13 hidden life lessons in the life and art of Britney Spears.

Yeah, Britney's had her moments of struggle (haven't we all?), but there are some excellent little tidbits of lessons in there.

Here are 13.

#1. "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman"


GIF from 2002 American Music Awards.

Britney introduces teens everywhere to non-binary thought.

#2. Show me

GIF from "...Baby One More Time."

How you want it to be
Tell me baby
Cuz I need to know

How was she supposed to know, indeed? A call for open communication. Hit me, baby, (with your transparent emotional availability), one more time!

#3. "Dear Diary," the song

Britney wasn't the first to encourage recording your thoughts, but her impassioned song about her diary certainly made it seem more glamorous. And according to Psychology Today, journaling "not only relieves stress and improves your mood, but it also boosts your immune system." So, way to go Britney for modeling some great healthy behavior — in song! Every little bit of encouragement helps!

#4. "Email my heart"

I can see you in my mind, comin' on the line

Britney was one of the first to explore the emotional effects of online communication. Let's explore more of the lyrics.

And all I do is check the screen to see if you're OK.

If that's not a perfect example of emotional detachment as a result of the lag in online communication, what is? To all of us who've stared at that little text bubble …

waiting for a response, hear this: Britney Spears and songwriter Eric Foster White have understood your struggle since 1999.

#5. "Stronger"

I'm stronger
Than I ever thought that I could be, baby
I used to go with the flow, didn't really care 'bout me
You might think that I can't take it, but you're wrong


GIF from "Stronger."

Britney took us all on a journey of personal self-growth and boundary setting, both important things in relationships.

#6. When she was sad, she said it.

GIF from "Britney: For the Record."

Even in a major interview!

When Britney was having her famous "meltdown," many of us laughed uncomfortably. But what we were seeing was someone grapple with problems in the public spotlight … at times gracefully, as she did in this interview. How many people are sad and DON'T say it? It's proven that one of the ways to deal with strong moods is to label the emotion, and this is a great, vulnerable example of doing just that.

#7. She's a public shaming survivor

We don't know all the details, but Justin Timberlake's public airing of her cheating on him via a hit song with a lookalike in the video was a bit much, don't you think? I do. Sure it was a great song. But not his kindest moment, really. And he allegedly still talks about it when he sings "Cry Me A River."

Justin! With great power comes great responsibility!

We all make mistakes. But we all don't have to have it SUNG in our faces in public, forever. Something about the whole thing just doesn't sit right with me — just sayin'!

#8. Cheetos and Red Bull ARE delicious

Remember when Britney ate those a lot during her trucker hat phase? I do!


I tried it. And, well, moderation is key, but I'm not gonna lie, it was a pretty great combo.

#9. She was an early supporter of Shonda Rhimes!

Image via Greg Hernandez/Wikimedia Commons

Shonda Rimes, creator of magnificent shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" that highlight all the myriad ways that diverse-as-heck human beings can fall in and out of love and in and out of professional capers, wrote Britney Spears' first movie, "Crossroads"! It also featured a diverse-as-heck group of friends on a road trip out west, which led to #10 ....

#10. Discover state parks!

Remember the "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" video? Way to showcase the beauty of the canyons of the American Southwest, Ms. Spears!

GIF from "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman."

#11. "Lucky" showed a darker side of fame and the fleeting nature of true happiness.

Ladies and gents, the great B. Spears:

Lost in an image, in a dream
But there's no one there to wake her up
And the world is spinning and she keeps on winning
But tell me what happens when it stops?


GIF from "Lucky."

Britney! She was trying to tell us things! How can you read those lyrics and not think "I am hearing an American masterpiece"? These lyrics are an exploration of the negative effects of basing your happiness on your success. She's so lucky, but why does she cry? Because she depends on fame and others for happiness!

#12. She's not that innocent.

GIF from "Oops, I Did It Again."

And she's not here to make you feel comfy about that. Britney dates, she enjoys sex, and — oops! — she'll do it again, so there!

#13. Sometimes you need help from professionals.

Even though she went through some major difficulties, she eventually found her way to help. And then to Vegas! Go Brit.

It's a happy ending.

Anyone who has gone through the process of disentangling themselves from an addiction knows it's an ongoing, daily battle. It may get easier, and the payoffs may become more apparent, but it's still a decision someone makes each day to stay detached from their substance of choice.

Seeing someone who has a long record of sobriety—especially after a very public struggle—can be motivating and inspiring for others in different stages of their recovery journey. That's part of why actor Rob Lowe's announcement that he's reached 31 years sober is definitely something to celebrate.

"Today I have 31 years drug and alcohol free," Lowe wrote on Twitter. "I want to give thanks to everyone walking this path with me, and welcome anyone thinking about joining us; the free and the happy. And a big hug to my family for putting up with me!! Xoxo"

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Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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