“What I posted is a projection of the insecurities I deal with all the time as a result of how my parents and the media have treated me,” she wrote.
At this point, we’re used to Britney Spears’ special flavor of posting to Instagram. Between dancing videos and nudes, she often shares random images to muse about her life in a sort of free write. After so many years of silence during her oppressive conservatorship, her posts are usually greeted with support, even if they can be nonsensical or cryptic at times. But one post published on Tuesday has gotten Spears into some very hot water.
Accompanying an image of a quote attributed to Rodney Dangerfield that reads, “I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people,” Spears wrote. “I wish I could have chosen the nannies for my children … my dancers … I mean if I had Christina Aguilera’s dancers I would have looked extremely small… I mean why not talk about it ?? Don’t you think my confidence would have been a bit better if I could choose where I lived, ate, whom I called on the phone, dated and who was on stage with me!!!”
The comment section quickly filled up with people expressing surprise and disgust. One commenter wrote, “You can speak your truth without making an effort to offend someone.” Another wrote, “Oop this is far from cool, Brit.” Another angry fan commented, “What the fuck is this? Fatphobia? Why would you want to take up less space after what you’ve been through? Why would you want to put anyone down or make anyone feel small? Use your platform responsibly. Do better.” Ultimately people began unfollowing Britney, including Christina Aguilera herself.
Britney has finally responded to the vitriol. “By no means was I being critical of Christina’s beautiful body, it is what it is,” she wrote on Instagram. “I flew to see her show once and the main thing I noticed was the difference of our people on stage!!! By no means did I even mention Christina, look at my post!!! I was inspired by her show and she is a beautiful woman of power.” The first part of her post comes across as convoluted, since the backlash for Spears’ comments about Aguilera’s dancers, not for anything she said about the singer herself. But the rest of her statement is more broadly applicable. “To be honest, I’m not trying to be critical of anybody. What I posted is a projection of the insecurities I deal with all the time as a result of how my parents and the media have treated me … I would never intentionally body shame anybody because I know what it feels like … I struggle with this because of how I feel about myself, not because I hate how anybody looks.”
Her mea culpa is being met with love in the comment section, with fans expressing their support and understanding of how her experiences led to her post. “I understand, you’ve been through so much,” one commenter wrote. “Sometimes we lash out in the wrong way. Knowing this and admitting to it, so soon after everything you’ve been through is so kind. You’re a sweet soul.” Another commented, “Don’t worry, Britney. Your true fans knows you didn’t mean any harm in that post.” Ultimately though, Spears’ initial post was still a really bad look — no matter the back story. But at least she has addressed it candidly, and hopefully understands how triggering her words could have been for people struggling with disordered eating and the impact it could have on younger, impressionable fans.