Britney's Umbrella Is Up For Sale And We Want To Buy It As An Accidentally Feminist Symbol

10-Years On We Remember The Meme-Making Breakdown That Changed The Way We Deal With Celebrity

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You may already know that this week is the 10-year anniversary of Britney's Umbrella-weilding breakdown.

10 YEARS AGO TODAY. IT'S BRITNEY BITCH

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This was the birth of the infamous ,'If Britney Got Through 2007, You Can Get Through Today' meme, which, in once sense is quite mocking, but on the other is a genuine message of hope.

Because Britney did get through 2007.

Her second marriage (to Kevin Federline) was at its end and by early 2007 she was a single mother to two children and her aunt, who she was extremely close to, had died of ovarian cancer.

A few days before she smashed up a Paparazzi's car outside a Jiffy Lube in California, Britney had publicly shaved her head after leaving rehab after just a day.

Later in the same year someone let her perform for MTV's Video Music Awards, and she essentially walked around the stage, wearing an ill-fitting stage outfit and terrible extensions on her recently shaved head.

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And a month after this performance she lost custody of her two young boys to her ex-husband.

In 2008 she was placed under two psychiatric holds, the same hold that Kanye was placed under last year.

And slowly-but surely she got better, she got back custody of her children, continued her steady stream of chart-toppers and now, ten years later she earns $300,000 a night at her Vegas residency, which means she has a reliable schedule so she can be with her children.

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Britney was part of a toxic (no pun intended) relationship with the paparazzi, they were instrumental in her fame, she even dated one of them, but they were also her downfall.

She was close with them, you can hear in footage of the night she smashed the car one of the cameramen is asking, 'Are you feeling ok? I'm concerned about you', like a friend would, but he's also filming it, very unlike a friend would.

Daniel "Dano" Ramos was the reporter asking these questions, according to Buzzfeed, and he's the guy reportedly selling that umbrella now.

Dano released a documentary about pre-social media (and pre legally restricted) paparazzi golden days, and from the trailer you get a glimpse into the chaotic world Britney lived in.

As well as the maelstrom of press, and her turbulent private life, Britney bore the brunt of a lot of sexist criticism.

In this interview with two of the Mouseketeers that didn't make it (Christina Aguilara, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling and Britney were all successful alumni) and other people from her life, from 2003, you can get garner an understanding of how the press treated women like Britney in the early noughties.

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Here's an excerpt from that article, 'Like Britney would never be the girl who would pull the bra down. It'd be the girl who's — the bra would — she would look away and the bra would fall off. 'Oh, did that— oh, excuse me, I didn't even know that that happened.''

Since 2007 much has changed.

Many of the same stars who were dragged through the press in 2007, are still engaging in similar behaviour today, but the press does not treat them in the same way.

Lindsey Lohan's tumultuous and potentially abusive relationship with a Russian millionaire has been filmed and circulated, likewise Mischa Barton's drink was allegedly spiked and she was filmed in a drug-fueled rant.

In both cases the mainstream press took the women for their word and were sympathetic to their situation.

This more mindful and compassionate handling of female celebrities is also being extended to others- Kanye's recent breakdown is an example of this.

We are enlightening ourselves daily to the dangerous reality of mental health issues, as well as the prevalence and unfairness of racially or gendered attack.

Britney was a young mum who needed help and whilst there were times she cried on the pavement, she also shaved her head and hit a paparazzi's car in an act of defiance.

Today more and more women are shaving their heads in acts of liberation, unlike Samson's strengthening locks, it seems female power is heightened once they shear their heads.

Free from one of the most expensive and time-consuming patriarchal beauty ideals many women have flourished.

Likewise, Britney's cry for help was an accidentally feminist iconic moment, and the umbrella?

Well that's the sceptre that belongs in glass-case in a feminist hall of fame.

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