Britney Spears is finally calling people out for their BS and nobody is off the hook.
In her most recent Instagram post, Britney called out father Jamie Spears for controlling her career, sister Jamie Lynn Spears for her fake support, and all those documentaries for showing “humiliating” footage of her
In her IG post, Britney wrote,
“I don’t like that my sister showed up at an awards show and performed MY SONGS to remixes !!!!! My so-called support system hurt me deeply !!!!”
“I didn’t like the way the documentaries bring up humiliating moments from the past … I’m way past all that and have been for a long time !!!!”
Although Britney didn’t name any particular documentary it seems clear that she is, at least in part, referencing the New York Times’ documentary Framing Britney Spears, which went viral in February of this year.
The episode, which is part of a larger series called The New York Times Presents, spent quite a bit of time rehashing the events leading up to the conservatorship and showing unflattering footage of the singer.
The Dangers of the Media
From a journalistic perspective, it makes sense to lay out a timeline of events. But bringing up Britney’s past over and over again is harmful to her image, which Britney has worked tirelessly to restore for more than a decade.
That is certainly not a time in her life that Britney wants to relive and, as she says, she’s come a long way since then.
But more importantly, using the footage of Britney from the years leading up to her conservatorship establishes “reasons” that seemingly validate the conservatorship, which is dangerous in itself. By presenting the conservatorship as somewhat justified, the NYT is creating a dangerous precedent that women suffering from mental health issues are somehow deserving of losing their autonomy.
The truth is that there was never a valid reason for Britney to be forced into a conservatorship. As she’s proven again and again and again, she is more than capable of taking care of herself (and her family, for that matter). She’s maintained a successful career and made millions. There was never any evidence that she was unable to make rational decisions. And proposing otherwise is simply irresponsible.
If Britney was suffering from mental health struggles, which it certainly looks like from the outside, then what she needed was help from medical professionals, not to be controlled by her father and a bunch of lawyers.
The media has such a large part in shaping our views of celebrities and the news. And regardless of what any outlet says, no media source is unbiased. In choosing what information is shared and how it is presented, the media can easily influence the public.
As journalists, we have a responsibility to think carefully about how our words will impact the world around us, particularly when we’re tackling such sensitive subjects.
A History of Abusive Media Coverage
Britney has every right to be upset, especially given how the media has treated her in the past.
She has been the victim of cruel bloggers and paparazzi, who took advantage of her struggles to make a quick buck.
Perez Hilton notoriously built his career on by ruthlessly attacking Britney and other young starlets like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
But Perez wasn’t the only one. Magazines like People, Us Weekly, Star, and InTouch cruelly exploited Britney and the rumors surrounding her in the early 2000s. A simple Google search and you’ll find endless headlines bashing the singer.
Now, of course, all of these publications are tripping all over themselves to apologize.
A New Era of Britney
For years, Britney was forced to put up with this horrific media coverage. She was silenced by her conservatorship, which controls what she can do and say.
But Britney is done with that. Ever since she spoke at her hearing in June, she has only become more outspoken. She even called out the paparazzi for harassing her and purposefully capturing embarrassing photos of her. She wrote on Instagram in June,
“It’s pretty hard going anywhere cause these silly faces keep popping up to take my picture… but not only do they take my picture … they distort my body and mess with the image and it’s embarrassing !!!!! I know my body is not perfect but I definitely do NOT look like how they portray me. It’s rude and it’s mean so paps kindly FUCK YOU AND FUCK OFF !!!!”
Britney is officially done putting up with anyone’s bullshit. So if you want to come for her, you better watch out.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.