Britney Spears, the breakout pop star of the nineties has done many things in her life. She has toured the world, performing to millions of adoring fans. She has pulled off some pretty impressive acrobatic dance moves too. She even claimed to beat Usain Bolt’s world record during the lockdown. Though what may be the most impressive and brave acts from this world-renowned pop star is her appearance at the 2001 MTV music video awards where she performed with an albino python around her.
This is quite the feat for just about anyone, though it’s even more impressive when you take into account that Britney has a crippling phobia of snakes. Britney has said to several news outlets that she was “scared of snakes then and still is now.” Though she suggested that back then she was young and fearless. With such a desire to make it in the industry she threw caution to the wind and to her credit, the performance went off without a hitch.
You may be wondering though, what if it went wrong. Well, albino pythons if handled properly offer no real risk of harm to humans. If handled incorrectly, they do have the capacity to constrict and do damage. So we assume Britney was trained to handle these fascinating creatures with love and care, making the snake feel as comfortable as it lent its services to the performance.
To further support the idea that these snakes are not amongst those that are highly dangerous, many people do keep Burmese albino pythons as pets. Though they do require a lot of care, attention, and expense to care for correctly. So they aren’t for the general pet owner and perhaps exclusive to those who really have a passion for exotic animals.
The condition linked to the fear that Britney holds for snakes is called Ophidiophobia. This relates to a phobia for snakes and can sometimes have a very adverse effect on someone’s lifestyle. Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, extreme sweating, or shortness of breath at the mere mention of a snake. With these symptoms only heightening if a snake is actually present.
This is usually a fear caused by the portrayal of snakes in the media, a bad personal experience, or learned behaviors from living in a tropical climate for example. Further, nuisance snakes often are considered pests and it is not uncommon for one to enter your home, thus only amplifying one’s fear of them. If you ever find yourself having to deal with snakes, click here for more information on how to get rid of them.
Although Britney’s fear probably comes from the portrayal of snakes in the media, we are slightly skeptical as to if her fear is genuine. As those with ophidiophobia would have been exuding symptoms had they replicated her iconic 2001 performance. So perhaps Britney is hyperbolizing her fear.
Either way, we are glad that no snake was harmed in the performance and she has since come to the conclusion that it was a silly decision to perform with a snake. Telling E! that “it was so dumb” and when asked about a repeat performance she was quick to turn down the offer.