Coincidentally, both stars began trending earlier this week — Spears for a now-deleted post slamming Diane Sawyer over a 2003 interview, and Lohan for posting new photos of her fiancé, Bader Shammas.
As we reckon with the realization that society was (and still is) unkind to young women in the spotlight, it seems both stars are poised for a triumphant comeback.
For Spears, it all started with #FreeBritney, a movement to release the singer from her conservatorship. The campaign began in 2008 and didn't catch on until 2019, a testament to just how much a woman must endure before people — or at least the legal system — take her seriously.
As we all know, Britney has been freed, the happy ending she deserves. But still, it's heartbreaking to look back at the way reporters, paparazzi, and detractors treated her.
Case in point: the interview she addressed earlier this week, conducted by Sawyer in the aftermath of Spears's split from Justin Timberlake.
"Do we dare forget the Diane Sawyer interview in my apartment almost 20 years ago?" she wrote on Instagram. "What was with the 'You're in the wrong' approach?? Geeze... and making me cry?"
The 45-minute sit-down saw Sawyer interrogate Spears on her choice of clothing, decision to pose nude on the cover of Rolling Stone, and of course, Timberlake.
Spears went on to recount that she "couldn't talk" after her break-up from the NSYNC star, who played an active role in shaping the slut shame-y narrative that Spears was unfaithful (meanwhile, he was lauded for disclosing details about their sex life to the public).
Lohan was picked apart in a similar manner. While struggling with addiction and an eating disorder, tabloids didn't hesitate to comment on her body in a crude, degrading manner. (In a post-MeToo era, the headlines are especially cringe-y.)
Interestingly, their seemingly happy endings — for Spears, life after conservatorship and for Lohan, marriage — coincide with wider interest in the early 2000s, the era that saw both stars' rise and fall.
While I'm not fully onboard with the resurgence of eyebrow-raising Y2K staples like skinny scarves and skirts over pants, I can only hope that the triumphant return of Spears and Lohan isn't a fleeting trend.