Britney Spears is a 38-year-old American pop star who starred in “The Mickey Mouse Club” at the age of eleven. Subsequently, she rose to an astronomical level of fame in 1997 with her hit song “Hit Me Baby One More Time” at the age of 16.
Unlike many stars who became famous in the 1990s and 2000s, she stayed relevant for the duration of her career despite many hardships along the way.
According to her dedicated fans, Britney Spears needs our help now.
Before I explain the “Free Britney” movement, I will give you a brief history lesson.
Hanging out with Paris Hilton & Lindsay Lohan
In 2006, Britney’s personal struggles became evident to the public. She was photographed looking gaunt and partying with socialite Paris Hilton and actress Lindsey Lohan.
Lohan and Hilton were known for drug use and heavy drinking at the time.
This era of Britney’s life could’ve been her “blowing off steam” as young people do after a hard day of work.
Hollywood stars are known to go to extremes with their drug and alcohol use but some young people have an experimental partying phase in their twenties.
The “Headshaving Incident”
The next shocking incident occurred in February 2007 after she fled rehab in Antigua, California, and turned up at her ex-husband Kevin Federline’s house, demanding to see their sons Sean and Jayden.
When Federline said no, Britney took off to find a beauty parlor for a new look.
Britney walked into a salon in Tarzana, California, and asked a hairdresser to shave her head. When the owner of the salon refused to comply with Britney’s demands, a wide-eyed Britney grabbed the hair shears and said “Then I’ll do it”.
Paparazzi photographed the display of rebellion and it made worldwide headlines.
After Britney left the hair salon, she headed to a tattoo parlor in Sherman Oaks, California. The tattooist asked Britney why she shaved her head and she replied:
“I just don’t want anybody, anybody touching my head. I don’t want anyone touching my hair. I’m sick of people touching my hair.”
Britney asked for a tattoo of another woman’s lips and a small cross.
After leaving the tattoo parlor, Britney attacked a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella.
There were many rumors about why Britney shaved her head: To hide her drug use and avoid a hair test for drugs ordered by the courts for her child custody case and “extensions gone wrong” are two theories that still persist to this day.
Many people found Britney’s actions to be troubling but if you think about it, this is a young woman whose looks have always been focused on.
Maybe she was sick of being defined by her looks and looking the way everyone else wanted her to look?
Allegedly, her image was being controlled by her record company: According to some reports, she wasn’t even allowed to choose her own underwear.
Now her ex-husband was controlling when she could spend time with her children.
Maybe she felt the only thing she could control was her own body.
In mid-2007, Britney Spears met Sam Lufti and they began dating. This man allegedly worked for Britney as her manager and received fifteen percent of her earnings as a result.
Their relationship was criticized from the beginning and they fought openly in public, breaking up in 2008.
In 2019, Jamie Spears (Britney’s father), took Lufti to court, seeking a restraining order. He claimed that Lufti had drugged Britney in 2008 and kept her from contacting her family in hopes of gaining complete control of Britney and her million-dollar fortune.*
The Spears family claimed that Lufti harassed Britney and the Spears family for years after they broke up. They were granted a five-year restraining order from Sam Lufti in May 2019.
In January 2008, a judge in Los Angeles issued a ruling of sole-custody of Britney’s two children to her ex-husband Kevin Federline.
This ruling was due to Britney being arrested and taken away from her home by ambulance after refusing to hand the children over to Federline.
A four-hour standoff occurred at Britney’s Beverly Hills mansion when she refused to give her sons, two-year-old Sean Preston and one-year-old Jayden James to Federline.
Police officers arrived at Spears’ home and she finally turned over the children, according to the Los Angeles police department.
Britney was taken to the Cedars-Sinai medical center and put on a 5150 hold, which is designated when someone is a risk to themselves or others.
A judge awarded sole custody of Britney’s two children to ex-husband Kevin Federline and suspended the singer’s visitation rights as a result of this incident.
Adnan Ghalib is a British paparazzi photographer who dated Britney for 2 months in 2008. He recently testified in the 2019 trial for the restraining order against Sam Lufti. When he was on the stand, he claimed that Lynne Spears (Britney’s mother), attempted to coerce him into testifying that Lufti was the source of all of Britney’s troubles.
The Spears family also filed a restraining order against Ghalib in 2008. The documents for this retraining order stated that Jon Eardley (a lawyer for Lufti), Lufti, and Ghalib tried to undermine Britney’s conservatorship.
Ghalib allegedly tried to sell a sex tape of himself and Britney Spears in 2008.
Recently, he denied this accusation and stated there was no sex tape of him and Spears in existence.
A conservatorship is a legally binding, court-appointed agreement in which a judge appoints a person to make decisions for a person or company.
After Britney’s public struggles, her parents decided to apply for total control of Britney’s life and finances in late 2008.
Jamie Spears was granted control of her estate and health, which involves everything from negotiating business opportunities to restricting visitors. An attorney named Andrew Wallet was assigned to help manage her monetary assets.
Britney Spears’ business documents showed that as of 2018, she had a net worth of $59 million. In the same year, she spent $400,000 on her living expenses and $66,000 on household goods.
Britney spent $1.1 million dollars on her conservator fees in 2018. Jamie Spears kept $128,000 of that money, according to the documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight.*
The #FreeBritney Movement
The hashtag #FreeBritney was created in 2009 in response to the conservatorship and has resurfaced recently due to Britney’s social media posts and the conservatorship being extended twice in 2020.
Britney’s pictures and videos show her dancing and working out.
She looks exhausted in these videos and pictures. Her eyes look different, not bright, and happy like they did at the beginning of her career.
I am sure we would be exhausted too, her life hasn’t been easy.
Britney’s devoted fan base is worried that she is being controlled and forced to perform on social media. They feel her rights have been taken away from her.
This is why we are seeing the #freebritney hashtags everywhere on social media.
Britney responded to the criticisms of her social media on Instagram on July 11, 2020, by posting a photo of a bible verse with the caption:
I get how some people might not like my posts or even understand them, but this is me being happy,” she wrote. “This is me being authentic and as real as it gets!!!!! I want to inspire people to do the same and just be themselves without pleasing others… that’s the key to happiness 🌸🌸🌸🌸 !!!!!!
An Ongoing Saga
We may never know if Britney is willingly crafting her social media posts or how she actually feels about the conservatorship.
People who are close to Spears say she isn’t been manipulated, they say that Britney’s fans do not understand the mental-health and legal reasoning behind the conservatorship.
The conservatorship is not a jail, It helps Britney make business decisions and manage her life in ways she can’t do on her own right now.
-Larry Rudolph, Britney’s manager
Since 2008, Britney has been touring frequently, did a stint in Vegas, and has been active on social media.
She has dropped an album every 2-3 years since 2008.
Britney Spears has been working constantly since she was 11-years-old yet is not allowed to spend her own money or make decisions for herself without approval from her parents.
She sings and dances in her home and tries on outfits for her Instagram followers.
She is living the life of an 11-year-old girl but she is a 38-year-old woman.
 Adam Wallis. June 14, 2019. Britney Spears, family granted a restraining order against Sam Lutfi
Hilary Hoffower. July 13, 2020. Inside Britney Spears’ conservatorship, the 12-year legal arrangement that prevents the pop star from controlling her life and $59 million fortune.