While Britney's new video features the 31-year-old pop star scantily clad, writhing and having fun with chains and whips, the reality of the situation is that Britney's not entirely comfortable with the sexual aspect of her image, and feels like she's being pushed too far.
In an interview for The TJ show on Boston radio station AMP 103.3 — which was posted on TMZ — Britney admits that while the "Work Bitch" video is sexy, it's not as sexy as it could have been, because she demanded that some footage be cut:
Oh my god, we showed way more skin and did way more stuff for the video then what is actually there. Like, I cut out half the video because I am a mother and because, you know, I have children, and it’s just hard to play sexy mom while you’re being a pop star as well.
TJ attempts to clarify, asking: "So in some sense, are they pushing you further than you want to go? And then you sit in the editing room and you say, no, that has to go? And that's pretty much how it's all lined up?"
Britney laughs. "Yes," she says. And then with a tinge of sadness: "Yes."
In a great follow-up, TJ asks Britney what a video would be like if her "people" were not involved, and she could do whatever she wanted. "Is there a Britney Spears that you have in mind that you wish you could be today?"
…A lot of sex goes into what I do. But sometimes I would like to bring it back to the old days when there was like one outfit through the whole video, and you’re dancing the whole video, and there’s like not that much sex stuff going on… It’s about the dance and it’s about being old school, it’s like keeping it real and just making it about the dance. I would love to do a video like that.
And yet: There she is, in fishnets, in lingerie, frolicking in a faux-S&M den, playing the role of sex symbol. Why is it that an international superstar worth millions can't make the kind of video she wants to make? It sounds like she doesn't even want to do costume changes. But someone (or someones) has convinced her that this is the way to stay on top. Or relevant, at least.
Knowing this, it seems even more obvious that, as we noted yesterday, that when she sings "you better work, bitch," Britney is just talking to herself, finding a way to motivate her as she accepts that being Britney Spears™ is a tough job — something she needs to do, even if her heart's not in it.
Since the interview went up, Britney's father, Jamie Spears, and manager, Larry Rudolph, have replied, saying: "Britney is never pressured into anything. She reviews all creative and for her 'Work Bitch' video she discussed toning down some parts in finding a balance of sexy and being a mom." TMZ points out that their statement is significant since Britney is still technically under a conservatorship. So where is this pressure coming from?