• Alyssa Roberts

Britney Spears: Not Your Puppet

Millions of eyes are burning a hole into your skull trying desperately to remember this image of you. All eyes are on you. The stadium’s scorching echoes increase: they want more. Everyone wants more. The music stumbles into silence and all that’s left are goodbye’s, but it’s not over because hours of egregious rehearsals await. Every nerve in your body is threatening to burst with exhaustion, every vessel and neuron of your brain is soaked with the instrumental and the lyrics of iconic pop songs. You take a breath and feel a tightening around your rib cage, hear the squelching of your heart as it shrinks under the pressure of greedy hands. Everyone wants a piece of Britney.

Internationally known pop-star, Britney Spears, has spoken out about her conservatorship after 13 years of near absolute suppression. The iconic singer experienced a very public breakdown in 2008 consisting of behaviors such as attacking paparazzi vehicles with an umbrella and shaving her head. She was then under psychiatric care where her father was placed as a temporary conservator. During this time, Britney lost full custody of her two sons and filed for a restraining order against Sam Lufti, who allegedly harassed her with the paparazzi and threatened to control her life and finances. Britney was sexualized from a young age and despite videos circulating the internet of her child self singing in Alto, she is better known for her soprano “baby voice.” Her voice change is speculated as an adjustment for publicity or the use of drugs, including smoking. Because of her quick rise to fame as a child star in a patriarchal culture, Britney’s deteriorating mental health was perceived negatively with many ignoring the difficulties that such limelight could do to a person. She didn’t “have it all,” because she was controlled by the media and malicious counterparts. This occurred during a time when mental health was not valued, therefore a struggling celebrity, especially female, was easily depicted as “crazy.” After 13 years, Britney has felt comfortable speaking out about the conservatorship, partially due to the #FreeBritney movement that began on twitter. It is horrifying to hear this grown woman speak about the rigid rules she was glued to. Every second of excessive rehearsal times, every dime spent by her family, every forceful and manipulative tactic that kept Britney under this conservatorship went overlooked by the entire general public. It is amazing what people in a position of power, motivated by greed, can erase from the internet. Britney is now 39 years old, hoping to create a new family with boyfriend, Sam Asghari. Except she can’t because she was made to get an IUD (Intrauterine Device) which is a form of birth control that her father and other participants of this conservatorship use to control her body - and life.

I was never a huge fan of Britney Spears, but I am a huge fan of human rights. No one deserves to be controlled the way this woman’s family and the media have her. When it comes to mental health, it is necessary for people to receive the privacy, the time and the care they need to rejuvenate. Britney suffered and was stripped of these abilities and later her freedom. The world has come a long way, but it still has miles to go. I don’t know Britney nor will I ever, but I am proud of her and the strides she is taking to restore her life.

Don’t let a friend suffer alone under the overwhelming influence of others: send a Gesture.


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