Britney Spears documentary sheds light on personal battles, students share reactions

After the Hulu premiere of The New York Times’ documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” students shared their views on the film and the pop star’s conservatorship.

The documentary focuses on the troubles of Britney Spears’ young life in the spotlight and investigates the details surrounding her controversial conservatorship which she has been controlled by for the last 13 years. 

Spears started her career on the TV show “The Mickey Mouse Club” as a child and quickly became a star following the release of her hit record, “Baby One More Time” in 1999. A short time later, Spears released her first album under the same name; it quickly reached number one on the charts and ended up selling over 10.6 million copies

The documentary also highlighted the controversial tabloid and paparazzi practices of the early 2000s and their relationship with the young Britney Spears. At the peak of her career, the paparazzi followed her every move, which led to her appearing on numerous tabloid covers.  

The documentary pinpointed pivotal moments in the pop star’s life, including her divorce and custody battle with ex husband Kevin Federline. Spears ended up losing the battle after being seen as an unfit mother. Following the custody battle, the documentary dives into the reason behind her decision to shave her head during her public meltdown in 2007. Days later, she checked herself into a treatment facility. 

“I never knew why Britney shaved her head, but after watching the documentary, I completely understand why,” Orion Samuels, a freshman biology major, said. “I would have done the same thing, too, to get everyone to leave me alone.”

The documentary also delved into another much-publicized incident between Spears and the paparazzi when she was captured attacking a photographer’s car with an umbrella after they followed her to Federline’s house while she was trying to see her children. 

Britney Spears / Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Angelina Ruiz, a freshman psychology major, said she was shocked at the way the media handled her breakdowns.

“She was clearly giving a cry for help, and the paparazzi were just on her,” Ruiz said.

Because of her behavior, the court placed Spears and her estate under temporary conservatorship on Feb. 1, 2008. A court does this when a person is seen as significantly disabled with an ailment, such as dementia, and is deemed unable to take care of themselves or their financial affairs. 

Jamie Spears, her father, was named Britney’s conservator as well as the conservator of her estate along with attorney Andrew Wallet. Throughout the documentary, it is shown that Britney voiced some concerns over her father being her conservator.

Fans of Spears have popularized the #FreeBritney hashtag to shed light on her current battle over her conservatorship. In a court document, it is shown that Britney Spears “welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans.” 

In the most recent court hearing, the judge denied Jamie Spears’ request for increased power involving her affairs. 

Melanie Torres, a senior psychology major, said she believes Spears’ father is being a “control freak.”

Said Torres, “I think that since Britney is mentally capable of handling her own life and finances at this point, someone that wasn’t even that involved in her life shouldn’t have so much control over herself.” 

Courtney Campbell can be reached at courtney.campbell@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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