Nine years ago, this was Britney Spears performing her new single “Gimme More” for the first time on the VMA’s stage:

Nine years ago, this was Britney Spears performing her new single "Gimme More" for the first time on the VMA's stage:

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Tonight, this was Britney Spears performing her new single “Make Me…” for the first time on the VMA’s stage:

Tonight, this was Britney Spears performing her new single "Make Me..." for the first time on the VMA's stage:

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

And the contrast​ of the two couldn’t be more inspiring.

Nine years ago, this was a recently divorced 25-year-old mother of two who took the stage and performed a concerning out-of-sync spectacle:

Britney Spears Just Destroyed The Same VMA Stage That Nearly Destroyed Her Career
MTV

Tonight, this was a 34-year-old happily single mother of two performing a perfectly in-sync spectacle:

MTV

Nine years ago, this was a 25-year-old paparazzi obsession who just shaved her head because she was “sick people touching her,” trying to live up to her past-self:

MTV

Tonight, this was a 34-year-old former paparazzi obsession who managed to survive a complete destruction of privacy, living up to her past-self:

Tonight, this was a 34-year-old former paparazzi obsession who managed to survive a complete destruction of privacy, living up to her past-self:

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Nine years ago, this was a 25-year-old Britney Spears amid a public crucifixion, simply attempting to do what she loves to do the most:

MTV

Tonight, this was a 34-year-old Britney Spears, destroying the same stage that nearly destroyed her career nine years ago:

MTV

“Why do you like Britney Spears?”

Because she’s one hell of an inspiration.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

This article first appeared in Buzzfeed