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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Britney’s back, ‘stronger than ever’ after release of new memoir

The “Princess of Pop” is speaking out about her complicated life
Britney+Spears+released+her+memoir%2C+%E2%80%9CThe+Woman+In+Me%E2%80%9D+in+stores+and+online+Tuesday%2C+Oct.+24%2C+2023.+Since+the+book%E2%80%99s+release%2C+the+book+has+received+acclaim+from+The+New+York+Times%2C+Time+Magazine+and+The+Los+Angeles+Times+and+became+a+number+one+New+York+Times+bestseller+in+its+first+week.+%28Graphic+created+in+Canva+by+Ariel+Caspar%29
Ariel Caspar
Britney Spears released her memoir, “The Woman In Me” in stores and online Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. Since the book’s release, the book has received acclaim from The New York Times, Time Magazine and The Los Angeles Times and became a number one New York Times bestseller in its first week. (Graphic created in Canva by Ariel Caspar)

After her 13-year-long conservatorship ended in 2021, international pop superstar Britney Spears decided it was finally time to tell her story on her terms, and she does so in an intimate way in her memoir, “The Woman In Me,” which released on Oct. 24.

The book has been incredibly successful since its release, reaching the number-one spot on the New York Times bestseller list in the first week. The release of the book has also impacted her streaming and digital music sales. In the first week of the book’s release, her streaming went up by 24% and her digital weekly sales more than doubled according to an NBC News article.

Spears’ Instagram followers might have expected her memoir to be written in emojis, but this is far from rambling social media posts and videos of her dancing in her Los Angeles mansion.

While her writing is playful, almost like reading straight from her diary at times, it is a mature expression of her thoughts and reflections on her extraordinary life, from her small-town childhood, to getting signed with Jive Records in 1997 to earning the title “Princess of Pop,” upon the success of her first two albums, “…Baby One More Time,” and “Oops!… I Did It Again,” in the early 2000s.

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The memoir chronicles the major events of her life in her own words. It was important for Spears to finally be able to tell her story in her own words because for most of her life, people only heard about Spears’ life through the media’s portrayal of her.

The media has portrayed so many versions of Spears, from the sweet girl next door to the erratic sex-crazed bad girl. The media has chewed her up and spit her out, degrading her as a woman and mother, and very publicly detailed her so-called “breakdown” in 2007 when she famously walked into a barber shop and shaved her head.

For the longest time, people thought she was mentally unstable because of how the media had maliciously documented her every move. People lost sympathy and compassion for her and started to believe there was something seriously wrong with her and that she was everything the media had said; that she was unfit to be a mother, that she wasn’t as talented as she had been in the past, and that she had gone “crazy” and needed more than therapy and rehab to get her back on track. This memoir was critical for Spears to set the record straight for the first time ever with her own voice and on her own terms.

Up until 2021 when the Free Britney movement started gaining more momentum, most people were not aware of the reality of Spears’ living situation. Her 13-year-long conservatorship was kept under wraps for as long as possible by her management team and family.

Spears explains throughout her book how she felt silenced, abused and controlled for more than half of her career under the oppressive power of her father and conservator, Jamie Spears, and her mother and siblings who stood by quietly and did nothing, all to have unrestricted access to her wealth. She says one of the most difficult things was knowing the public was unaware of how she was being taken advantage of by her family.

It was incredibly brave of Spears to release this memoir. Not only is it quintessentially “Britney”, it’s beautifully written and captivating to the reader, but she drops major bombshells that will go down in history involving her high-profile relationships with Justin Timberlake and Kevin Federline, details about her public breakdown and conservatorship and further insight into the dysfunctional way the Spears family operates.

The reader feels emotionally gripped as she shares different parts of her story like she’s writing letters to a best friend. The reader becomes invested, understanding the things that happened to her from a new perspective.

A common theme throughout “The Woman In Me” is stolen womanhood and gaining it back. Spears discusses how regaining and redefining her womanhood after breaking free from the conservatorship and the mass media’s thoughts and opinions of her has been a revelation.

She shares how she felt her womanhood was put in a box and she had to fit into the strict standards and expectations required of her in a highly misogynistic industry that protects men at all costs and exploits and demoralizes women.

While other women in the industry are no strangers to being oppressed and suppressed by powerful men, Spears’ story is unique, and she explains how it has taken years to truly feel empowered as a woman in her mind, body and spirit.

Spears’ courage to tell her story her way will not go unnoticed, but will triumph as one of the greatest comebacks of all time.

This memoir is Spears making her presence known yet again, and reinstating her identity and power as a free woman. “It’s Britney bitch.” She’s back, more powerful than ever.

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About the Contributor
Ariel Caspar, Visuals Staffer
(she/her) Ariel Caspar is a jounalism major in her last semester at Sac State. This is her first semester on the State Hornet. She is a former editor-in-chief for The Current, American River College's student run newspaper. She has an Associates Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from American River College. She hopes to work in data journalism after she graduates this year.
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