Don't you ever wish that someone would sum up the life of Britney Spears in a series of handy dandy charts? Then it's your lucky day. I'm breaking down the hallowed legacy of Brit-Brit into a series of digestible graphics that you may recognize from 10th grade geometry. And I’m doing it for you, America!
And isn't Britney the most American of American phenomena, anyway? We ‘90s kids grew up watching Spears body-roll, talk-sing, and maniacally smile her way from “not a girl” to “not yet a woman.” Her rhinestone jumpsuits, belly-baring shirts, sexy costumes, and catsuits have come to represent distinct eras in our cultural history. We've seen her date a collection of guys who range in degrees of suitability, from Justin Timberlake to the crisis years of K. Fed. In so many words, we know her just as well as we do any kooky family member— a family member we've never met in person, but a family member nonetheless.
That said, we have plenty of data to work with when it comes to charting Britney's career. Here are five charts to describe the indescribable Miss Spears. (See? Math is totally useful after high school.)
The Mad Science Behind A Britney Hit
Anyone who embarks on the sonic journey of listening to a Brit-jam should expect the following: Britney speaking breathlessly over a techno beat like an elusive pop minx, a breakdown that's basically the caveman-speak version of the chorus, and at least a week of singing the tune in your head. Bay-bay.
Britney's Work Wardrobe, From "Not That Innocent" To Career Barbie
Spears heartily enjoys a good bedazzled leotard ("Toxic") and a healthy dose of lingerie ("Work, Bitch," "Piece of Me," "Gimme More"). She's even more partial to dressing up as the sultry versions of things she's not (a Catholic school girl in "Hit Me Baby One More Time," a flight attendant in "Toxic," a '50s diner waitress in "Drive Me Crazy"). If that fails, she's fine with throwing on a good old half-shirt and hitting the town!
On Our Foolish Belief That We Could Dance Like Britney
Not even Darren of Darren's Dance Grooves could help you... No matter how many dance tutorials you watched, learning the Britney choreography was never as easy as it looked. But by God, that didn't stop you from trying.
Britney's Suitors, Ranked By Suitability
Like plenty of us laypeople, Britney has kissed her fair share of frogs and princes. In the good years she dated JT, who we can all agree was a prince among men. In the darker years, there was the Vegas Wedding guy, then the time she allegedly dated ultra-scrub Fred Durst (who was extra toxic, considering that she denied that they even dated). But Charlie Ebersol at least seems like a nice boy.
Are You Not A Girl... Or Not Yet A Woman?
Ah, "Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"... a song that defined a generation.
Image: Caroline Wurtzel/ Bustle (6)