The #FreeBritney movement

Caroline Hendrix, Senior Writer

Who is the all-around icon of the early 2000s? You probably do not need much time to answer and if I could attach a poll onto this article, I’m sure that the majority of responses would be the one and only Britney Spears.

Famous for her rise to stardom after Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Club, her iconic music video looks, her signature like-no-other vocals and, lastly, her 2007 mental breakdown that led to shaving her head, Spears has solidified her place as an American cultural fixture. From the outside, her life can seem pretty glamorous — most of us grew up dreaming of one day becoming a rich and famous pop sensation. Yet does the glitz and glamour blind us from seeing the hardship and struggles that Spears has had to deal with throughout her singing career? Are we too caught up in the materialism and fame to see that Spears is crying out for help and has been for a decade? Only recently have the media and her fans made an effort to uncover the truth behind Spears’s controlled life, just as the pop star herself has taken action to gain her own independence.

To unpack the #FreeBritney movement, one must look back to 2008, at which time Spears experienced numerous mental breakdowns that led to her “court-approved conservatorship.” As described by the Los Angeles Times, conservatorship allows one to have complete control over another’s personal and financial affairs. In the case of Spears, most of this authority has been given to her father, James Spears. However, it was only a few months ago when the public became concerned about Spears’s safety. Spears bizarrely began posting videos on her social media platforms from odd angles showing off different outfits. Her actions seemed forced and many even thought that she could be kidnapped. The public came to believe that Spears was not permitted to do anything else during the conservatorship, leaving her to film herself walking back and forth in various outfits to entertain herself. This reasoning explains her strange behavior and has led to the birth of the #FreeBritney movement to give Spears back the reins to her own life.

Now Spears is supposedly taking action to make changes to the conservatorship and possibly even eliminate it altogether, according to the New York Times. Spears should have every right to make decisions about her own life, especially seeing how her conservatorship was put into effect over a decade ago. If her mental condition has changed, then so should the severity of the conservatorship. And while it is important to give Spears and her family privacy while they work out the logistics through the guidance of the court, the public has played an integral part in raising awareness about the truth behind Spears’s recent behavior as well as on the not-so-glamorous truth behind the lives of all the celebrities we choose to idolize.

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