Friday, March 10, 2017

Why Britney Spears has extremely impacted my life so much!

 Written By: Amanda Ramirez 

It has taken me a while to sit down and write this post. It has been a mixture of not having time and trying to figure out the right words to say. In 1998 when I first heard about Britney Spears (mind you I didn't grow up with Disney Channel, so I didn't know anything about the Mickey Mouse Club.) 
I came into it just knowing her as a new artist, and enjoying her first single,
 '...Baby One More Time'. 


                  As she continued to release singles and her sophomore album, "Oops I Did It Again", I become even more interested in this down to earth, sweet, southern girl, it felt like she was just a normal person who just so happened to be a professional singer. Do you know what I mean? Many celebrities let the fake celebrity persona come before they let their own genuine self show. 



           But Britney was different. She laughed loudly, snorted, chewed gum during interviews, made funny faced and was just herself. It allowed me to be able to connect to her. As being a singer myself and having dreams of doing the same thing she does, I was able to have an example of someone who cared more about staying genuine and real, then being conformed to what an industry 
official would want a new
client to be portray to the world.

Being an adult now, I realize how autobiographical, 'Oops I Did It Again's' second single, 'Lucky', was to Britney's unforeseen future. Spears, had no hand lyrically in the song but thinking back now it was an exact mirroring of emotions that Spears would feel later on in her life. 



      For some reason when I was younger and I would hear 'Lucky', I would become so emotional, I felt SO connected to that song. 


As Britney's third self titled, album, 'Britney' approached, Britney would pursue having more control creatively in the studio. Visually in the past Britney has always had input in music video storylines, but never in the studio when it came to producing and writing. 
Once Spears, had that control it pushed the music to a totally different level. 


Britney would use her art to vent her frustrations of feeling 'Overprotected' with a track bearing the same name, I'm pretty sure that people around her saw this as her first sign of rebellion.

Britney would then have another surprising autobiographical track on her album, 'Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman', purposely written for her movie debut in 'Crossroads'.

 'Not A Girl...' would become a public profession of bridging the gap between the stifled young girl image that the media wanted Britney to obtain and the free independent woman that Spears longed to be. Still the public wanted Britney to stick to her wholesome image. 


It wasn't until Britney took time off that she was able to have any freedom, but personal issues would catch up with her, with her parent's divorce and her extremely public split from Justin Timberlake. The situation brought about negative accusations towards Britney, due to Timberlake's release of his solo album, Justified, and the wildly successful track 'Cry Me A River', the door was open for the public to turn on Britney. 

By the time Britney dropped her vulnerable response track, 'Everytime', from her fourth and most Spears directed album, 'In The Zone', the publics view of Britney was already altered, due to Timberlake's public T.V, and radio interviews and album release.

Britney would use the visuals of her "Everytime" music video to swing the door wide open as to where her head was in that moment. 

Instead of the public offering the help she would so desperately need years later, they used her own cry for help, to crucify her, all due to the image that, Timberlake, gave with the visuals of his "Cry Me A River" music video.

On top of it all, the person that Britney felt the most connected to, turned on her and used her and their personal life events to further his own career. 

When you are use to having someone around constantly in your life and then that person is gone and that sense of consistency is gone, it is hard to know what to do next.    

So Britney would focus on the one thing that would consistently be in her life, that is the Music and her Fanbase. But deep down I feel Britney craved something that even music and her fanbase could not give her and that was normalcy. Everything around her is SO much bigger then her deepest desire of a normal life. 


As humans we are built to have desires and to have the will power to see those desires fulfilled. Britney grew up with the desire of performing and making people happy, and she fulfilled that, but at the cost of her own privacy and a chance at a normal life, which if you sit back and think about is probably just as big as her desire to perform. 
The moment Britney saw a chance at normalcy with her relationship with Kevin Federline, the media snapped back quickly to remind Britney that she was not "Normal". 

How many times does that happen to us when we voice our deepest desires and someone comes along and slaps our desires down and makes them unattainable. 


So what do we do when that happens? 
We stop voicing our desires as a way to protect it from others negative opinions. 



But everyone already had there mind set on how they felt about Kevin, they felt that Britney was being used, for Kevin's own gain. Sadly this was accurate. Britney's desire for a family would be achieved but her husband would be absent and fulfilling his own agenda of stardom, again Britney would be used for someone else attempt of stardom. 


At the end of the day, Britney's deepest desire of a normal family atmosphere was shattered, and when it all ended, all she had left was the media hounding her and a failed marriage, like that of her parents.

With every judgement we are thrown at in life in general it is difficult, imagine it being magnified times 1,000,000, that makes it WAY harder.


I myself have been judged, spoken about, questioned, and have had a very personal mental health issue used against me and twisted into something that it wasn't.

I myself have confided things in people to only have it repeated into their own version of what happened once the friendship was over. 

I have Loved and been rejected for not being what the person was looking for, I have had my heart broken and pour my heart out into songs that I've written about the feelings that were so brutally rejected. 
I have had those moments of not leaving my house, being scared to talk to people, wanting to be left alone. 

During Britney's difficult time in 2007, I myself was going through some mental health issues, I was being evaluated and being picked apart by therapist trying to find a diagnosis. I was later diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder and Dysthymia. 
I sat back and would watch Britney on T.V, struggling with her deepest hurts and pains, and I would cry, because what she was doing was what I wanted to do at times, I wanted to be able to lash out at people and just be asked to be left alone all at the same time. 

There was rage inside of me that I wanted to release, the only way I knew how was to cry myself to sleep, to the point where I would feel like I couldn't breathe. I so badly wanted people around me but wanted to be alone at the same time, I felt like no one would understand my feelings of fear, my symptoms turned physical where I would shake and couldn't stop it, I would stay awake for hours, weeping as quietly as I could in my room so no one heard me. I was struggling and would watch my biggest inspiration of my life struggle on T.V, acting out, crying out for help only to be judged and torn apart even more and I related to her pain. 

It was like crying with a friend who was going through the same thing as you were. 


When Britney debuted Britney: For The Record, I was still deep in a heavy anxiety/depression, I was still hiding my feeling from everyone, I felt they wouldn't understand, I was trying to understand how to live with all of this. You see I have had anxiety since I was a child, due to being heavily teased as a child, due to an overbite. 
I had no friends really growing up and it continued into my teens and adulthood. 

When FTR debuted I sat to watch it, and cried my eyes out, due to the fact that I STRONGLY related to all of the things Britney was saying based on how she felt. 
It was like everything I ever wanted to be able to express about my feelings was being said, right in front of me. 

Please understand when you have Anxiety, and have physical symptoms from it many people will tell you, "It's all in your head....." I have had this said to me many times. People do not understand how much of a psychical effect this has on the human body. 

As I continued to watch FTR, through tear filled eyes, I was given such a sense of HOPE, mind you if this was ANYONE who was showing such strength and pressing forward in such a difficult time of their lives it would inspire me also.



 But, to see this woman, Britney Spears, who at times has been with me when no one else has been, who's music has lifted my spirits, out of the darkest times when I just didn't wanna move an inch. To see her share her story, and to show herself putting one foot in front of the other and keep going, it made me realize that I can get through this.



Everyday is different, there are good days and there are bad days. 
There are days when I'm hopeful and days I just wanna give up. 
But I think of Britney, and how well she's doing now. 
How she is thriving and doing what she LOVES to do, in spite of all she has been through. 

We all can have that moment of getting to a healthy place in life, where we can cope with our struggles. Where we can be happy, and healthy, have healthy relationships with ourselves and others around us.

For me to be able to see Britney, live and in person in May, is a testament to me that it is possible for me to win the battle of anxiety and depression, it's my only way to thank her for helping me and being there with me during my darkest time. 
There were so many nights were I felt so alone.



I had no clue that on that Dec 18th day in 1998, that a young 12 year old, sad, anxious girl would be so impacted by a young newcomer, dancing in a mock school hallway, with pigtails and a wide smile. That 12 year old had no clue that that young 17 year old pop star would struggle and fight her way back to where she truly belonged. All I knew then was that, I was drawn to this young girl on my T.V. 


All I know now is for 19 years we would be on a life changing journey together, now both grown women, One living her dream, showing her strength and making her fans happier then ever, and One woman, so THANKFUL, for the constant Inspiration, Dedication, Motivation that this woman has shown me and given me. 



I can't tell you how I will be on May 3rd, when I FINALLY stand in the same room as a woman I have spent probably MILLIONS of hours listening to her music, watching her on T.V, on the internet, I've cried watching this woman fight for her life, just as I was simultaneously fighting for mine. 



We have supported each other, I've supported by purchasing ALL of her work and LOVING her for 19 years, she has supported me by always telling me to LOVE myself, Be myself, Put Myself first and "Never lose my passion to dream....."

May 3rd I get to give Britney Spears my most genuine THANK YOU, by looking up at her beautiful smile, and knowing that we both made it through our hardest moments in life, and that in a way we did it together. 

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