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.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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