Britney Spears: A Case Study
Sorry Britney, one more analyst.
My cousin Cheli Nighttraveller was working at Claires when Britney had a show in Saskatoon. She was the one who pierced her ears. And apparently a whole wave of girls was following her, she had no privacy. Anyway, it looked like she had a really hard time with her piercing but because people were all watching she put on this smile. And I remember Cheli told us, “She’s going to crack one of these days.”
And then of course she’s been in all the papers.
There was this interesting thing when she shaved her head, people got really upset about that, because it was this total symbol of ultimate womanhood, to have long hair, and she just basically went fuck it and shaved it all off. And I remember that impulse too, because when I was halfway through my transformation I shaved my head. And I was a girl so it was decided that I was mutilating myself. Which I so wasn’t, I just needed to liberate myself with a symbolic death. And so shaving my head was it.
Now if I had been a bio boy and shaved my head like that, people might think I was becoming a skinhead. Which wasn’t it at all either.
What I was doing was taking my gender back to zero so I could learn who I was. And that’s a common thing, Buddhist monks and nuns all have shaved heads, because it’s a moment of being free of gender. It’s neutral. It doesn’t mean you have to stay neutral, it’s just a necessary spot to be in for a moment, to truly think about life in the middle.
And I think she is learning what it means to be a woman. I mean, she did the virgin thing for so long, that’s what she built her career on. And then she discovered sex. And I’m sure she was having fun but suddenly all these people started calling her a slut, because to be powerful, female, and sexual is a scary thing in this world.
I finally figured out what was so amazing about that girl in high school. She didn’t fit a single archetype. And it was so bizarre, because she was SUCH a girl, so girly, oh my god. And yet she wasn’t anything I had ever know about women, she contradicted everything I had understood to mean female. That fucked me over, I was like, woah, I don’t know who you are at all. That is so cool! And she was high femme, and nothing like anything I had been told femme was. And so I think I went out to try and understand femmes, because they baffled me. And I think I baffled her too because I remember one day in the library I asked if she thought I was butch or femme and she said “I don’t know.” And I was like, well fuck, I must be SOMETHING. What the hell am I? And I already knew I was a boy, but I wasn’t sure because I didn’t fit with boy.
Anyway, I think Britney is trying to reconcile being a gifted sexual woman in the society we have today. I think she’s been buried under a concept of good female behaviour that she doesn’t even know if she’s okay anymore. And that’s something I see a lot of femmes go through, and it’s the same thing I go through.