Britney Spears Rumor Sparks Fan Movement

Isabella Minicucci, Contributing Writer

For the past two decades, Britney Spears has been a central figure in pop culture. Between early stardom, being exploited by the paparazzi, and now the eerie consequences of her conservatorship, Spears has not been able to escape the headlines since she first rose to fame. Most recently, awareness and concerns over her lack of autonomy have been resurfacing because of her worrying Instagram posts, and the new documentary detailing her life, Framing Britney Spears.

Britney Spears rose to fame at a young age. Her breakout role in the 1993 revival of The Mickey Mouse Club at the age of 17 led to a career in the music industry. Her debut hit “…Baby One More Time” topped Billboard charts and garnered over a million sales. Her immediate success helped her to become a force in the pop industry. Over the next few years, she delivered hit after hit and reached icon status.

 

But while Spears was at her peak, she also faced massive amounts of criticism. From the beginning of her career, while still a very young girl, she was constantly oversexualized by the media. She struggled to find a way to balance her sexuality and avoid critique from her global audience. She was constantly belittled and made fun of for her presentation, relationships, and choices.

At the age of 24, Spears had her first child, Sean. After his birth, she struggled with what professionals now believe was postpartum depression, worsened by harassment from paparazzi. Over the course of 2006, several images and stories started surfacing of her struggling to juggle between her child and fame. These photos of Spears were featured all over magazines and tabloids, mostly with the cruel intent of turning her into a laughing stock. This led to what presented as a mental health breakdown. After these events in 2007, Spears checked herself into rehab.

Due to her mental health issues, Spears’ dad, Jamie Spears, was granted a conservatorship, which is when an individual is legally given the power to manage another person’s well-being when they can’t do so themselves. Conservatorships are typically given to elders or someone with extreme physical and/or mental limitations. According to Forbes, roughly 1.5 million Americans are under conservatorships. Conservatorships have the potential to create an abusive power dynamic between the conservatory and the victim. For Spears, there is very minimal public understanding of what goes on in her conservatorship. Spears has only mentioned it once since it was enacted, but all video evidence of the quote has been taken off the internet.

The closest glimpse into Spears’ life for the past 13 years is seen on her Instagram, which features strange Q&A clips, pictures, dance numbers, and images she enjoys from other creators.”

The closest glimpse into Spears’ life for the past 13 years is seen on her Instagram, which features strange Q&A clips, pictures, dance numbers, and images she enjoys from other creators. Most of her posts have eerie undertones and seem as if they’re hiding secret messages. Various posts of hers have gone viral, including one where a male voice seems to be whispering directions at her, and others where fans believe she is communicating responses to their questions if she is in danger by wearing certain colors.

The #FreeBritney movement was popularized by a podcast that deep dives into Spears’ Instagram account. The podcast was created out of curiosity and with a completely lighthearted and humorous intent, but as Spears’ posts have gotten more concerning, they have started to bring awareness to her conservatorship and the possible abuse that may be coming from it. The movement rapidly spread through social media, and quickly grew a large base of supporters and people advocating for Spears to have control over herself again. The documentary Framing Britney Spears has also been helping to popularize and educate people about the movement.

Recently, Britney has been trying to take back control of her life. After Spears submitted a petition to remove her father from her conservatorship, several court cases have taken place that has resulted in her father slowly losing power over Spears. Spears will be having her next hearing on April 27th, where petitions will be reviewed about changing Spears’ conservator. Although Spears still doesn’t have the freedom she rightfully deserves, her cases are finally gaining traction, and it seems like there may finally be hope.