Britney talks to Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot

What’s it like to be Britney Spears?

I’m in denial that I am a celebrity sometimes. My wish is to be private, deep inside, which I am, I believe. Fame is way too much for me, as it’s really hard to grasp its size. When you’re young and in the beginning of your career, it’s understandable when you’ve just stepped into this world. But when you grow up and you look at the industry, you’re like ‘huh? that’s crazy.’ I have moments where I just want to dress up like a normal person and walk in the street. It goes through my mind a lot.

If you could give the 16-year-old Britney one piece of advice, what would it be?

Simply – enjoy the moment. That’s something that’s really hard to understand when you’ve started young in this business.

And that’s something you didn’t do.

Not really. I think I had fun when I was younger. I was a pretty normal girl, a tomboy. But my 20’s were awful. My 30’s are much better for me. I’ve know myself better.

What did you do wrong in your 20’s?

I think I should have given myself more breaks through my career and taken responsibility for my mental health. There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn’t make myself.

You were “Overprotected”…

Something like that. My life was controlled by many people and that doesn’t really let you be yourself. In that situation, when you’re not in control, the excitement fades and there’s less passion when it comes to music. I wrote that I was lost and didn’t know what to do with myself, back then. I was trying to please everyone around me because that is who I am deep inside. There are moments where I look back and think ‘What the hell was I thinking?’

Like the snake in the “Slave” VMA performance? 

That was pretty scary. Stupid even. I wouldn’t do that again.

When were you the toughest on yourself?

The more exact question is when am I not?

In one of the more memorable moments of your career, you were seen driving with baby Sean on your lap, which turned into world news. You then blamed the paparazzi and confessed that you were very stressed.

Those were the toughest years. I think the paparazzi took the pressure away when I didn’t leave my house for two years.

I asked her if that was her biggest crisis in life, and she replies:
Crisis is a strong word.

Each and every one of us that starts at a young age in the industry has to take into account that you’ve got to have balance in order to stay in it and to manage your personal life. Sometimes that’s very challenging. I think I was very different back then, when I was younger, not always knowing what was good or bad. I was very instinctive. Today I’m at a better place in my life. My kids have shaped my personality and fulfilled me. They’ve made me forget about what was happening to me.

If you could be unknown for a day and not have the paparazzi around, where would you go and what would you do?

If I answer honestly, people would know where to find me. I’ll just tell you that my last Google search was ‘cool beaches to take kids to.’

Is it harder for you in the pop industry that includes names like Beyonce, Rihanna and Taylor Swift?

I don’t see it how you see it, in terms of competition between singers. I think we need to support each other from a place of female empowerment. 

Is it harder for you to create hits compared to when you started?

The musical world is just much more accessible to everyone.

And here she is today, right after her ninth studio album ‘Glory’ that came out last year and sent her touring. On July 3rd she’ll arrive in Tel Aviv for a concert at Hayarkon Park that is expected to host 50,000 people.
I’m very excited to visit Israel for the first time.

And you were not asked to avoid coming by a political group or singer asked you not to come?
I only heard good things about Israel actually.

Our readers chose “Oops!.. I Did It Again,” “…Baby One More Time” and “Born To Make You Happy” as your best hits, do you agree?

I love those songs but I have a few other favourites. And I don’t get tired of any of my songs!

After you lose 3 kg, what’s your guilty pleasure?

It changes, but it’s usually Sunday chocolate.

Not bad. By the way, in Carpool Karaoke you said you were over men. Is that true?

Now that was a joke!