Incoming post-modern art-school wank essay incoming but:
Why is everyone so precious in this thread? lmao. *** work can be real work that is safe and a choice for some women and still also be a global industry of exploitation and r***. Definitely misogyny in some comments here but I don't think saying she's giving us some serious Tina Turner Private Dancer "Keep Your Eyes On The Wall" vibes with some of these videos and pictures is too far off the mark. And I think it's on purpose *shrug*. I think these vids are many things: recorded by Britney, posted by her team; Britney just being her weird self but also Britney being her smarter-than-people-give-her-credit-for self; required of her by her team and also a way she entertains herself in her boring life (her words).
She's shown multiple times over that she's a person who expresses herself through metaphor, who is very interested in symbology, and very invested in some conspicuously specific themes and motifs (her choice of reading materials and quotes, honestly!). Many of these motifs concern duality: particularly, the cage, as a symbol culturally associated with sexuality and but also of entrapment and slavery, or the rose for its beauty and sensuality but also for its thorns and some of its other darker cultural connotations. There is definitely "a semiotics of Britney Spears" that is at once specific to her, Britney, the superstar, and universal, Britney as the Every Woman; the discourse around Britney her entire career has both defined her and been defined by her, simply by existing. Britney is the definition of the Madonna/***** dichotomy. To the point about *** work, I think that you could read a lot into Britney's career about her fight to be in control of the tension between the public and the private; her right to express her sexuality and be sexual without literally having her sexuality commodified on a global level, her right to be a woman without having to be a role model. From everything that happened between the beginning of her career 'til now, I don't think that you can possibly really argue that Britney is not a traumatized person, which brings me to:
I think they're supposed to. I think they're literally Britney turning our gaze back on us. Look at the contrast between her photos with flower crowns, in peasant tops, outside, smiling, against those photos: staring dead-on into the camera on a stark white background. The Janet Jackson Control remake is another very good example. Those photos, and I think this video, are someone who has historically been objectified to a degree almost no one in history can understand (literally EVERY news outlet speculated in-depth on this woman's virginal status once-upon-a-time) finally making herself into the subject. She's not observed, she's the observer; she's looking at us.
"You want your crazy? I got your crazy."
Thank you for coming to my BRIT Talk. Someone give me a BA already.
(inb4 "its not that serious Jaremi"; I know. I think cultural speculation is fun, and that whether or not Britney is doing any of this on purpose or not the "semiotics of Britney" is still definitely a thing BC it is what's driving the entire discussion in all the threads about her *cryptic posts* )