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An apology to Britney Spears

Britney Spears’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Credit: Like_the_Grand_Canyon/Flickr/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 2.0

In a blog post on his Church and Culture website, Dr. James Emery White offers an apology to Britney Spears, singer, songwriter, actress, on how America’s Hollywood and fame culture took advantage of her when she was just a teen.

James writes:

In the New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears, now being aired on Hulu, you learn as much if not more about our culture as you do the often-tragic life of Ms. Spears. As USA Today reported, “Viewers saw a gifted female pop star brought to her knees by a sexist culture that never let her freely live.” She was expected to “look stunning but embody the girl next door, act sexy but remain a virgin, be articulate but never opinionated.” This was, of course, an impossible aspiration. The fact that she seemed to initially pull off the impression galvanized a culture to topple her from the pedestal it had, itself, put her on.

On the surface, the documentary would seem to merely chronicle her meteoric success, followed by her mental health struggles resulting in a legal conservatorship controlled by her father that she is now trying to escape. But it’s more—far more. It reveals her systematic takedown at the hands of a culture that had grown men asking her at the ripe old age of 10 about boyfriends (and if she didn’t have one, would she consider him); news reporters asking her whether she was still a virgin; and, oh yes, enquiring about the size of her breasts.

All while she was still a teenager.

For more READ: We’re Sorry, Britney

Dr. White is the senior pastor at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina and also president of Serious Times Inc, an organization that focuses on the intersection of faith and culture.

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