MUSICPOP CULTUREFree Britney

The conservatorship of Britney Spears has surely been one of uncertainty.  It has been in effect since 2008 under the control of her father Jamie Spears  (Whom Britney’s ex husband, and father to her two sons, currently has a  Restraining Order against). While the #FreeBritney movement has been around  since its conception, it has only reached the masses as of recently and it’s  impossible to deny that this influx of attention could possibly save her...
Geneva L. Martinez3 months ago121820 min
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The conservatorship of Britney Spears has surely been one of uncertainty.  It has been in effect since 2008 under the control of her father Jamie Spears  (Whom Britney’s ex husband, and father to her two sons, currently has a  Restraining Order against). While the #FreeBritney movement has been around  since its conception, it has only reached the masses as of recently and it’s  impossible to deny that this influx of attention could possibly save her life.  

On July 24th, 2021 the entire world witnessed a rare occurrence of Britney  Spears herself demanding an open hearing with Judge Brenda Penny to expose  what has truly been happening to her during this conservatorship. She was  passionate, coherent, and rightfully frustrated trying to fit just the last 2 years of  trauma in the allotted 23 mins they finally granted her after years of denied  requests. She demands “I just want my life back” and professes “I feel ganged up on, I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone… I deserve to have the same rights  as anybody… and I’m depressed. I cry every day.”  

This the first time we have heard her speak candidly in over 13 years as she has  notoriously only been allowed in the public eye under extreme supervision. Many  of those appearance have sparked a number of conversations in the Britney  fandom, but has usually been chalked up to her management team making poor  PR decisions…no one could have suspected something so truly sinister was  happening under all the beauty.  

The following are instances that this once accepted conservatorship has spiraled into complete abuse and out of control.

  • Her Vegas residencies (Piece of Me and Domination) were forced upon her  under constant legal threats if she did not comply. Tactics involved shoving  contracts at her the moment she ends a tiring performance along with the many  lies they fed her. 
  • She was scheduled to perform 10 hour a day work weeks under constant  supervision, and rehab threats, on top of needing to give 8 vials of blood weekly  to ensure she was staying sober.  
  • Medicated on Lithium that made her “feel drunk” followed by a $60,000 stint in  rehab on her dime due to false claims and rehearsal disagreements. (It’s to be  noted that she has always been a hands on dance collaborator on every tour)  She recognizes that she is “not good, I am great at what I do”  
  • She likened her 7 days a week work schedule, while maintaining rehab stints,  to “sex trafficking”. It’s not a stretch of any kind.. her body is being exploited  every single day to line the pockets of others.  
  • The conservatorship denies any car rides with her boyfriend Sam Asghari of 4  years and has to be driven around by her 24/7 appointed security.  • She does not have full control over her social media and if/when she is allowed  to post, it has been believed it was to send subliminal messages. (This has led  to conspiracies surrounding her Instagram where fans request she wears  certain colors to confirm if she needs help.)  
  • She admitted that due to her status no one would believe her.. but after seeing  the Paris Hilton documentary and having doubts, she needed to break a stigma of belief that women face everyday.  
  • She is accusing everyone including Jodi Montgomery, her entire family, and  management as “responsible and should be put in jail”.  
  • Maybe the most repulsive is her conservatorship forcing her to maintain an IUD  for 2 YEARS. This not being grounds for immediate termination is a direct  reflection of our Justice System’s historical malpractice against Women.  

Conservatorships grant Power of Attorney towards medical decisions, but unless  specifically stated in the documents that she is NOT ALLOWED to bear any  children or marry, this is a direct abuse of power and breach of contract. It’s a  prime example of Jamie Spears’ continued thirst for power, as if hoarding her  money and living in an RV to prove a point wasn’t enough. Whether or not  anyone believes she *should* continue growing her family.. a women has the  right to choose what she does with her body. She has proved against all odds  and all tabloids, what a capable mother she is to her two sons Jayden and Sean  Preston Spears. Not to mention birth control is strenuous on any women’s body  and we have zero idea what her physical health status is or if this is even the best birth control for her. This could potentially be fatal and only further continue  speculations surrounding the intentions of her sister Jamie Lynn (who spoke out  on 7/01 and has received death threats) and her mother Lynn who has yet to  comment.   

One naturally asks themselves now.. how was this allowed to happen in the first place? No one heard this in 2008 surely someone would have stopped this before it  got so out hand, right? Or the ever so predictable: “She shaved her heard so she  clearly needs this”  

Oftentimes reveled as the best pop culture era due to the candidness of  celebrities at the time, 2007 was a manic time capsule. The cultural mindset was  harsh and abusive to women in entertainment. Paparazzi ran amok, women in  media were targeted every single day for their actions, and a Boys Club mentality  was the normality. The era where Janet Jackson’s reputation was tarnished over  nudity yet Justin’s sky rocketed. Where Paris Hilton’s sex tape was plastered in  plain sight and a demoralizing notion that at the end of the day women were  objects. Where tabloids read Bimbo Summit and Me Too wasn’t a figment in  anyones minds to take seriously. Up skirts shots were followed by slut shaming  and people couldn’t wait to eat it up and make endless jokes on late night  television shows.  

What many people at the time didn’t stop to understand was every thing leading  up to this. We are just now tearing away the slabs of taboo that surround the topic of Mental Health. We now know that people don’t just “act out”, they are  propelled by inner and outside pressures. She has been America’s “experiment  in so many ways. Being the first pop princess, an industry girl, and a voice to  countless cultural shifts artistically and legally. Her entire life was so planned out  that there was zero room for human error unlike her succeeding contemporaries  that have a freedom strenuously built upon the backs of past generations trying  to break free. From a little girl being preyed upon, to the nonstop interrogation of  her virginity status, to Justin’s entire career built off the back of slut shaming  Britney, she is the upmost proof of how far you can push someone until they  break.. and then keep pushing. 

Hundreds of Paparazzi hounded her every move and a woman was being forced  to crumble in front of our very eyes. Photos of her every move were going for  millions of dollars and that caused Princess Diana level danger to elicit any reaction photos. Media saluted P*r*z H*lton, a repulsive blog where celebrities  were trashed every day for their looks, mental states, and bestowed nicknames  that have haunted them to this day. He ripped her to shreds for her VMA  performance, continued drawing obscenities on her, and posted every uncensored photos of her body. There’s a detailed documentary by “PartyLikeIt’s2007 Films” titled Miss American Dream that visually breaks down  the timeline leading up to her 5150. I recommend watching this to fully piece this  prospective together of how difficult it truly was for her. At this time, many found it heartbreaking to be a fan. Bracing themselves every day for news that she would  forever be a fallen star. With the constant evidence of paparazzi intrusiveness towards her and the timing of social media there may never have been a discussion to strip their rights and evoke the Paparazzi laws we have now.  

In California, the definition of a conservatorship is “a court case where a judge  appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator”) to care  for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself  or manage his or her own finances….  

The bleak truth was that the concept of a conservatorship was lost on many of us was and was marketed as temporary assistance from her parents. Lots of  celebrities to this day have a team around them to give them relief with all facets  of their life… this conservatorship was accepted as such for years.  

There’s an understandable narrative stating that “she isn’t THAT sick.. she was abled and choreographing” happening in many conversations trying to make  sense of the situation. While this is in direct defense of her.. this is important to note that absolutely NO ONE under any kind of mental capacity should be going  through anything remotely close to this. There are about 1.3 million cases in the US right now.. many of them do not have the resources to get a seat at the table.  This Justice System is easy to manipulate. Thankfully with this high profile case, the conversation about conservatorships is changing by the minute. After the  hearing, thousands of calls to reform conservatorships were made in support of millions. Britney, again, will change the zeitgeist surrounding this just as she did  with the Paparazzi.  

As this goes public.. we are still left without answers.  

Her Instagram is still under her handlers control who post old photos parading  them as new Hawaii vacation photos. On July 1st, Elizabeth Warren and Bob Casey extended their reach via letter to U.S Department of Justice to further  investigate the state of this conservatorship while the Judges simultaneously  deny her request to remove her father from this conservatorship, again.  

Many of us are left grappling with the guilt of “did I do the wrong thing..?’ Was  showing our support only directly helping the ones in charge of her or is upholding the Britney Spears name the only way we could appreciate her?  Should many of us have done something sooner.. how could we have truly  known without hearing her voice and giving verbal consent during her hearing?  

What we do is continue to push the Free Britney movement. We understand that  the dichotomy of “Leave Britney Alone” via Chris Crocker has evolved into the  ever so complicated position we find ourselves now of needing to fully be in her  business so she can gain her privacy and freedom. We come to terms of never  asking or expecting a musical project from her again. The last time we saw  massive media coverage for her it was life threatening and needs to be handled  with care this go around. For now.. she doesn’t owe us a single damn thing.  Those with expectations for her pushing her career further need to let her heal and need to say Thank You Godney,  Thank you to the Legendary Miss Britney Spears. Her management severely  underestimated the power and connection she has with her fans and are paying the price of our push back in the court of public opinion. We never bought into the Britney brand.. but into  Britney the Person. 

 

Geneva L. Martinez

One comment

  • Kaitlin

    July 10, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Great article, Geneva! Thank you for shedding light on the tragedy of Britney’s life.

    Reply

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