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Two women in mini-dresses and stilettos engage in a hair-pulling, nail-scratching fight to the death.

No, this is not the sequel to that 2009 Beyonce thriller Obsessed—it’s Britney Spears’s new music video for the song “Hold It Against Me,” from her recently released album Femme Fatale.

When I stumbled upon this little gem, I found myself simultaneously shaking my head in disgust and turning up the volume so I could sing along. And that’s when I realized the hypocrisy of the situation. Why do I feel like I have to hate Britney Spears in public, and yet when I’m alone in my car, I crank up the volume and belt “Toxic,” even when I don’t know the words?

We can’t blame Britney for being a pop artist. Since her debut as a 16-year-old sweetheart dancing provocatively in a private school uniform, she has at least been consistent. Since 1999, she has cranked out seven albums, six of which reached the number one spot on the Billboard 200—including Femme Fatale. Admittedly, there were a few years in the middle where things got hazy (K-Fed, custody battles, umbrella attacks on paparazzi) but those years are (hopefully) gone, and Britney is back—whether we like it or not. And she’s managed to keep all her hair this time around!

Sure, Britney’s songs are simple: her lyrics are hardly Shakespearean sonnets, and her melodies are stereotypically “pop.” But what did we expect? She’s a pop artist.

We see Britney’s new video and sigh—what is the world coming to? We don’t admit that we bought the single “Till the World Ends” the day it was released. Rather, we listen to Deerhoof or The Kills or some other obscure band that no one has ever heard of, just so we can say we aren’t—cringe—mainstream.

Britney may be mainstream, but she’s been churning out chart-topping music for 12 years now. And it doesn’t look as if she’s going to stop anytime soon.

Don’t hold it against her.

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