Britney Spears: A Force of Nature!
Where does everyone’s need to be loved and appreciated come from? It’s the need for recognition. It takes its roots in childhood. If your parents didn’t instill in you the sense that you belonged to a family, a clan, the feeling of existing and of being precious to them, you grow up searching for proof of your existence through others. It’s a losing game! Your parents didn’t recognize you during your childhood and you’re not being recognized in your adult life. The need for recognition affects 98% of the population, on a scale of 1 to 10. Imagine how great this need is in 98% of artists. They need to be recognized by the public, the media and their peers. But what happens when they lose their way? The press tears them to pieces! Take Britney Spears, for example. I have a great deal of respect for her. She’s regularly swan dived off the cliff and gotten back on her feet every time. Frankly, I don’t know how she’s still alive, which leads me to believe that she’s a force of nature in addition to being truly driven.
I’m tired of reading nonsense about Britney. I’m going to present her from the perspective of the coach that I am and maybe you’ll change the way you look at this artist. When she was still very young, she was already on stage, being pushed by her parents. Admittedly, she had already showed a talent for performing, but it’s hard to tell where the little girl’s ambition stopped and where her parents’ greediness began. They obviously went for the money and sacrificed their child. From an early age, she was told how to dress, how to sing, when to speak and when to shut up, when to sleep and when to eat. Worse, she was taught to show off her body! She was programmed and reduced to behaving like a dancing bear. This child went from being dominated by her parents to being controlled by her managers. Then she reached adolescence and her life consisted of rehearsals, shows, singing, dancing, speaking to the press, greeting her fans, smiling and on and on. She grew into a young woman without an identity, a product of her managers and her parents. She worked hard and was directed, orchestrated, clocked, planned, dressed, made up and trained.
But she felt a deep void inside created by her parents when she was a child. How do I know? If you read my columns regularly, you know that lack of recognition, affection and protection creates a huge vacuum within that you’ll try to fill with all sorts of compulsions, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, sex, work, and relationships. Many artists who have turned to drugs, alcohol and/or sex for relief have become bulimic or anorexic, especially women. Why do you think that is? Remember the Australian actor Heath Ledger, dead from an overdose at 28 while nominated for an Oscar? He had fame, money, women – everything an actor his age could ever hope for. Why did he die of an overdose? Because he believed that reaching the top in Hollywood would fill the void, but once on top, there was nothing there, so he jumped… into the void. Nothing leaves you lonelier than being at the top when you have no one special to share your triumphs with. It’s there that you miss having a partner the most.
Britney Spears has tried alcohol, drugs, sex, marriage, had children - nothing has worked. The void remained. When she drinks or takes drugs, they put her into rehab and take away her children and her rights. Her father becomes legal guardian of her property and keeper of her dignity. How can she not rebel?! Alcohol and drugs are her crutches and rehab takes them away from her but doesn’t fill the void. Whenever she’s in crisis, shaves her head, gets a divorce, is suffering, the paparazzi are there like vultures, taking pictures, spying, exposing her every move, her every mood, her pain and suffering. How would you handle it if you were filmed and photographed when you’d just broken up with someone, were on a drinking binge or on drugs? If the world press took perverse pleasure in presenting every last detail of you coming apart? The media sell their rags because they demolish her, conveying a negative image to the public. Scandal pays! But have they seen her distress? Have you seen that she’s been lost, suffocating, crushed, panicking? Or do you prefer to look down on a celebrity like her, out of envy or frustration, because it feels good seeing such misery spread out on the front page?
Let me say this: Britney Spears is a force of nature, because if she didn’t have incredible survival instincts, she would be long dead. Other artists have committed suicide for less. The suffering she carries with her, the huge vacuum that neither her fans worldwide nor her children – and much less her parents – can fill is maybe the same as yours. Only you don’t have the media riveted to you 24/7. You can hurt in private and people will have sympathy for you. Britney is suffering in the spotlight and she’s put down. Who has even wondered why she’s acted the way she does? What’s that gut-wrenching pain she feels? Who’s there to help? Her parents, her managers - those who fleece her? They send her to rehab because the show must go on and then squeeze her like a lemon … until the next relapse. Because she will relapse … and then recover, and relapse again as long as she herself isn’t able to fill the void.
I think Britney’s extremely resilient and I have a lot of respect for this young woman, who no one seems to have enough good sense to give sound advice. Sharks and vultures hunting for cash through scandal surround her. They make money off her emotional dependency, sell her suffering and prostitute her pain. You don’t hear about well-balanced artists because they’re happy and don’t interest the media. But those who are suffering aren’t spared. Instead, it’s precisely when they need privacy that they’re pursued and pointed at in a disgusting frenzy of voyeurism that sells neuroses to neurotics. I hope that from now on you’ll see Britney Spears and other stars in another light and that you’ll place more importance on their strengths than on their weaknesses. They’re trying to fill the same void as you, but you can suffer in peace.
“Why don’t you offer her your services?” you ask. Actually, I’m thinking about it, but first I have to improve my English and then maybe I will. The problem would be to get past her managers, who may not be interested in a well-balanced Britney…
One last thing: In addition to respecting Britney for her well-developed survival instincts, I love her latest CD, “Circus”, which I highly recommend!
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