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.

via The Ohio Department of Health

UPDATE: Back in April, Ohio was leading the way of conservative leaning U.S. states in its response to the coronavirus. Part of that effort manifested in this simply brilliant PSA that showed how social distancing saves lives. The imagery of ping pong balls and mouse traps captured the "dilemma" perfectly: Would you want into a deadly trap when you could easily sidestep it? Of course not. So, why would you put your life and the lives of others at risk by something as callous as failing to respect basic social distancing guidelines?

Unfortunately, the number of new Covid-19 cases has been spiking across the country. In order to help give the public a reminder of just how deadly this disease is, and frankly, how easy it is for most people to practice social distancing, the PSA has been once again making the rounds. It's sad that we're all having to share this message again. But if it saves lives, the work must be done.

The original story begins below:

When it comes to shaping public opinion hard-hitting visual examples can be a lot more persuasive than words and statistics. The Ohio Department of Health created a visually dazzling public service announcement using ping-pong balls and mousetraps to explain how social distancing works.

This PSA is just another example of how Ohio is getting things right during the pandemic. As of April 9, the state has about 5,100 infections, fewer than a third of the cases in similarly sized Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois.


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