The Album That Changed My Life

Stripped turned 16 years old this week and when I say this album changed my teenage life, that’s no understatement. I remember talking my Dads ear off to take me to go buy it. By that point I had watched that documentary of the making of Stripped with Carson Daly, watched the making the video of Dirrty and researched the track list online. It's the first album I remember being this passionate about. Sure I had been given a Baby One More Time CD for my birthday and I had lots of cassette tapes of Atomic Kitten and other pop one hit wonders but this would an album that would actually have meaning to me.

 I finally bought it with whatever pocket money I had lying around at the time from a market in Bristol somewhere and I remember wanting to get home as soon as possible so I could listen to it alone on my CD player in my bedroom.

Music was a real comfort for me at the time and to this day I'm really passionate about music. I'm not like into the cool new indie bands but music is comforting to me at happy or sad moments in my life and the majority of songs I have on my phone now have some form of meaning or memory behind them.

I listened to Stripped daily and would sing badly when I was home alone. I went to see Stripped in concert in London and paid £30 for a ticket. It cost me nearly that for one bottle of wine when I recently went to see Britney in concert in August.

 Upon leaving I bought memorabilia to add to my wall. I had decorated my room half in Christina and half Eminem and always felt conflicted because I knew they had beef. Christina had even supposedly wrote an unreleased song called “Will The Real Slim Shady Please Shut Up” as a diss track and retaliation to his song "The Real Slim Shady" in which he slut shamed her and implied she had sexual relations with Carson Daly and Fred Durst.  

 I used to plan all my piercings I was going to get when I was older like Christina's and I eagerly awaited every new single and music video to be released and would then wait for them to come on The Box or uploaded to her website that I'm pretty sure I checked daily in between marathons of playing The Sims.

 I still get goosebumps when I listen to the Stripped intro remembering how excited I was to hear it for the first time. Lines like "Sorry that I speak my mind, sorry don't do what I'm told" resonated with me and my teenage angst. I think the reason I love the album so much other than every song being iconic and so well written, was I never had strong female role models growing up so I’m not sure where I would be without Stripped. There was this fierce female who finally had a voice after being suppressed for so long and didn’t care what anyone thought about her. And I just wanted to emulate that in every way.

I didn’t realise it at the time but it gave me my first glimpse into feminism. It taught me about being strong and vulnerable, it showed me you can get passed a traumatic childhood and that you can be comfortable in your sexuality and unapologetically be who you are.

Happy Birthday sweet sixteenth Stripped, thank you for changing my life for the better.

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  1. I love this post. Music can really take your mind back to a certain place in time.

    Lizzie’s Corner


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