There are few things our culture has come to relish more than fattening up a pop star on a greasy diet of hype and frenzied devotion, only to then turn around and eat her alive an album or two later. It’s become a national pastime we practice in the less savory corners of the Internet or while unloading our Aquafresh and baked Cheetos onto the check-out line conveyor belt. Nobody knows this better than Britney Spears.
Ever since she snarled onto the scene in her Catholic school girl uniform in 1999, Spears has been the go-to girl whenever the world is looking for a punch line or a punching bag. At first it was "her music has no substance" or "she’s lip synching" and then there were the darker, more troubling episodes in her life to mine for material. But we have a confession to make: We love Britney.
We love her because she gives us the kind of pop music we demand for our workouts and woozy weekend nights, and because she has never tried to play the guitar or wandered off to make a country album. We love her because she’s a survivor, and for all of the shit that’s said about her, she still glides to the top of the charts whenever she releases an album. We love her because she has a "BS Alert" on her website to squash the almost daily rumors of new pregnancies, marriages, or demands to someday be cryogenically frozen. We love her because even the Super Bowl’s rabid, testosterone-drunk fans couldn’t keep her from being the top trending item on Twitter on the biggest sports Sunday of the year. We love her because she loves strawberry Frappuccinos and grits blanketed in Velveeta cheese. We love her because in 2010 she raked in more money than Lady Gaga even though her latest album, Circus, was already well over a year old. We love her because for all the pythons and pyrotechnics and red vinyl cat suits, she still feels like someone we could dish with about boys over a basket of bread sticks at the Olive Garden. We love her because she keeps us dancing, she keeps us guessing, and while the other famous former Mouseketeers have dried up, bombed out, or otherwise failed to keep our interest, Britney still has us coming back for more.
On the eve of the release of her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale, we fired Britney a slew of questions ranging from the candid to the ridiculous to find out a little bit more about the woman the world is mistakenly convinced it already has all figured out.