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MakeMySugarFall

Vanity Fair: '10 Years After Her Horrible 2007, Britney Spears’s Tabloid Saga Shows How Much Has Changed'

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10 Years After Her Horrible 2007, Britney Spears’s Tabloid Saga Shows How Much Has Changed

Her public struggles, relentlessly covered by the tabloids, defined an era. And they could never happen again.
 

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Left, Spears performing during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards; Right, performing at the 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2016 on December 2nd in Los Angeles.
Both by Chris Polk/Getty Images.
 

The 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, held 10 years ago this past Saturday, opened with a close-up of a woman’s blonde extensions. Everyone knew they were extensions because they were attached to a head that, seven months prior, had been shaved in front of paparazzi cameras. The woman turned her head, flashed eyes made blue with colored contacts, and uttered what was intended as a mission statement for a big, bold comeback: “It’s Britney, bitch.”

 

The V.M.A.s were a good place for Britney Spears that decade; she’d made headlines by dancing with a snake in 2001 and kissing Madonna in 2003. She chose the 2007 awards for her first broadcast performance in three years, a period that included a hasty Vegas wedding, a reality show, several stints in rehab, and near-constant tabloid scandal. MTV was intensely hyping the performance. If it went well, the thinking went, it would be a career game-changer.

 
It didn’t. Spears appeared lackluster and even confused when miming her latest hit, “Gimme More,” and the criticism was 

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. The media pile-on had become common for Spears in 2007—nonstop headlines all asking, essentially, “What’s wrong with her?” And it could never happen today.

 

A cultural shift toward normalizing mental health issues in the last decade has extended even to tabloids, where Demi Lovato can 

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 by opening up about her bipolar disorder and Selena Gomez talks about depression on the cover of 

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 The tone has changed so much, and so quickly, that looking back on Britney Spears’s annus horribilus is a stunning reminder of how far things have come—not from the days of hysteria and blaming schizophrenia on demon possession, but in a single decade.

Left, Spears performing during the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards; Right, Spears and Madonna during 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

Left, Spears performing during the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards; Right, Spears and Madonna during 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

Left, by Kevin Kane/WireImage; Right, by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.

Spears had filed for divorce from Kevin Federline in November of 2006, and two weeks later was spotted—and relentlessly photographed—out in Los Angeles alongside Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, who, allegedly, mockingly referred to Spears as “Animal.” Paparazzi photographs in which Spears accidentally flashed her vagina were published on TMZ. The New York Post called it the “Bimbo Summit,” citing a poll that claimed 77 percent of adults thought the “panties-optional” trio had too much influence on young girls.

 

In February, Spears checked into rehab and checked out the next day. One day later she shaved her head in front of paparazzi cameras in a Tarzana, California, hair salon. “I don’t want everybody touching me,” she 

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 at the time. “I’m tired of everyone touching me.” Two more attempts at rehab, and the infamous umbrella attack on the ever-waiting paparazzi, followed. TMZ called it a 

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 In April, she fired her manager and bodyguard, and later her management firm and lawyer resigned. A photo shoot with OK! magazine in July, which Spears arranged herself, ended with the magazine releasing this statement: “What we experienced was a young girl who is desperately in need of help. And sadly she has surrounded herself with too many people who are pretending that nothing is wrong.” The photos were unusable. They 

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That fall, after the V.M.A.s, things continued to get worse. A court ordered Spears to give up custody of her children; later that month, Forbes suggested “bald-headed problem parent” Britney as a “genuinely scary” Halloween costume, along with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and O.J. Simpson. Star had her on the cover boasting her alleged weight (160 pounds) and hitting “rock bottom”; the cover inspired Perez Hilton to ask, “How great is this cover?” In November, the 

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 was just one word: “SICK!” In January 2008, Spears was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold after a standoff with Federline; as the 

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 put it, it was part of “her downward spiral from pop tart to deranged diva.” She was placed under the conservatorship of her father and lawyer Andrew Wallet, who were given complete control over her assets. That arrangement 

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, and court documents related to Spears’s condition and diagnosis are still sealed, with the reasoning that their release would cause “irreparable harm and immediate danger.”

 
Under the conservatorship of her father, Jamie, Spears laid low. “I think the paparazzi took off the pressure after I didn’t leave my house for two years,” Spears said in a rare candid interview with Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth earlier this year. But the gossip industry, empowered and expanded massively in the mid-aughts with the rise of the Internet, didn’t have to look long for its next problem child. Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” hit the U.S. Billboard charts in March of 2007. Her drug abuse, eating disorder, and apparent mental instability received the same intense focus that Britney’s did, as documented vividly in 2015’s Amy, which also reveals in private footage a far more delicate young woman than the tabloid media could depict.

The day that Winehouse died in 2011, the tone of conversation around her shifted abruptly, and the entire gossip industry began to change in the years to come. In May of that year, TMZ wrote, “Water is wet, the sky is blue . . . and Amy Winehouse has checked into rehab once again.” In late July, days after her death, it promoted an “AMAZING” tribute to the singer. A memorial in Rolling Stone remembered Winehouse as “less like a lioness and more like a little girl.” Accepting the Oscar for Amy, director Asif Kapadia said the film was “all about showing the world who she really was . . . not a tabloid persona.”

britney-spears-tabloids-embed.png

Amy Winehouse’s death alone was not enough to transform the tabloid industry. But by the time Amy came out, a radical shift was already underway, with California 

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, publications voluntarily banning unauthorized photos of children, and self-created, paparazzi-friendly stars like the Kardashians and Bachelor contestants selling well enough that chasing down singers like Winehouse and Spears was no longer all that worth it.

 

And as more and more younger stars talk publicly about diminishing the stigma around mental health, the tabloids are following their lead. “Demi Lovato is bravely opening up about her private struggles,” wrote People in 2011. After Kanye West’s hospitalization at the end of 2016, Us Weekly ran a 

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 from other celebrities. When Prince Harry, as part of a campaign called Heads Together, opened up about seeking counseling after his mother’s death, even The Sun—which once ran the headline “Harry the Nazi”—called it 

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When Britney Spears makes the tabloids these days, it’s in praise of her 

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 or 

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. Perez Hilton, which drew captions like “nutso” on her photos back in 2007, recently 

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 commanding its readers, “Britney Spears is an undisputed pop icon, and you should know everything you can about her!”

A video went viral recently showing Spears singing a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About” during her Las Vegas show. She’s wearing a sparkling black two-piece, not so different from the one she wore at the V.M.A.s 10 years ago. Her hair is still blonde; if they’re extensions, they’re looking a lot better.

 

“One minute, they tear you down,” she tells the crowd in pre-song patter. “The next minute, you’re on top of the world.”

 
“I just want to make sure I keep having you motherfuckers something to talk about.”
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She is amazing, but do they have to keep bringing it up?:lips1:

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This. Why is it that this is all people seem to remember or wanna mention about her?

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I read it and thought the same. It's their favorite thing about her. 

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The obsession with the breakdown really needs to die off, like yes it happened but it was like two years of her life, there's much more positive stuff to focus on.

 

And if they insist on rehashing that bad period, they could at least give her amazing turnaround more than a small paragraph.

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:zoomzoom: Why are people all about her breakdown? Yes we get it, it happened, but honestly I wouldn't want that to be brought up every 10 seconds :mhm: She's in her Prime 2.0 lets just let it go :tbh: 

 

 

 

Also....Conspiracy, what if in If U Seek Amy, what if Amy is Amy Whinehouse :umomg: According to this article, they had different breakdowns, but similar backlash and stuff :umomg: 

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remember to "remove format" when you copy and paste a text :sew: Just press the button with the T and the little x so we can actually see the post :P 

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i remember the times, omg. i no longer read tabloids, well like once or twice a year i buy a magazine. i cant stand the lies they spread (specially the german in touch mag).

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I don't know why y'all mad:concerned:. Yes it's annoying when they bring it up out of nowhere but this isn't to reminisce or to make fun of her past. It's about the media and the GP realizing that they did her wrong. It's about the contrast of conversations about mental illness from now and then. It's very unfair how they treated her. I enjoyed the article because they speak the truth about how bad Britney and Amy were treated. Nowadays you don't see that kind of abuse, or much less. It's relevant to bring it up in this context even if it's uncomfortable and tiresome:donteven:. Some People are gonna read that and will probably have more compassion towards Britney's past...

 

I'm also happy that they exposed Perez, he's so fake. He kisses Britney's ass now that she recovered and is slaying again but he was disgusting with her before. Hypocrite. :sunglasses:

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Yes I thought of If You Seek Amy too. The coincidence is too eerie!!

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