‘Framing Britney Spears’ sheds light on pop star’s life

“Oops, I did it again. I played with your heart, got lost in the game. Oh baby, baby.”

Those familiar words were sung in the 1998 breakthrough song by the one and only Britney Spears, one of the biggest pop stars of all time. She was 16 at the time of the song’s release, and now nearly 25 years later Spears is still making headlines, albeit for entirely different reasons.

The highly anticipated New York Times documentary “Framing Britney Spears” started streaming on Hulu on Feb. 5. Since then, people all over the world have invested in the dramatic and twisted life of Spears.

She started as a beloved pop star and then spiraled out of control as her personal and professional life sunk into a major downfall. This documentary goes into Spears’ life and helps to understand what is really happening with her.

The documentary starts by going through the beginnings of Spears’s life, how she got into music and began to build her career. But it’s not until her pregnancies and divorce that people start to see her downfall.

The media has always been attached to Spears since she was 16. She is now 39. News outlets and magazines have always been using her name in unfair ways. She was a woman navigating a field of predominantly men and boy band groups, so she was an easy target.

When Spears gave birth to her children in 2005 and 2006, she was painted as a bad mom. In efforts to protect her children from paparazzi, photographs of her helped create some of the controversy. In one photo, Spears is driving with her son in her lap.

She said in past interviews that she was scared of the paparazzi surrounding her car and thought it was the best thing to do. Spears cares for her kids a lot, and that is made evident in the documentary.

The media began turning on her at this point in her life because that’s what the media loves to do. The documentary highlights how the media loves to tear celebrities down and put a dent in their careers for the audience’s amusement, and this is what happened to Spears.

In 2007, Spears ended her three year marriage with Kevin Federline, the father of her children. She got more media attention focused on the battle for custody of her kids. She filed for full custody and so did Federline, but Spears was ultimately only given visitation rights because of her “unhinged” state.

Mental health was not talked about in this time period, so when Spears was exhibiting certain behavior, the media portrayed her as crazy, reckless and unfit for any situation.

One of the most memorable moments of Spears’s career was when she shaved her head. This moment really struck out to people. I remember seeing pictures of Spears with her shaved head in magazines. As a young child waiting in the checkout line in a grocery store, seeing her portrayed like that made me upset. I felt that something was wrong and was concerned that she didn’t have any privacy.

When people found out that Spears had checked herself into mental hospitals, her journey through life did not get any better. She was deemed unstable and couldn’t care for herself, which led to her temporary conservatorship. It was only supposed to be temporary, meaning when Spears was to get on her feet again, her conservatorship would go away. But it never did, and instead was made permanent. Why? No one knows.

A conservatorship is when the guardian of a person takes over the financial affairs and daily life due to physical or mental limitations. It is usually put in place for people of old age.

The permanent conservatorship gave Spears’s father the rights to take over her life. It handed him her financial affairs and her freedom in daily life. Spears has shown time and time again that she is a strong, capable and independent woman that can make decisions for herself. Sadly, she still doesn’t have complete control over her own life as a 39 year old superstar.

The movement #FreeBritney has been around for a while. The people apart of this movement know about Spears’s struggles and are advocating for her. Britney has acknowledged her fans and thanked them for being informed and supporting.

As a person who generally knew that Spears was being treated unfairly, I never really knew what was going on. To this day, we still don’t know her full story. This documentary broke down as much information as it could and created more sympathy for Spears. Hopefully we will see her free soon.

Many people close to Spears are hopeful that one day she will share her story, but for now, she needs justice. This treatment of her “business like conservatorship” is wrong and can’t go on any longer.