We’ve been through so much together. I remember first seeing you on the Mickey Mouse Club during my elementary school days. You were the best dancer in the cast, and way more entertaining than Christina.
I was heartbroken when the MMC was canceled, but something told me, you’d be back in the spotlight soon enough.
It changed my pre-teen life when you first graced MTV’s Total Request Live with “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. I, along with my female classmates, immediately wished we attended private school so we could rock naughty school girl outfits. You were the performer/entertainer our nerdy glee club selves aspired to be. Although we were divided between Team *NSYNC vs. Team Backstreet Boys (I will forever be on team Justin Timberlake, sorry AJ McLean), you held a permanent place in our hearts.
Speaking of Justin Timberlake, I even forgave you for dating who I always thought would be my future ex-husband. You and Justin were teenie-bopper royalty back in the day. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I still have hope that you two will get back together. Your matching denim outfits on the red carpet, along with your all-american image makes you my favorite celebrity couple of all time. Brustin, gone but never forgotten.
Who can forget your 2000 MTV Video Music Awards performance when you ripped your tuxedo off to reveal a sequin, flesh-colored bustier and pants– followed by your heavy-hitting dance moves? Ten years later, no one has been able to top that year’s performance.
Your brief fall from grace was heartbreaking. I blame it all on Kevin Federline. He brought you down baby. I literally said a prayer and had a moment of silence when I found out you had shaved off all of your blond, flowing-locks. As a feminist, however, I believe you made a powerful statement about femininity. Purposeful or not, you sent the message that your image as a pop-goddess was too much for even you to handle at times. To be honest, I don’t know how you handle the constant media portrayal and the paparazzi hounds. I truly bow down to your courage, and I felt your pain when you picked up those scissors.
Despite your time in rehab, and your alleged abuse of prescription medication, your record label put out what I believe is your best work. Blackout (Gimme More, Break the Ice, Radar, Piece of Me) was ground-breaking and arguably the best dance/pop record of the decade. This shows that even while you were down and out, you were still a star.
Today, after the release of your fifth number one album, Circus, you have showed all of your fans that out of the ashes comes beauty. You rose back to the top, and managed to become a well-rounded mother and pop-star. Although you’ve been caught wearing some questionable footwear, you still inspire us all.
I was literally shaking and crying when you made an appearance in my favorite TV show, Glee. That episode was epic, and the definition of glamor. My 13-year-old self was jumping for joy, while my current 24-year-old self was happy to see that my favorite pop-star was still relevant. What a great realization. Kudos to you.
Cheers, Brit! Happy, Happy Birthday! I truly feel as though I’ve grown up with you and for that I am forever grateful. I can’t begin to fathom how difficult living your life in the public-eye must be, but thank you for doing it. You will forever be a part of my musical identity, and have a permanent spot in my iPod. May all your wishes come true.