages long and quite a swift, easy read.
Characterized by its casual, conversational language, the book proves itself to be rather accessible for readers of all kinds. In the memoir, Spears details her childhood and subsequent rise to stardom before expanding on the pressures of life in the fast lane and her experience being in a conservatorship.
The memoir follows a chronological order, beginning with Spears’ life on the border of Louisiana and Mississippi. She describes herself as a child who habitually sought out both attention as well as isolation. She says she spent hours wandering through the woods near her home and would hide in cabinets when family and friends were over while waiting for them to find her.
Spears described herself as a natural-born entertainer — putting on shows for guests and dancing on dining tables as a child. She maintains this dichotomous self-image into her adulthood, cherishing her quiet moments alone, but still enjoying performing and creating. That is, until the onset of the infamous conservatorship that she was put under in 2008.
Through the memoir, Spears delves into a variety of topics such as predatory paparazzi, failed romances, being a child entertainer, becoming a mother, being involuntarily enrolled in a conservatorship and the effects that all of this has on one woman’s mental health. 
Spears makes many revelatory claims throughout the novel. The claims concerning Justin Timberlake, in particular, have set social media ablaze.
Spears and Timberlake’s relationship was an iconic part of Y2K culture during the late ‘90s and early 2000s. The pair was consistently documented at award shows and on public dates, including their appearance at the American Music Awards in 2001 where they donned their famous all-denim ensembles.
In her memoir, Spears claims that Timberlake cheated on her several times and that Spears was pregnant at one point but had an at-home abortion to avoid threatening her or Timberlake’s burgeoning music careers. Spears also claims that Timberlake broke up with her via text.
Throughout the book, particularly the first half, she explains how deeply this relationship damaged her, especially after Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” was released with the video starring a villainous Spears lookalike.
Spears also claims that she has never had an addiction or “problem,” with either drugs or alcohol, despite what her various rehab stints and numerous press headlines may suggest. While she admits to abusing Adderall at one point as well as occasionally consuming alcohol, she is adamant that the only substances she ever took with regularity were over-the-counter energy supplements suggested by a trainer she once dated.
Spears also claims that each of her rehab stays were orchestrated by her family in various attempts to exert control over her, including one such stay where she was unnecessarily put on Lithium, an extremely strong psychiatric medication typically used for mood disorders such as bipolar or manic-depressive disorder.
Spears talks frequently about her love for her sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James. She credits them with saving her life multiple times and says that since having them, everything she has done has been for them.
She also talks about various performances of hers that have entered the pop culture collective memory, including her performance of “I’m a Slave 4 U” at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards as well as her frequently satirized rendition of “Gimme More” at the 2007 MTV VMAs. 
The biggest topic is, of course, the conservatorship which controlled her life for 13 years. Spears holds no punches when discussing the conservatorship and her family’s involvement, describing the countless ways her father, mother and younger sister exploited her for over a decade. Despite these wounds, however, Spears does not quite go “scorched earth” on the people that have wronged her in some way, going so far as to wish healing and peace on several people.
Overall, “The Woman in Me” is a very worthwhile read for any audience concerned with pop culture, celebrity life, the music industry, mental health or Spears herself.

About the Contributor
Haylee Morman, Staff Writer
Haylee Morman is a senior English major. Haylee is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Britney Spears’ ‘The Woman in Me’ is eye-opening to the realities of being a Pop Princess