Me against the musos: why I love Britney Spears

Nineties nipper – and journalist – Millie Milliken talks about her love of Britney Spears and her hatred for music snobbery. And if you don’t like it…

Millie Milliken

Words Millie Milliken Photo Sam G Riley

A special breed of fear is brought on by the words ‘Spotify shuffle’ and ‘loudspeaker’. When you hear them together you start wishing you’d siphoned off those songs you and the dog dance to in the dark. You just wish you’d banished your so-called “guilty pleasures” to some kind of locked playlist – a place only yourself and MI6 have access to. Right? Well, I used to think like that. But, as I near my thirties, the fear of being music shamed by my peers has gone from me giving a shit to, simply, ‘Give. A. Shit.’

The summer of 2001 remains one of the happiest times of my life. I bought Britney Spears’ eponymous third album, Britney. I had, of course, her previous (perhaps more prolific) two albums, but this record made sense to me, especially as I edged into my teens. Songs like ‘I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman’ and ‘Boys’ resonated in particular, with the likes of ‘Overprotected’ and ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’ becoming the backing tracks to my awkward teenage years (I’ve burned the photos. All of them). Now, having recently turned 27, ‘What it’s Like to Be Me’ is particularly relevant, meaning, sixteen years on, the album still strikes a chord. In fact, my friends and me still pump it out, often in a hot tub, always drowning in prosecco.

I’m going to say it: I love her. I’m not too cool to admit that. There are some who’d think I’m not cool enough because I don’t know every new Tom, Dick and Arsehole that pops up on the scene. You know, the ones your cool mates insist they knew before anyone else. “Alright mate, well done. Off you pop for a celebratory smashed avocado on toast and a turmeric latte.” You know what? If you deny recognising the first three notes of ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, you’re a fucking liar. Even my dad – stamp collector, Classic FM fan and Waitrose shopper – knows it.

Britney transcends age, gender and taste. Oh, and her name is the most searched on the Internet. Come on. Come at me. Long live Britney, bitch!

You can read more like this, first-hand, in the monthly Stylus magazine, found in each of our monthly subscription boxes. Find out how to get involved here

If you want to check out more of Millie’s work, visit her personal website here

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