It appears Britney Spears feels an inherent pressure to stay in tip-top shape, but is it taking a toll on her well-being?
Some of Britney’s most-recent posts on Instagram are a bummer. Not because they spark curiosity as to whether she’s the one doing the posting or not (according to Britney herself, she is), or that it casts a light on the tightening grip of the conservatorship she’s placed under, but because she seems unhappy with her body.
In recent weeks, Britney has shared a peek at her life and some of the struggles she faces regarding her weight. It’s interesting that she hasn’t explained her thoughts on speculation surrounding her freedom, but is instead very focused on what the scale says. During her vacation in Miami with boyfriend Sam Asghari, the two snapped photos for the Gram, recreated the iconic Titanic pose on the bow of the boat and jumped into the ocean waters for a swim. We know this because paparazzi managed to capture the moments and sell the images as an exclusive to the Daily Mail. Fans commented on the photos the day they surfaced – the overall reaction was happiness – their fav was enjoying some fun in the sun. After a turbulent year amidst the #FreeBritney movement, it was a refreshing change of pace. However, the following day Britney sang a different tune. She insisted the paps Photoshopped the photos to make her appear larger than she really is (a claim the paparazzi agency denies by the way) – the video she shared explaining the ordeal produced an Internet meme, “skinny as a needle,” but the situation is no laughing matter. Like many of us, Britney is struggling with her body image; it’s a reminder that she’s very human, and very relatable.
View this post on Instagram
I’ve been working really hard to loose weight …. and for me 3 pounds is like 7 pounds it’s a lot. I don’t like doing too much cardio. My body has muscle memory, cus I use it be gymnast and I can bulk up …. so I like isolated movement. The key to my workout is repetition, but that gets boring so I have a booklet I’ve made with all my favorite exercises. I usually wear headphones …. music takes me away . I know I don’t look perfect here, but I’m working on it. Hopefully one day I can give my boyfriend’s abs a run for their money !!!!
It appears Britney, like many of her pop peers, identity who they are based on their physicality. She really is Mrs. She’s Too Big, She’s Too Thin. Imagine being 17-years-old and growing into adulthood knowing the world loves you not just because of your music, but because you possess a perfectly proportioned body and face. The world made it crystal clear Britney was more than just an artist. She was a symbol of *** (something she personally cringed at), but it’s followed her throughout her decades-long career. Even after giving birth to two sons, Britney bounced back in no time, but it came at a cost. Back during the infamous years, it was rumored Britney had lipodissolve, described as a “series of injections that promise to dissolve localized fat.” She also reportedly drank highly-caffeinated drinks like Red Bull to help curb her appetite, all in an effort to maintain a figure that we pressured her to have. But as the years trickled along, it appeared Britney fell in love with living a sober and healthy lifestyle that included multiple workout sessions, including running, cardio and yoga, as well as a clean diet of greens and proteins. “Consistency is key,” Britney said in a 2014 interview with Women’s Health. 2019 has proved to be a wild ride for Queen B in that regard, but quite possibly the only consistency she’s had is working out. However, there’s an important component that I fear Britney is not addressing when it comes to exercise: it begins with getting your mind right first – only then will you obtain the body you desire.
During her stay at the mental health facility earlier this year, Britney posted a video of her working out and captioned it: “Who knew stress would be a great 5 pound weight loss. Yay for me.” She’s not wrong – stress can suppress one’s appetite and thus weight loss, however that is unsustainable. It’s also emphasizing that negative thinking, produced by the egoic mind, will create a wanted result in her body and it will not. It’s worth reminding you that her body is an integral piece of Britney’s celebrity and career, but it’s time we change our perception of Britney. In doing so, we can help build a stepping stone so she can take the first step towards permanent change in terms of her own body image. Think of it this way: if she were a non-famous person living alone on an island, would she still feel the same immense pressure to maintain her physique? It’s unlikely.
Britney shared another video recently where she’s working out – performing squats, hip thrusts and bicep curls. Though her form could use a little work (this coming from an avid CrossFitter heh), it’s the caption that should be addressed:
“I’ve been working really hard to loose [sic] weight …. and for me 3 pounds is like 7 pounds it’s a lot. I don’t like doing too much cardio. My body has muscle memory, cus I use it be gymnast and I can bulk up …. so I like isolated movement. The key to my workout is repetition, but that gets boring so I have a booklet I’ve made with all my favorite exercises. I usually wear headphones …. music takes me away . I know I don’t look perfect here, but I’m working on it. Hopefully one day I can give my boyfriend’s abs a run for their money !!!!”
There’s a lot to dissect here. Why does she feel it’s harder for her to lose weight? Some speculate it could be due to the medications she may be taking to manage her mental health; they’re notorious for adding weight to the body. She also mentions not looking perfect, but is working towards it. That’s actually quite upsetting, because perfection is simply unattainable. Yes, aiming for the stars is commendable, but even the stars have their flaws. It’s the journey through space – or in this case the exercise routine itself – that should give the pop star a feeling of perfection and oneness. Perhaps someone can inspire her to perform varied movements so she finds exercise less repetitive (and thus more exciting). Also, yea, she’s dating a 24-year-old fitness model so that inevitably adds a layer of pressure.
I realize commenting on a woman’s ambition to achieve an elevated physical form is not ideal, however it’s a the process of self-loathing and unhappiness that lead to my own journey of physical fitness that’s provided me with this insight. Ultimately, if Britney wants to lose weight to look hot, then who am I to stop her?
What I want for Britney, and for anyone who struggles with their body, is to find inner peace and stillness concerning your thoughts. Your mind is conditioned to produce thoughts, most of which are unnecessary. These thought patterns create your emotions, which in-turn produce actions and ultimately a result. If your result is low self-esteem with your body, then what must be changed first is not the workout routine, but your thoughts. Removing your sense of ‘self’ so your inner spirit can exist without the mind constantly working in overdrive is essential to top physical fitness, but is often very misunderstood or unknown altogether.