Toxic is a pop song that that was recorded in 2003, which was on her
album “In the zone”. Toxic became a huge success after becoming top-
five in fifteen countries, showing it was one of Britney Spears finest
Toxic is famous for being a high tempo track that includes a lot of
fast/rapid editing so that it fits the genre of pop.
Toxic is a dance-pop video that simply shows high tempo, with emphasis on
movement and dance choreography.
The first location is on the plane where Britney Spears is dressed as an
aeroplane assistant, and is the main focus purely because she’s in the centre of
She is shows range of movement to satisfy the desire of the fans and expressed
her sexuality with the way she dressed, for example having a tight blue outfit
and also regularly “bumping and grinding” older men on the plane. In the
Britney also wears a near nude outfit as it’s almost skin coloured to portray
voyeurism. It’s to reveal her sexuality.
The camera focusses a lot on her legs and ass as a way of making the video
appealing and to sell sexuality to the audience. It captures attention from both
males and females because appearance and movement.
Britney’s hair is a mixture of blonde, black and red in this video, to fascinate
the audience and make sure they don’t get bored. This video portrays a lot of
variety in costumes and hair colours.
Throughout the video the camera is constantly focusing on Britney
Spears. The close-ups are used to show she is the main star and the only
attention in the video. To show the focus in mostly on Britney you can
see the other airhostesses in the background, they are visible but are
kept for a minimum so the audience are focused on Britney.
Long shots are used to mainly show off her slim, appealing body. For
example, when she is on the plane as an airhostess outfit it makes her
look really beautiful and attractive, whilst also being used to show her
dancing skills. You can see the camera looks a lot at her long legs and
bum to express her body. You also see her in a near nude outfit to
express her sexuality to get the desire from the audience.
Editing is quick because of the fast beats of the song. The genre of this
music video is dance-pop which means the style is going to be rapid
and be high tempo. There’s lots of movement from Britney’s dancing so
quick cuts are used to follow her around.
There are many different locations the video jumps to and by having
quick cuts makes the video look sharper and more interesting for the
In “Toxic” Britney is shown as a much sexualised object, she wears a
variety of costumes, such as the airhostess outfit and near nude outfit,
and are many camera shots showing off her legs and bum, especially at
the start of the video.
Britney is shown as quite flirty and manipulates men for her own
desires, which could possibly reflect her sexuality as giving her power
and control over people. This also links with her being a superhero as
they have their own powers and needs.
The image that Britney is portraying is that her selling points are her
body; she always looks attractive and appealing to her audience.
Britney is shown as energetic and entertaining, in “Toxic” there is a lot
of dancing and movement.
Britney has a good connection with younger people and one of her
traits is that she has a hidden desire to escape and she demonstrates
this a lot in “Toxic”.
In “Toxic” Britney wears and near nude suit to reveal her sexuality, and an
inspiration for this could be from The Holly Valence video for ‘Kiss Kiss’.
In 2003 the TV programme Alias was very popular, its stars a young woman who is
an international spy, who also likes to dress up into different costumes/disguises to
fulfil her job.
As you can see there is a similarity in the hair colour Britney portrays in
“Toxic” to the hair colour in Alias which may have influenced Britney to
use this in her video.
The video portrays Britney nearly as a superhero which she is always
the centre of attention. An influence in this could be from the comic
strip ‘Witch Blade'
Steve archer’s definition of a music video is that music videos will cut
between narrative and performance of the song by the brand, and
Britney displayed this in her music video “Toxic” where she shows
performance elements where she shows off her dance skills and the
narrative is where she’s female spy portraying her control and power
over men (using her sexuality)to reach the object of the quest marks
Britney’s own desire to escape the confines of the music industry.
For people growing up watching her music videos and the type of style
she portrays, her audience copy the way she dressed up and follow the
style of her looks.
Part of the performance is related to the close-ups and lip-synching as
well which make her the main star, which is fairly common when it
comes to pop videos.
The lyrics for “Toxic” signify that Britney Spears is now ready to move into an ‘adult’ persona. The
lyrics come off as sexual which suits the visuals because of the way she shows off her body, and the
outfits she wears, such as the near nude outfit.
The lyrics make her seem desirable which mirrors the fact that at the time of this music video, she was
only 21 years old, which represents that Britney is now turning into and adult instead of being just a
teenager. This would then make her target audience mostly likely been young teens and maybe some
who are turning into adults themselves.
These lyrics are an example of the sexuality she portrays and how she’s trapped and the way she has
the desire to escape.
There's no escape, I can't wait
I need a hit, baby, give me it
I'm lovin' it
Too high, can't come down
Losing my head
Spinning 'round and 'round
Do you feel me now?
With a taste of your lips, I'm on a ride
You're toxic, I'm slippin' under
With a taste of a poison paradise
I'm addicted to you, don't you know that you're toxic?
And I love what you do, don't you know that you're toxic?