Celebrity

10 Britney Spears Lyrics About Breaking Free & Dealing With The Media

From “Stronger” to “Piece of Me,” the singer has had no problem advocating for herself.

Michael Caulfield/Getty Images

TORSTEN SILZ/DDP/Getty Images

One of the strongest themes in Britney Spears’ repertoire of hits has been her desire for independence and her contempt for the media, whose overbearing treatment of her arguably led to the conservatorship that was placed on her in 2008, as outlined in Hulu’s 2021 documentaries Framing Britney Spears and Controlling Britney Spears.

Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“Hush, just stop: There’s nothing you can do or say / I’ve had enough, I'm not your property as from today”

—“Stronger” (2000)

From her 2000 empowerment anthem “Stronger” to her cover of Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative,” Spears has no problem advocating for herself and her freedom. And as shown in her defiant middle finger to tabloid culture, “Piece of Me,” she’s willing to go after the people who won’t leave her alone.

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images

“Everybody’s talkin’ all this stuff about me, why don’t they just let me live? / I don’t need permission, make my own decisions”

— “My Prerogative” (2004)

Technically, these are Bobby Brown’s lyrics, but there’s a reason why Spears covered his 1988 hit. To this day, there’s few people the media will talk about more than Spears.

I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am, and I don’t wanna be so damn protected

“Overprotected” (2001)

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

I’m Mrs. ‘You Want A Piece Of Me?’ tryin’ and pissin’ me off / Well get in line with the paparazzi who's flippin’ me off / Hopin’ I’ll resort to startin’ havoc and end up settlin’ in court / Now are you sure you want a piece of me?

“Piece of Me” (2007)

Denise Truscello/BSLV/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

She’s gonna step outside, uncover her eyes / Who knew she could feel so alive? / Her M.O.’s changed, she don’t wanna behave / Ain’t it good to be a brave girl tonight?

“Brave New Girl” (2003)

John Gichigi/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Getty Images/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

“All the flashin’, tryin’ to cash in, hurts my eyes / All the poses, out of focus, I despise / F me over, your exposure, not the best / You want me bad, I want you out, release this stress”

— “Kill the Lights” (2008)

This hidden gem from Circus — almost a sequel to the iconic “Piece of Me” — sees Spears continuing to challenge the media.

B-girl ain’t lost the beat / Jumped over drama and I landed on my feet / Got to keep going, no stopping me

“Outrageous” (2003)

L. Busacca/WireImage/Getty Images

Michael Caulfield Archive/WireImage/Getty Images

“There is no need to protect me / It’s time that I learn to face up to this on my own / I’ve seen so much more than you know now / So don’t tell me to shut my eyes”

— “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman” (2001)

Britney released this coming-of-age anthem when she was just 20 years old, the age where this song’s message hits the hardest. She may be advocating for independence, but that doesn’t mean she won’t make mistakes along the way, like we all do.

Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

“You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work bitch / You want a Lamborghini? Sip martinis? Look hot in a bikini? You better work bitch”

— “Work Bitch” (2013)

There’s nothing that says independence more than Spears telling us to “work, bitch.” Fun fact: The U.S. unemployment rate reportedly went down by 50% in the years after the song was released.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images

“I did everything you wanted me to, but now I shall / Break free from all your lies / I won’t be blind, you see ...”

— “Cinderella” (2001)

This underrated deep cut from Spears’ self-titled 2001 album is about the singer leaving a toxic relationship, but it’s just as much a metaphor of her own desire for independence.