Mandatory Retrospective: 20 Years Since Britney Blew Our Minds at the MTV VMAs (You Know the Outfit We’re Talking About)

Ready to feel old? It’s been two decades since Britney Spears blew our hormone-addled minds at the 2000 VMAs. It was only her second appearance at the event, and boy did she ever appear. While the singer started the dance threaded up like a Blues Brother, she ended it barely dressed at all. Not that we are complaining. She’s seen high and lows, but at that award show, Britney was truly the princess of our eyes popping out of our heads.

Britney’s VMA debut came a year before with a show-stopping performance of her hit “….Baby One More Time.” The former Mouseketeer was no stranger to the stage already, but she was eager to shed her good-girl image. The school girl look in that song’s music video showed her innocent and not so innocent sides.

By next year’s awards, the blonde beauty was ready to show she was all grown up. The crowd went wild as she tore away her suit to reveal a mostly see-through sequined outfit. It definitely crashed AOL or whatever people used before social media was a thing.

Britney followed up at next year’s awards with a routine almost equally as hot. A belly dancer’s outfit and bedazzled chest made the pop star shine like a diamond, in the words of Rihanna. Britney’s coldblooded dancing partner, a white Burmese python, was the perfect accessory.

While Brit let other singers get the limelight in 2002, she still dominated the VMA’s red carpet. Her black leather dominatrix outfit had fans and other celebs alike ready to submit. She retook the stage the next year, famously locking lips with the queen of pop herself, Madonna.

After this girl-on-girl action, Britney’s winning streak ran dry. The next year, she made her greatest mistake ever. No, not shaving her head. Brit has a real cute dome. Obviously we mean marrying male golddigger Kevin Federline. They divorced in 2007, the same year as Britney’s VMA nadir. The next year she won three VMAs herself but lost control of her children and even her own life.

Now, at long last, it seems the #FreeBritney movement is on the cusp of victory. This means Spears may soon reclaim control of her life and finances. It’s been a long time coming. We don’t know what the seemingly ageless beauty will do next. Whatever it is, she’ll always have the 2000 MTV VMAs.

Cover Photo: Frank Micelotta Archive (Getty Images)

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