Since February, the public conversation regarding Britney Spears, her early life in the spotlight and her conservatorship has resurfaced thanks to the Hulu documentary Framing Britney Spears. The pop phenomenon has allowed the public to reflect on her treatment, including Legally Blonde actress Reese Witherspoon, who grew in Hollywood popularity around the same time Spears’ eruption of fame happened.
While speaking with Time, along with reflecting on her production company Hello Sunshine being bestowed the honor of being making the magazine’s 100 Most Influential Companies, Reese Witherspoon found herself comparing her own career with Britney Spears. She, like many, tuned into the documentary, but she felt a more personal connection to the story given her experiences were much different.
As Reese Witherspoon explained, she noticed that she and Britney Spears got divorced in the same year. Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe broke things off in 2007, just as the “Oops… I Did It Again” singer said goodbye to Kevin Federline, and both have two children that they raised in the spotlight as well. Witherspoon believes that the difference was that Spears was deemed “bad” by the media, and it made things harder. In her words:
What if the media had decided I was something else? I would be in a totally different position. I want to say it’s my decisions or the career choices I made, but it felt very arbitrary. And kind of shitty.
In the interview, Reese Witherspoon made the distinction that per the media’s eye, people like her and dear friend Jennifer Garner have been given the “good” girl label, whereas Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan were considered “bad” girls. If she had been treated the same way as the “bad” ones, she thinks her life may have turned out a lot differently and been a bit more difficult. While she would like to think she made good choices in the public eye, sometimes public figures like them had to surrender to circumstance.
Reese Witherspoon definitely brings up some interesting points about fame, especially when it comes to the relationship women are given in the media. She seems to be pointing out that in the early ‘00s, the media would pick favorites for a positive narrative and others for a more dramatic, toxic one.
Living your daily life in front of billions cannot be easy, and Reese Witherspoon recalled being chased by photographers, followed in and out of schools and there being an RV parked in front of her house 24/7. Her children remember to this day times when people climbed on the roofs of cars around them thanks to her celebrity status in Hollywood.
Nowadays, Reese Witherspoon has shifted to become a successful business woman and actress, who produces and developed a number of successful movies and TV shows, including Gone Girl and Big Little Lies. Her next project will be a return to her early ‘00s days as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde 3, which comes out on May 22, 2022.