Should We Be Worried About Britney Spears?

by Megan Hemenway
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Britney Spears and her mother, Twitter
Courtesy of Twitter (@britneyspears)

From the start of her fame in the ’90s up until now, Britney Spears has been something of a household name. For about 20 years, her songs have topped the charts and been played over and over again. Not only is her music iconic, but her looks have garnered fame as well. From the “Hit Me Baby One More Time” schoolgirl outfit to the red leather “Oop’s…I Did it Again!” suit.

Of course, in all this time there’s been a certain amount of drama. Most notably, Britney’s 2007/2008 mental breakdowns which caused her to shave her head and take several stays in rehab. Despite the relentless gossip, Britney’s situation was heart-breaking to fans. Since then, it seems she has gotten better, having released music most recently in 2016 and continuing to be active on Tik Tok.

However, something interesting has begun to arise, perhaps due to her social media activity. A new hashtag movement has sparked across Tik Tok which leaves many questions about the pop star’s safety. #FreeBritney has fans wondering how much control Britney really has over her social media presence, and even over her life.

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A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

The Facts

If you do any- and I mean, any– research on Britney Spears, you could find a month by month account of her career since 1998. The amount of details accumulated about Britney is astounding. Of course, she does have the name “Princess of Pop”, so it makes sense that her fan base would be extensive. However, it seems that our society almost has a bit of an obsession with her.

Basically, Britney has been followed closely her whole career, since she was about 18, and has accomplished a lot in that time. So, it makes sense that she has struggled through some mental health issues. Many celebrities do. The stress of work and personal life often creates a dangerous situation for stars, especially ones as in the spotlight as Britney. But unfortunately, Britney’s circumstances appear slightly different than most mentally ill celebrities.

Britney is under what is known as a “conservatorship”. This means that due to a serious lapse in judgement (due to mental health or old age), all of Britney’s assets fall under the control of her father James or Jamie Spears. This legal term began in 2008 after a significant mental breakdown which sent Britney to a psychiatric ward and lost her custody of her two sons. Although this conservatorship was meant to be temporary until Britney got better, it is still in place to this day.

Now, this brings about the basis of the #FreeBritney movement.

The Current Situation

In 2019, Britney announced a hiatus from all work so she could practice some self-care. During this time, she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The trouble arrived when allegations came out that Britney was there against her will, under the conservatorship of her father. Thus, questions began rising about the necessity of the conservatorship. After all, it was only supposed to last a brief time in 2009 during Britney’s tour. However, 10 years later, Britney still had few privileges.

So, starting in 2019 and continuing to this day, fans and celebrities alike have rallied for Britney’s safety and freedom. This year specifically, #FreeBritney gained traction on Tik Tok, which gave the cause an even greater viewership. Plus, this movement isn’t just talk. They hold protests consistently and speak out about Britney’s situation.

While Britney continues to be under conservatorship, court proceedings have taken place over the past year to investigate whether Britney is being taken advantage of by her father. These hearings are actually still going but unfortunately been postponed due to COVID-19. However, these developments definitely provide a light at the end of the tunnel for Britney, who appears to have a good case against her conservator.

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Final Thoughts

Of course, this situation is one that each person could research and form their own opinions on. The facts are widely available throughout the Internet and pretty much tell their own story. However, the most important part that I’d like to point out is Britney’s social media. If you have trouble believing the pop star’s struggle, one look at her social media will give you everything you need to know. To me, Britney Spears is crying for help. Whether we have the full story or not, it becomes clear that something more is happening with her.

Free Britney Spears Protest, Twitter
Free Britney Spears Protest, Courtesy of Twitter (@juniorolivas)

In the end, I think we should be worried about Britney Spears. We should be angry about what’s happening to her. Even the smallest support from a single fan feels like it could make a world of difference. If Britney Spears is the “princess of pop”, why isn’t she treated like it? It’s time to take care of Britney. The right way.

Let us know what you think of the #FreeBritney Movement!

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