Exactly six years ago, life was not great for Britney Spears. She had just performed at the MTV Video Music Awards, an event that usually prompted headlines about the cool and now infamous things she'd done, like dance with a snake or kiss Madonna. But this time, her lackluster performance of her first single in several years, "Gimme More," shocked in a different way. The New York Times called it "listless", described her as "wan" and said that the whole thing was a "fiasco", all in one sentence.
If you'd like to watch that performance again to see how far she's come, you can, though it's relatively horrifying. That being said, it's not actually that far off from the performances or videos Spears has done since, even as her mental state has seemingly improved. That much is clear from the video for "Work Bitch," which is perfectly fine, except that it's not the Britney we were brought up with. It's the one we've come to expect.