party like it’s 1999, instagram like it’s 2011: a britney case study

by mattmcgotty

Love or hate them, there is no denying the sheer domination of celebrities in every aspect of our lives. Social Media has only complicated this further, shedding a light, albeit an artificial LED one, in ways that common folk (known as ‘poor people’) were never allowed prior. For my mother, it was none other than Britney Spears to truly question the culture behind these parasocial relationships.

           My mom is no stranger to most of any aspect of popular culture, something I thank and blame her for acquiring myself. Like any fixation, it has its highs and lows. But the gratification of cleaning up during college jeopardy season will always justify the insurmountable lows of caring about Khloe Kardashian getting cheated on more times than there are Cars sequels! This had acquainted me with Britney’s conservatorship struggles before people went from seeing her as an airhead with no talent to an airhead with a sob story. But with a newly opened dialogue about the lives of victims suffering from the toll of a conservatorship, Britney was seen in a new light by anybody in the know. The small victories of each new challenge met by elation and cheer, especially by those closely following her on her Instagram.

Now, this was where the extent to my mother’s involvement took a backseat. Taking one look at Britney’s Instagram will quickly reveal a lot about the life of a childhood star turned adult with accountability. From the poorly cropped clip jpegs to the emoji-filled notes monologues that read as a copypasta, to the occasional breast, it reads similarly the typical texts grandma would send, save the tits.

For some, this is nothing, but a mere expression of a woman tormented by the pressures of underage sexualization and roughly 13 hours with nothing to do in a mansion bought with her own money that she could not even manage. To my mom, it was just weird.

           Personally, I can’t help but mind my business. I find Ms. Spears and her social media presence charming, especially with no one quite as unfiltered as her. It’s undeniably uncanny and frankly some of the most far-removed Gen X interaction with technology by someone with a plan for retirement. Nonetheless, my mom didn’t last long as a full-fledged stan and has since missed directly celebrating momentous occasions of Britney’s new life. There is absolutely no shame in not getting to see her pregnancy post first-hand, but for every baby announcement, there needs to be a random white woman holding a peony with a bible quote. And some people are simply not ready for that commitment.

Categories: April 26, matt mcgotty, news

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