Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
12:59 AM 25th November 2023

Review: The Woman In Me - Britney Spears

When Britney Spears appeared at the Open-Air Theatre in Scarborough in 2018 the experience was rather like watching a clockwork doll that had been wound up and sprung into action; the performance was almost robotic with little emotion and hardly any communication with her audience.

Having read her memoir, The Woman in Me, one can sense the tense, and at times, brave and astonishing journey the singer has travelled on. How she ever got to Scarborough is a miracle given what the American singer had experienced: “I became a robot” she writes, “I became more of an entity than a person”.

Written with candour and a splash of humour, her enduring love of music is evident - set against a backdrop of selfish ex-boyfriends, a manipulative family, and a greedy music industry. Controls were placed upon her that meant any potential boyfriends were subjected to background checks, she was put on a strict diet and had to exercise regularly and was given a weekly allowance whilst her father raked in the the singer’s profits.

Her relationship with Justin Timberlake is well documented, including the abortion that he obliged her to have, whilst he continually dated other women. Men do not emerge with in any credit in the stories related here – from her father to her boyfriends, and record company personnel, all are tainted.

Ultimately, Spears was committed to a mental institution owing to the exhaustion and trauma that she had endured. Whilst the book has some funny moments, with Spears now being able to look at the situation from a different perspective, her tale is a cautionary one, especially as it speaks to young women wanting to make a career in the pop music world.

With faith, strength and hope Spears pulled through. If you manage to make it to the last chapter, you will discover she is finally now free. A brutal, honest, and inspiring read from a true survivor.

The Woman In Me is published by Gallery Books.