britney spears talks about her difficult battle with anxiety

The icon opens up about the pressures of being a teenage superstar.

by Isabelle Hellyer
|
02 September 2016, 4:20am

Britney Spears is well and truly back in the limelight, and finally, it seems like she's enjoying it. The pop icon's battles with the overwhelming scale of her celebrity were well documented through the 2000s, despite Britney's constant requests for paparazzi to stop hounding her. At the time, public discourse around mental health was nowhere near as sympathetic as it is today, and few outlets considered the difficult battles Britney was fighting inside.

These days Britney is happier than ever, and in a comfortable position to reflect on the events of 2007. In an interview with Marie Claire Britney explained her anxiety had gotten out of hand: "I moved to Los Angeles when I was very young," she said. "I was so under scrutiny. If a hair was out of place, I'd be so anxious. I would get very anxious about so many things."

After her anxiety problems publicly spiralled out of control, Britney took time out to focus on her family. "Becoming a mother and being with my boys has made me so much more accepting of myself," she explained. "I'm their mom, whatever. That has been a really big thing for me over these last few years." The admission has been met with outpourings of sympathy from Britney fans, who are happy to see the singer where she is today. 

It's wonderful to see these tides turning: celebrities are now celebrated for opening up about mental illness, not ridiculed for it. Britney's not the only example — Selena Gomez just announced she would be taking a year off touring to recover from the depression and anxiety caused by her lupus diagnosis. Zayn Malik also cancelled a June performance because of overwhelming anxiety. In each instance the vast majority of fans have been compassionate — and hopefully felt more inclined to speak up about their own battles too. 

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Photography via @BritneySpears

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