The Cultural Impact of Celebrity on Feminism and Mental Health

Britney Spears’ life is as multifaceted as the very contradictions, pressures and expectations that helped create her. Yet, beyond the eye-catching headlines and front-page fodder, an almost indecipherable question remains: Who is the real Britney?

In Being Britney: Pieces of a Modern Icon (Permuted Press, an imprint of Post Hill Press; July 19, 2022; IBSN: 978-1788705233; Hardcover), author Jennifer Otter Bickerdike cullsa collage of vignettes, stories, interviews, legends, fan experiences and amusing detours to construct a definitive portrait of the artist and her complex, far-reaching orbit. This unique narrative is the first to provide a sympathetic yet objective re-examination of Britney’s cultural impact in the wake of major collective shifts surrounding feminism, celebrity and mental health. The book is coming off its successful launch in the UK, where it became No. 1 in Amazon’s Hot New Releases.

With her canon of bestselling singles, electrifying stage performances and iconic music videos, Britney Spears is undoubtedly a modern pop superstar. But her story has long been clouded by society’s dark obsession with beauty, youth and fame — a relentless glare that has threatened to eclipse her musical success. Now, in this timely portrait, Bickerdike takes readers beyond the headlines to discover the Britney behind the product and the society that both created and failed the pop superstar:

1. Being Britney explores the life of a mother and entrepreneur; a victim and fighter; an entertainer and enigma who, for over a decade, was publicly exploited, used, consumed and tossed aside by many.

2. Despite her career spanning five presidents, multiple creative reinventions and over 100 million album sales, Britney’s ability to come back from highly publicized personal adversity has rarely been acknowledged.

3. Against continued adversity, her relevance and successes grew with each passing year, culminating in a game-changing Las Vegas residency, a shocking conservatorship battle and the powerful #FreeBritney support campaign.

Being Britney is the compelling and often irreverent account of a talented, troubled and talked-about modern icon, “who has managed to grow a multimillion-dollar empire despite numerous outside forces trying to destroy her from every angle.” Bickerdike recognizes, “after years of being framed as a victim, Britney deserves to be celebrated as the fighter, entrepreneur, inspiration and enigma that she truly is,” whose life, work and individual significance will be recognized for years to come.      

About the Author

Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike is a rock ’n’ roll cultural historian and author, working across music heritage, fandom, broadcast and academia. She is the author of several books on pop, rock, fandom and celebrity, most recently the critically acclaimed You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone: The Biography of Nico (2021), andtheNo. 1 bestseller Why Vinyl Matters: A Manifesto from Musicians and Fans (2017). Bickerdike was literary consultant for Will Sergeant (Echo and the Bunnymen) with his bestselling debut memoir Bunnyman (2021);global music ambassador for the British and Irish Modern Music Institute; and co-founder of Moving the Needle, a nonprofit organization that supports women in the UK music industry through their careers. Originally from Santa Cruz California, she now lives in London.