Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Since her debut on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Britney Spears has been a pop culture icon. Throughout her career she has released 48 singles, 9 studio albums and performed on 10 different concert tours. On the surface, Britney appears to be thriving in her career and life overall but upon further inspection lies a much darker reality. 

For the past 13 years, Britney’s basic human rights have been taken from her as she has been under court-ordered conservatorship from her father Jamie Spears. Conservatorship is a legal concept where the court appoints a person to manage an incapacited person or minor’s personal and financial affairs. In this arrangement, the incapacitated invidivual loses the rights to due process, property, liberty, right to confront accuser, right to trial, and can be unlawfully confined and isolated or chemically restrained. Ultimately, the person under the conservatorship relationship loses the majority of their basic human rights. 

Having been in the public eye for such an extended period of her life, it is no secret Britney has struggled with her mental health, at times acting out. One of her first spectacles in the public eye involved her break up with NSYNC’s Justin Timerlake in 2002. Then in 2004, she married childhood friend Jason Alexander. This marriage was short lived as it was annulled only 55 hours after the ceremony. Shortly after she married Kevin Federline, who she had two sons with. This series of tremontolous relationships paired with substance abuse issues and mental health challenges led to Spears consistently being featured in the tabloids. Spears again shocked the world of pop culture in 2007 when, in front of a crowd of paparazzi, entered a beauty salon and shaved her hair. However, this ultimately came to a head in 2008 when she was placed in two separate involuntary holds and finally a court ordered conservatorship. Originally this arrangement was intended to be temporary, but her father filed for the time to be extended as well as further compensation for his care of her. He also forced her to continue on tours and other profit producing ventures due to the fact he was the sole benefactor of these performances. Despite her extreme success, Britney had no access to the fortune she was creating. In many ways, she was acting as a doll, forced to follow her father’s direction.

As more and more information was coming to light in the public eye, fans began to rally around the agenda of “freeing” Britney from her conservatorship. The hashtag and posts surrounding the topic overtook the internet, especially as Britney herself voiced her support. She delivered an extremely emotional testimony in court in June expressing the abuse she has suffered from this conservatorship and her desire to sue her family. Finally, on September 7th, Jamie Spears filed a new petition to ultimately end the conservatorship thus freeing Britney. 

Many fans expressed that their concern in this issue went beyond just supporting Britney. It surrounded the question of how such a young successful and well-known figure could get thrown into a situation like this. If someone such as Britney Spears cannot escape such abuse how can those more vulnerable expect any protection from our judicial systems? No one knows the next steps for Britney in her personal life or career, but we do know that the decisions behind these steps will be all her own. 

Free Britney: History of Spears conservatorship movement – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

isabel carden

Bucknell '22

Hi, I'm Bel! I'm a junior finance major and creative writing minor at Bucknell University.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️