If you’ve scrolled down (and up and down and up and down) the Legendary Miss Britney Spears‘ Instagram feed over the past few weeks, you might have noticed a trend: It’s getting a little more personal (raw) up in here.
Aside from the Piece Of Me promo and #proudmama shots of Jayden James and Sean Preston we’ve grown accustomed to seeing ever since she joined Instagram, Britney’s been increasingly using the photo sharing service like a mood board, sharing what is, seemingly, her 2015 Stream Of Consciousness.
Her Instagram is now rapidly filling up by the day: Memes, inspirational quotes, glam alien photo shoots from an unknown point in time, embarrassing Precious Moments cartoons about God/friendship/family that your grandmother most definitely has hanging on a mantle, black and white art, nature photos, cute #selfies — even some book recommendations. (Godney Book Club, anyone?)
In fact, she’s recommended not one, but two books (both with Ugly in the title): Uglies, a Young Adult read about “a future world in which a compulsory operation at sixteen wipes out physical differences and makes everyone pretty by conforming to an ideal standard of beauty” and Ugly Shy Girl, about “the struggle of growing up in a place where you don’t belong, surrounded by people you hate…and how delicious getting your own back can be.” It’s all very “boxer in the ring tryna defend myself.” Only an angel could be so unusual, after all.
Read into the meaning of these posts individually as you will, but one thing certainly feels awfully familiar…
Flashback to the turbulent, troublesome and thrilling time in between 2005 and 2008, as Britney was in full-blown rebellion_snippet.mp3 mode.
Brit Brit’s official website, BritneySpears.com, suddenly became her very own Dear E-Diary, as she took the reigns to curate sassy retorts to the media and the ever-scrutinizing general public (she was simply auditioning for a role during that whole umbrella incident, sorry X17!), dabble in introspective poetry (“Remembrance of Who I Am“) and write out heartfelt letters to fans.
It felt like every other week, her website would change ever so subtly with a new cryptic reading or revised headline.
At that time, in the digital stone-age before social media really became A Thing, it was also one of the few rare ways the Britney Army could actually receive direct transmissions from our fearless, cool and funky leader.
Occasionally, B even flaunted her sarcastic sense of humor.
Eight years later, Britney’s poll to name her then-upcoming album (which would become Blackout) is still legendary. The choices? OMG Is Like Lindsay Lohan Like Okay Like, What If The Joke Is On You, Down Boy, Integrity or Dignity. (The absolute shade of not knowing Hilary Duff just released an album called Dignity that same year…)
Though those were undeniably dark days, the few updates Britney supplied herself gave us just the slightest glimpse behind-the-scenes, rather than trying to piece (of me) together her side of the story from the ever-present paparazzi lens.
Fast forward to today, and it feels like Britney is taking the reigns of her web presence again — like, really, really this time. Granted, we’re getting memes shared on Facebook groups for cool moms rather than angry letters to the haters. But still! It just feels like Britney’s getting back…oh, what’s the term for this? Right: In The Zone.
Blackout 2.0 on the way? I mean, let’s not get our lace and leather panties in a bunch just yet. But gather those vanilla candles ’round and keep the prayers going strong for B9, y’all: Expressiveney is out in full force.
And if you see a mysterious tiger pop up in her feed…PANIC.
UPDATE (11/22): PANIC.