Their lives were consumed as entertainment. Years later, some stars see a reappraisal.

Their lives were consumed as entertainment. Years later, some stars see a reappraisal.


In the 2000s, at the height of the reality TV boom, the media breathlessly chronicled the lives of pop singer Britney Spears and socialite Paris Hilton. They were mainstays of tabloid headlines and late-night punchlines, documented constantly yet rarely taken seriously.

“They were packaged into a consumer product,” said Allison Yarrow, the author of “90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality,” a book that reappraised Clinton-era newsmakers such as Lorena Bobbitt and Tonya Harding.

But there was always more to the story — and in recent days, the culture at large has been faced with reminders.

“Framing Britney Spears,” a documentary from The New York Times that debuted Feb. 5 on FX, painted a troubling portrait of her life under a court-sanctioned…



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