Britney Spears Called Out Boy Band Double Standards About Sex Back in 1999

Britney Spears is one of the world’s biggest superstars, a woman who rose to fame as a child star and has managed to release hit songs with each passing decade. Spears is currently in the spotlight, thanks to a brand-new documentary that is shedding light on the state of Spears’ conservatorship, and the role that her father has played in some of her darker moments over the years.

Many fans are learning even more about Spears and the way that she has spoken out at various points in her life — including one notable interview from 1999, where the young pop star slammed the double standards that were so prevalent in the music industry. 

How did Britney Spears become a star?

A head shot of Britney Spears smiling on the red carpet
Britney Spears attends a red carpet event in 2019 | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Spears was born in Mississippi in 1981. When she was only three years old, Spears started attracting local attention for her impressive singing voice and stage presence.

In 1992, Spears was cast in The Mickey Mouse Club, alongside future superstars like Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. Five years later, Spears was a seasoned show business professional, signing with her first record label. The future pop princess was only 15 years old.

In 1999, Spears released her first album, …Baby One More Time. The album was a global success, with the title track becoming a smash hit, earning Spears millions of fans. Over the next several years, Spears continued to record hit songs, with her second and third albums also becoming successes. While Spears was seemingly unstoppable on the Billboard charts, she also faced relentless criticism from members of the press. 

Britney Spears has suffered criticism from the media

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From the very beginning of her career, Spears faced criticism from the media about the way that she presented herself, including her costumes and some of her provocative dance moves. Many took Spears to task for her sexualized image, with some talk show hosts and reporters slamming the young star for being a “bad influence” for younger fans.

Interestingly enough, although Spears remained relatively mum regarding the media’s perception of her, she did speak out in a 1999 interview, taking the media to task for the double standards in the music industry. 

What did Britney Spears say about boy band double standards?

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In a 1999 interview, when Spears was just beginning her meteoric rise to fame, she admitted that there is a significant double standard in the music industry. “I did the ‘Baby’ video with my belly showing or whatever,,” Spears stated. “I love BSB and NSYNC, but when they’re doing all those thrusts on stage and make out with a microphone no one says anything about that. When I’m just showing a little belly they’re like “oooh!”

Unfortunately, Spears’ criticism of the double standards regarding boy bands didn’t do much to help her over the years. The pop star was consistently taken to task by various publications intent on dogging her every move.

When Spears and Justin Timberlake broke up, many publications insisted on portraying Timberlake as the injured party, in spite of the fact that there was no real evidence of wrongdoing on either side. While Timberlake has since apologized for his role in the media’s mistreatment of Spears, many fans are still upset about the way that Spears has been portrayed.

Still, if her 1999 interview proves anything, it is that Spears can be very opinionated when she needs to be and has no problem calling out unfair treatment.