There is no way in hell you don’t know who Britney is. If you’re online – you know who she is, and it doesn’t matter that the peak of her popularity was over a decade ago or possibly even before you were born. She’s such a massive pop icon that she’s literally recognised by first name only, even though as an artist she goes by full name Britney Spears.
This woman might be in her late 30s but her fan base knows no age limits. She’s loved by people all over the world and we’ve all had the privilege of following her career for over 2 decades now. She’s done many world tours, she’s written many hits that we still love and cherish to this day and her choreographed dance moves are legendary at this point. She’s also been through a lot and that’s left her in a very unique situation that many of her fans question and that’s were #FreeBritney comes is.
The #The FreeBritney movement started shortly after her famous breakdown in 2007 when she went through a divorce, shaved her head, and attacked a photographer. All this ended with Britney having to leave her house strapped to a gurney and being put into psychiatric care. In 2008 a court ruled a conservatorship over her assets and estate, which basically means that she’s had a legal guardian or group of guardians that are in charge of her financial situation and are meant to help her make important decisions. The court appointed Britney’s father as her legal guardian and at one point Britney’s manager was her legal guardian while her father was unwell.
While having such a massive public breakdown seems like a decent enough reason to have someone else double-check your important decisions, this conservatorship has been in place for over a decade now and Britney’s fans think that it’s bordering on imprisonment. In most cases having a legal team of guardians like this is more common with elderly, disabled or mentally unstable people. But Britney has released new albums and even went on tours, she’s been absolutely fine in terms of work for over a decade since that incident in 2008.
At the same time, Britney has made little other unsupervised public appearances. This is what made people suspicious. If she’s well enough to write, sing, release new albums, perform at concerts and even go on world tours, surely she’s fine enough to not have people double-check every single decision, personal or financial.
The #FreeBritney movement has been active for a long while, but it recently came back into the limelight. In 2019 Britney’s father was unwell and ended up in the hospital, and during this time Britney cancelled her performances and put her Las Vegas residency on hold and kind of disappeared for 3 months. It’s widely speculated that she also ended up going into psychiatric care again. But after she came back to social media people have started paying closer attention to her posts.
While Britney’s Instagram has always seemed a bit lackluster and basic, her latest almost identical selfies and strange videos of her dancing and just posing in front of the camera feel a bit weird. The captions seem random too, but her superfans are now interpreting them as a coded cry for help. The theory is that Britney’s guardians have full control over her social media so she can’t even ask for help, but really she’s being held a prisoner in her own home and her seemingly strange videos and captions are a way of letting her fans know that she needs their help. Some even speculate that Britney only follows 116 people because upside down that number becomes 911 and that’s also a hidden cry for help. Her fans have started asking her to give signs like wearing a specific color or showing a specific image to indicate that she needs help and apparently Britney has done that.
Another reason Britney’s freedom and wellbeing are being questioned is because recently her mother has requested to become her legal guardian, and two court hearings are happening this summer. One happened in July and another one is scheduled for mid-August. Britney’s fans were hoping that the first court hearing would be a chance for Britney to speak up about her situation, and she was supposed to appear in court via zoom for the first hearing, but she was absent. Perhaps she’ll be present for the second hearing in August. Ultimately, the idea behind Britney’s mom becoming her legal guardian is meant to be a step towards Britney gaining more freedom.