Over the weekend, I sat down to watch the newest documentary on someone who I’ve been a lifelong fan of, Britney Spears. Framing Britney Spears, available on Hulu, chronicles her rise to fame, her downfall, and the conservatorship she has been under for 13 years.
As someone who has followed her story since the beginning, I have some thoughts to share on the documentary.
First, it was very hard for me to watch. My title as a super Britney fan was solidified during the 2007/2008 time period. This was the height of her downfall. And everyone was talking about (and judging) her. I constantly felt like I was the only one who really got mad at people making fun of her and questioning her sanity.
To this day the head shave memes, the “If Britney can make it through 2007,” and the umbrella yielding images are not funny to me.
Reliving this time in her life now that I’m a mother makes it hit even harder. It is suspected that during this time Britney had postpartum depression.
On top of this, she was constantly surrounded by the flashing lights and yells from the paparazzi. She also had to deal with the constant manipulation from the team that surrounded her (as well as her husband.)
Her mothering was continually put into question in a time where, as a mom, I know firsthand, you are already feeling inadequate. (Remember the driving with her baby on her lap? Watch the documentary for the whole story of this incident. It’s not what you think!)
Britney truly had no one in her corner that she could trust. I cannot imagine that much pressure and emotion in my life as it is, let alone living it out in the spotlight.
Then looking at the addition of the conservatorship, what she has been able to do under it, and her requests over who controls (which have mostly been denied). It is really an unsettling situation.
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the nauseating way our culture addressed women, specifically Spears, in the early 2000s. Compared to the way Justin Timberlake was glorified for airing all of their dirty laundry.