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Over the past couple of weeks, you probably have seen a lot about Britney Spears. Well, that is because the New York Times released a documentary revolving around the Free Britney movement. This movement was caused by Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, having complete control over her life with a conservatorship. However, a lot of people have no idea what that means or how it has affected her life. A conservator is basically someone, such as a parent or guardian that makes decisions for another adult that is deemed not able to make their own decisions. 

As someone who was a child when Britney Spears was put under a conservatorship, I only slightly remember her behavior before. However, I do remember the mass amounts of backlash Britney got for anything she did. The documentary kind of reminded me how bad it actually was. In fact, one woman said she would shoot Britney after she and Justin Timberlake broke up since she broke his heart. In addition, a number of older men would also make creepy, sexual remarks about her even when she was a minor. On top of that, she was also harassed by paparazzi every day in order for them to find a good “money shot.”


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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo from Unsplash

Honestly, after watching the documentary, I am not surprised at all with how Britney reacted to certain things. If I were in her position, I probably would have done the same. After all, Britney was around the same age as I am now as she was making these decisions. I could not imagine growing up in the spotlight like she did, with mass amounts of pressure on me at all times. Furthermore, especially growing and learning with the world watching and criticizing you as a young adult seems like a lot of unnecessary stress. 

Another thing the documentary shows is how money-hungry her father seems. It is mentioned that Jamie once said to someone he cannot wait to see how rich his daughter would be and what he would get with her revenue. However, he was not a big part of her life. In fact, they even mentioned that he was rarely around when she was growing up. It is believed that the reason why there is even a conservatorship is so Britney could get her children back, which I believe is extremely manipulative. Britney is now almost 40-years-old, and her father still has control over her life.

This is just insane to me. Britney may have mental health issues, and her family knows the situation better than we do. However, I do not think the actions she made in her twenties should cause her to not have control over the rest of her life. Moreover, I do not see a man with a conservatorship when I know there have been male celebrities that have done way worse things than Britney Spears. However, I do not think that will ever happen since the media loves blasting women for every little thing we do.

Kaitlyn Austin is a senior majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Civil Rights.
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