By Julia Esposito and Rachel Priest
From TikTok fan theories to instagram stories and even t-shirts, mostly everyone is aware of Britneys Spears’ uphill battle for the past 13 years. As of recently, this case took numerous twists and turns.
The story started in 2007, when the media was swept by storm when Britney Spears, one of the most famous pop stars at the time, shaved her head. The media immediately deemed her as “crazy,” instead of considering her mental state. As a result of the public pandemonium revolving around her well being, her father, Jamie Spears, committed her to a mental hospital against her will. Furthermore, she was classified as “greatly disabled” and legally unfit to live her life freely. Her father was appointed to temporarily be in charge of her conservatorship.
“It seemed that Britney Spears was a prisoner of her own life and there was no way out...”
In simple terms, her father was in charge of every aspect of her life. He controlled the people she saw, the things she bought and every little thing she did. Even when she wanted to seek mental help through therapy to get her life back on track, her father refused, and since he was in charge of all her money, he had that power to say no. Between the 24 hour security around her own home and because she could not even get herself a lawyer or a healthcare provider, it seemed that Britney Spears was a prisoner of her own life and there was no way out.
Flashback to 2008: Britney Spears was releasing albums and a perfume line while being a judge on "The X Factor," but fans started to observe how all her money was going to her father instead of her. Those tens of millions of dollars she should have been making was a crucial reason that brought her fans to create the "Free Britney" movement in 2009.
Reproduced with permission from Wikimedia Commons
Fans of the pop star hold a protest to do their part in the Free Britney Movement.
The movement was mainly confined to hardcore fans of the pop star until 2019, when Britney Spears’ freedom hit mainstream news. It was a result of multiple TikToks and Twitter threads going viral discussing the then recent abrupt cancellation of her Vegas residency. Fans of Britney Spears conspired how this could all be happening without her consent and informed their social media followings about the history of the ongoing conservatorship.
“I definitely remember when my TikTok For You Page mainly consisted of posts about ‘Free Britney.’ Growing up, I loved her music and was really hoping everything would work out in the end for her,” said junior Gabriella Bonetti.
Content creators everywhere started over analyzing and posting about her online presence, trying to read hidden messages and do their part in helping her. In addition, a private voicemail got leaked admitting Britney Spears was involuntarily admitted into a mental institution. This news led to even more social media coverage and prompted protests for her freedom.
“I remember seeing posts from my favorite celebrities and after reading about her story, I was ready to protest too. Free Britney!” said junior Adrianna Gomes.
After back and forth discussions, Britney's decision to go to court was an attempt to resolve the problem. Unfortunately for Britney Spears’ side, her conservatorship was extended in February of 2021 because she was still deemed unfit to take care of herself. This did not put a halt on the fight for her freedom. The media continued to protest and speak up for their beloved pop princess. After a drawn out 13 years of being under her father's control, in late September, everything was starting to turn around. John Zabel, her attorney, was appointed to take the position her father had. She is now released from the hardships her father placed upon her.