While Britney Spears says she was embarrassed by the New York Times explosive documentary, Framing Britney Spears, it sparked an epiphany for actress, Jennifer Love Hewitt. In an interview with Vulture, the Ghost Whisperer and Party Of Five star didn’t understand the toxic relationship with the media until watching the new doco and realised she was continually sexualised as a young star.
“The conversation for a very long time in my career was always about [my body] first — then, ‘Oh yeah, you were really great in the movie, too,’ later,” Hewitt told the publication.
“At the time that I was going through it, and interviewers were asking what now would be incredibly inappropriate, gross things, it didn’t feel that way,” she said. “For some reason, in my brain, I was able to just go, ‘Okay, well, I guess they wouldn’t be asking if it was inappropriate.’ But now, as a 42-year-old woman with a daughter, I definitely look back on it and go, ‘Ew.’”
Following Hewitt’s 2001 rom-com hit, Heartbreakers, the actress said she began resenting reporters who wouldn’t focus on her acting amid promo for the film.
“I was disappointed that it was all about body stuff, because I had really worked hard in that movie to do a good job as an actress,” she said. “Now that I’m older, I think, ‘Gosh, I wish that I had known how inappropriate that was so I could have defended myself somehow or just not answered those questions.’ I laughed it off a lot of the time, and I wish maybe I hadn’t.”
Unfortunately, such sexist comments and questions from the media are not uncommon, still to this day. Hewitt hopes that films such as Framing Britney Spears will serve as tool of education for young women.
“When I watched that Britney Spears documentary, it hurt my heart a little bit, because I remember in hindsight having that feeling,” she said. “I’m really grateful that we’re in a time where, hopefully, that narrative is going to change for young girls who are coming up now, and they won’t have to have those conversations.”
Zendaya famously shutdown a reporter only recently when she was asked what she looks for in a man while promoting Netflix film Malcolm & Marie.
“[What] I most like in a person, how about that?” the Euphoria star quipped in response.