By Eleni Papageorgiou,
Britney Spears is finally happy, and this is why she deserves it. We will study Britney’s life from the moment she became known to the public, which happened way too early. She first became famous as a child star at the revival of The Mickey Mouse Club in the mid-’90s. Although she seemed like a really happy kid from a typical American family, her real home life was troubling. Her father, James Parnell Spears, struggled with alcoholism, and as a result, he made an unstable home environment. In the early ’00s, her parents finally got divorced, and, as she said, this was something that she wished to happen 10 years earlier. They used to argue a lot when she was a baby and that is why she was not very happy when they got back together at the end of the same decade after James quit drinking.
By the time she became famous, everyone pushed her to work harder and harder, regardless of what she may have wanted or needed. The archetypal all-American teen queen was groomed and managed a showbiz machine that wanted to keep her pure, fresh, and innocently provocative. She was reportedly given only an hour off. A friend alleged that her team would bribe them with shopping sprees if they could coax Britney out of her trailer and make her perform. As it seemed, she was desperate for the approval of others. That is why she worked herself to the ground. That time, she questioned if she was on the right career path, typically saying: “Personally I’m a shy person and I’m particularly not really made for that industry because I’m so shy. It’s not something I deal with so well”.
Once she became one of the biggest pop singers in the world, she had very little control of her life, dreaming, however, of living like a normal person. In an interview for Rolling Stone, they said that she should probably get six months off, but she did not. The point of taking a break for Britney meant being out of the public eye and not appearing on TV as she was “sick of herself”. She wished to go to Starbucks and order a coffee or pump her own gas like everyday people, without being recognized or asked for autographs, but her team did not let that happen. They were extremely strict about her image reportedly choosing every aspect of her to look, down to her underwear, to make sure she fit the image they have crafted for her.
Considering how many inspections she was receiving from the press, it should come as no surprise that her love life was part of the public domain. In her early steps, Britney and Justin Timberlake were pop’s music power couple, but when the two split rumors turned against Britney by assuming she had cheated. Τhe next period of time, she got married two more times, one in Las Vegas with an old friend for just 55 hours, and one in the same year, when she married the dancer Kevin Federline and had two sons. She filed a divorce in 2006, and what followed was an ugly custody battle for her children, that ended in Spears having to give Federline $20,000 a month in child support.
What followed afterward was Britney’s breakdown, with the famous shaving of her head and a string of stints in rehab, as well as increasingly erratic behavior. In October 2007, she lost custody of her boys. Shortly after all of this, she lost even more control of her life. She entered into a court-approved conservatorship in 2008, which gave her father and a lawyer power over her spending.
In the late 2010s, her fans started the “Free Britney” movement, protesting at her court appearances on the basis of granting her independence from her family’s control. On top of that, in 2019, she was checked into a mental health facility and many believed she was not there voluntarily.
A few days ago, the pop singer made a major victory in the long battle to free herself from her father’s conservatorship. The lawyer Mathew Rosengart described the court’s decision as an “unconscionable and disgraceful violation of her privacy rights”. Now, her father is suspended, although he thought that he did nothing wrong.
There could not have been a better time for this turn, since Britney Spears and her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, announced that they are engaged and soon to be married. Asghari’s agent, Brandon Cohen, said they made their long-term relationship official and are “deeply touched by the support, dedication, and love expressed to them”.
All people, men, and women, famous or not, should have been relieved by this decision, as there are many who are oppressed and suffer from people exploiting them. To all of them: be patient and insist on your freedom and whatever you love.
- Britney Spears, Sam Asghari announce they’re getting married, nbcnews, Available here
- Britney Spears: Singer’s conservatorship case explained, bbc, Available here
- Britney Spears Quietly Pushed for Years to End Her Conservatorship, nytimes, Available here