Britney may be synonymous with words like pop princess and comeback kid, but not so much with healthy relationship role model. From a messy and public divorce to Kevin Federline to obtaining restraining orders against two exes — former manager Sam Lufti and paparazzi Adnan Ghalib — Brit doesn’t have a record of falling for good guys.
This is obviously no fault of her own because her exes are fully responsible for their own for their own disrespectful behavior. However, in her latest single “Criminal,” Britney seems to glamorize the unfortunate experience of an unhealthy relationship. See the video after the cut.
“Loser” and “bum” aren’t exactly ideal traits in a potential partner, but Britney seems to think otherwise. In the song, she pleads with her mother not to worry about her new relationship with her criminal boyfriend. I don’t know about you, but Brit isn’t very persuasive when she sings that this love “isn’t rational, it’s physical.” She seems to recognize the instability and danger of her relationship, so why can’t she leave?
At the beginning of the video, we see Britney leave a very obviously abusive relationship. The criminal character took advantage of her vulnerable state and charmed her with a passionate and exciting new love. Abusive relationships are about power and control. Using his powers of manipulation, Brit’s music video criminal boyfriend romanced her out of her rational thinking.
From an advocate’s perspective, it looks like Britney probably lost her ability to make decisions for herself. Not only does Britney carry a gun in the video, but she threatens to use it when she steals money from a convenience store. We don’t see Britney interacting with anyone other than her partner, which leads me to believe that he has isolated her because of his on-the-run lifestyle.
If I were Brit’s friend, I would be really worried about her safety — both physically and mentally. From what we see in the video, her new relationship has elements on emotional abuse, rather than the physical abuse seen in her previous relationship. Emotional abuse can be as harmful, if not worse, than physical abuse because the effects are lasting and often subconscious.
If you or someone you know has experienced relationship abuse like I talked about in this post, please check out www.loveisrespect.org for more information or to talk to an advocate about your situation.
What do you think about the relationship in Britney’s video? What would you tell her character if you were her friend?