There's a moment in every celebrity's life where they slip from one world into another.
The moment may sneak by them unnoticed. Maybe they're too young to see it, or too caught up in the wave to step back and look at it for what it really is. But in that moment they leave the safety net of being a 'normal' person who can move through life relatively unnoticed, to being a celebrity.
That moment can foreshadow the rest of their career.
For Britney Spears, that moment came in 1992 when, at 10 years old, she appeared on the US talent show, Star Search.
After her performance, the show's host Ed McMahon, a man in his 60s, said to Spears, "You have the most adorable pretty eyes." Then he asked, "Do you have a boyfriend?"
When the pre-teen, with a bow in her hair, replied, "No, they're mean," McMahon suggested he could be her boyfriend because he wasn't mean.
The crowd laughed along with McMahon and the moment wasn't given a second thought.
WATCH: Th trailer for the New York Times' Framing Britney Spears. Post continues below.
The moment wasn't considered when a teen Britney Spears, now a Mickey Mouse Club star, began dating her co-star Justin Timberlake and announced she was saving herself for marriage. It wasn't mentioned when her virginity became fodder for stand-up comedians and late night talk show host monologues.
It wasn't revisited when an interviewer told a 17-year-old Spears that everyone was "talking about her breasts".
It wasn't considered when Timberlake, fresh from their very public breakup, announced to the world he had actually slept with Spears.
It wasn't once mentioned when Spears was sl*t-shamed, demonised, called a bad mother and chased through the streets by countless paparazzi as she feared for her kids' lives.
On the night of February 16, 2007, when a 26-year-old Spears shaved her head in full view of the paparazzi, we didn't once think back to that 10-year-old girl whose appearance and sexuality instantly became public property, and whose life was sent down a path she could not possibly foresee.