All while Justin perpetuated the negative portrayal of Britney in the press for years after they broke up, she largely remained silent — even after she was brought to tears in a grueling interview about their relationship.
With this in mind, Britney’s recent apparent response to Justin wound up sparking a wider conversation around her refreshing newfound courage when it comes to calling people out, with Vogue magazine publishing an article stating that she “shouldn’t have to apologize” given how long she’s put up with unnecessary digs and jabs.
Unlike Justin, Britney has spent years as a “punching bag” for tabloids, with fans pointing out that she’s endured “decades of bad press.” Away from invasive questions about Justin and their sex life, the ”Toxic” singer was scrutinized over almost every aspect of her personal life throughout the ‘00s — from her clothing choices, to her eventual divorce from Kevin Federline, to her parenting once she welcomed her two sons.
And even though Britney was as young as 17 when she was asked some of these inappropriate questions, she always bit her tongue and refrained from snapping back — something that continued for years and years, even after her controversial conservatorship came into effect in 2008.
To paint a clearer picture, here’s a breakdown of the ways Britney handled invasive questions and cruel criticism between the late ‘90s and ‘00s, compared with exactly how she’s started to defend herself in recent years.