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britney spears (interview from 2002)

In promotion of her upcoming album and tour, Britney held a press conference with select members of the press. Here is a brief transcript of what was discussed...

Britney, what's your take on being a role model?

Britney Spears: I'm very flattered that such young kids look up to me because the innocence of them is a really beautiful thing. But I think it's honestly up to their parents to explain to them that I'm a performer, and that when I'm on stage, that's my time to perform and express myself. But I don't wear those clothes to the supermarket or to a ballgame and that little kids, just like when they go into their mom's closet and they dress up in their mom's clothes, it's fine and fun, and it's like their time to play at home. But that's not what they're supposed to wear out into reality in the real world. When I was younger, I looked to people like Janet Jackson and Madonna. They were major inspirations for me, but I also had my own identity and I knew who I was. Sometimes, I think it's kind of lame when someone places a label on someone as being a role model. Because when I go on stage, I do my thing and I perform. That's my time to express myself. When I come off, I trip and I burp and I fart just like everybody else.

The media can be so tough on you. What is that experience like for you?

Britney Spears: Seriously, stuff like that, I mean I don't take myself that seriously. I just have to laugh it off when stuff like that comes up. I find it interesting that they find me so interesting.

I know that you've cited Madonna as an influence, and she's a huge gay icon. And I think that that's definitely a role you're taking on in the gay community. Just curious if you have any thoughts on that.

Britney Spears: It's flattering. Oh my gosh. All of my best friends are gay guys so… I think that's very cool, yes.

Tell us about your upcoming tour. Any snakes or animals involved in it?

Britney Spears: No, there's not going to be any animals on this tour. I'm already doing enough crazy stuff. Yesterday I was doing a run-through and I was like, "By the time I'm 30, there's not going to be anything left for me to do." This is going to be my third tour to do. I just want [the fans] to see me in a different light that they've ever seen me in before and this music that I'm singing right now is such a reflection of who I am. The main thing is [that] I would like for people to leave just being inspired and to make them forget about the day and who they are and everything going on in the world and have a good time.

I know you had mentioned on your MTV diary the number of sit-ups and workouts that you do per day. How important is working out in terms of your show?

Britney Spears: Man you're inspiring me right now. I'm eating a bag of potato chips as we speak. I'm really, really bad. And I have a show in like three days. When I have an event that's coming up I just feel better about myself if I'm really in shape. I'm a very active. I'm talking about it and I'm not doing it so I'm glad you brought this up.

Can you talk a little bit about the song, What It's Like To Be Me, how that came about and how that felt to record it?

Britney Spears: Wade Robson, the Director of my tour, and Justin, my boyfriend, they wrote the song for me. I went to the studio and they had the track ready for me. I laid the vocals down. The song isn't specifically about what it's like to be me. It's talking about a girl in a relationship and the boy doesn't understand what she's going through. Before she's going to open up to him, he has to realize what she's about.

I'm just wondering, how do you balance expressing yourself in your lyrics and trying to maintain some sense of privacy?

Britney Spears: This album was very therapeutic for me because when you're feeling something you can express it through a song. There are still definitely a lot of songs that I write that I keep to myself, but it's hard for me because I am a open person. That's something that I've had to constantly tell myself to hold back from. I definitely still do keep a lot of things from myself. I have to.

What was the most challenging aspect of recording this third album?

Britney Spears: I was really nervous when I first went into the studio because I was like, can I even write? It was a lot simpler than what I thought. I just sat with people who made me feel really comfortable. I had a lot of time for this album and the last two albums I did I didn't. This was probably been the most laid back process in making an album that I've had.

On the new album, there's a song Not Yet A Girl, Not Yet A Woman. What does the title mean to you?

Britney Spears: My definition of a girl is someone who hasn't experienced her life at the fullest potential yet. [She's] very naive and she's still growing. A woman is one who has fulfilled her life. She has a lot of wisdom and she knows herself in and out. I think that I'm kind of right in-between there. I think I'm on verge of being a woman. It is kind of hard though. Because I have grown up in the spotlight, people place these things on [me] to be a certain way - not even necessarily my fans or anything. It's the people around me. They treat you a certain way when you're like 16 or 17. It's up to you to stand up and say, "Okay, I need my own identity. I need to grow and be an adult and do things on my own." It's a matter of me standing up and saying that. I think a lot of teenagers can relate to that because they're going off to college and their parents want them to grow up and be this wonderful independent person, but yet at the same time they want to feel needed. I think it's a teenage issue.

How did September 11th affect you?

Britney Spears: It's definitely changed my perspective on a lot of things and [taught me] to embrace each moment and embrace the people around you. I was on my way to Australia when it happened. I got off the plane and they told me what happened but I didn't really understand until I got up and I looked at it on the TV. I was like, "Oh my God. Is this like freaking Independence Day?" It was just like a movie or something. I called my mom as soon as I could because my brother was in New York. I was just really upset about the whole thing and I was like, "I can't be here promoting my album right now." I was supposed to go on the European promotional tour. I flew home to be with my family. It makes you put things in perspective and be really thankful for each moment that you have with your family. And -- the energy that I feel when I'm around people right now -- they're opening doors for people and saying, "God bless," and I think we should continue to do that and love each other.

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