Britney Spears, queen of pop and of Instagram, celebrated her 36th birthday on Saturday, December 2, by making a video she has long wanted to make. But before you watch it, let's go back a bit so that we can fully understand how this piece of motion picture art came to be, because there's a backstory, and it involves Madonna (no, they didn't make out again).
On December 2, Madonna, also the queen of pop (there are many queens; get over it), posted a video of herself singing a snippet of Spears' song "Toxic" while playing an acoustic guitar. It sounds great! The video appears to be shot with Photo Booth's "Thermal Camera" effect, perhaps an homage to the visual pop artists of the '80s who ran in Madonna's circle and influenced her art? Anyway, she captioned the video, "Silence =Death! 😷. Song For World AIDS Day! 🌎🌍🌏. #toxic #poisonparadise 🔥 @britneyspears. 🎉🎉🎉 Happy Birthday!! 💞💞💞💞," so, let's unpack that. "Silence = death" is/was a slogan of the AIDS crisis response movement, especially ACT UP. Is "Toxic" a reference to the many illnesses people with HIV/AIDS are vulnerable to? Maybe. In any case, Madonna posted her video on Ms. Spears' birthday, so of course she wished her friend a happy birthday. #poisonparadise.
Moving on! Spears apparently saw Madge's post and took the message that silence = death to heart (though perhaps not the part about AIDS, though to be fair, it was Britney's birthday) and decided to #YOLO, carpe diem, etc, and make a video she has long wanted to make. "I was really inspired yesterday by @madonna’s post. She’s right… silence = death! These words really stuck with me, because they are so true. I’ve always wanted to do a performance like this… singing in a pretty little black dress, with a simple 360, one take shot! I figured since it was my birthday, why not go for it?! So boom 💥 When the clock struck 12:00, I did it!!! Thank you all for the beautiful birthday wishes, and for letting me do what I love. I appreciate you more than you will ever know!!!!," she captioned a video of herself standing in the center of her foyer in a little black dress, singing "Fools Rush In," as the camera circles her.
So, technically, this video was directed by Britney Spears.
She also wore the dress to her at-home party, where her boyfriend gave her cupcakes in a candle-filled room.
Happy birthday Britney! We can't help falling in love with YOU.