Britney Spears came of age in the public eye, subject to intense scrutiny, misogynistic interviews, and suffocating standards. As her mental health faltered under the pressure of fans and foes, Spears went from the “Princess of Pop” to the punchline of jokes.
Over the years, many had allowed Spears to slip from their mind and fade into obscurity. Though this increased privacy was initially what Spears wanted, recent examination through the Framing Britney Spears documentary shows that a more sinister force may be at work.
Once again, the singer is making all the headlines. But this time, the public is firmly on her side.
Britney Spears had her first hit at just 17 years old
Raised in Louisiana, Spears showed interest in performing from a very young age. According to Britannica, she was always drawn to talent shows and dancing. Recognizing her natural talents, her parents helped her get a New York City agent.
Through these connections, young Spears was soon performing in plays and even became a Disney star through The All New Mickey Mouse Club.
The show’s cancellation was a disappointing setback for her acting career, but Spears was still destined to be a star. She began spending more time growing her music abilities and released her first demo at age 15.
In a matter of just two years, she had a big-time record deal and released her first single, “…Baby One More Time.” All Music reports that the track sold ten million copies by the end of 1999.
From that point on, BSpears was cemented in the spotlight. Her career featured many traditional milestones of pop stars: a Super Bowl appearance, judging on a television music competition, and a very public celebrity romance. Tragically, she also had her personal life plastered on the cover of every magazine and suffered tremendously as a result of the scrutiny.
Her public struggles lead to the development of a conservatorship
Citing her public signs of distress and stay in a psychiatric facility, Spears’ father served as her conservator beginning in 2008. In light of the recent controversy, most people have at the very least heard of a conservatorship. Deciphering what it means, however, has been difficult for even the courts to agree on.
Essentially, Spears’ father and an attorney took control “over her assets, estate, and business affairs,” as Glamour explains. The process exists so that people who are wealthy and especially vulnerable — as a result of poor health or other factors — are not taken advantage of. While Jamie asserts that Spears is not in the right mental state to manage her massive riches, the conservatorship is coming up on its thirteenth year and many are hoping to see its legality re-examined.
Many fear that her father’s control has gone too far
When People revealed that Spears feared her father’s control in her conservatorship, the public began demanding her freedom through the #FreeBritney movement. Loyal fans analyzed Spears’ every move on social media, looking for signs of distress. The release of the New York Times’ documentary on the topic only sparked more attention.
Though a judge denied Jamie’s request to gain more control over Spears’ life, she is still a long way from freedom. US Magazine shared that her conservators dictate her right to marriage, socialize with friends, and even her right to have children. A lawyer from the ACLU has even asserted that Spears’ current conservatorship could be in direct violation of her fundamental civil rights.
At 39 years old, Spears has now spent a third of her life under the control of her father. We can only hope that the increased attention on this issue will speed up her journey to freedom.
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