The Toxic American pop culture media drove Britney Spears Crazy, but her fans are determined to save her from the Circus and her conservatorship with the #FreeBritney movement and attention from the New York Times’ docu series on FX and Hulu.
Britney Spears was just a small town girl from Kentwood, Louisiana before she took over American pop culture in the late 90s and early 2000s. She had it all– the look, the voice, the dance moves, and she was able to dominate the charts as a solo female in the era of the “boy band.” People were obsessed with Britney, but fame comes with a price.
The tabloid media is a ruthless, invasive, and unforgiving force of nature in American pop culture. Behind all the tabloids, gossip, makeup, and music are ordinary people, yet the media replaces the person with the spectacle. As much as Britney was adored, she was criticized.
America grabbed popcorn to watch the show as the pop star's life went up in flames. In spite of multiple, public mental breakdowns, the media continuously attacked and criticized Spears. We have seen the spotlight burn celebrities before: Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, Demi Lovato, just to name a few. But what’s different about Britney’s story is that hers didn’t end with a trip to rehab and an eventual return to everyday life. In fact, Britney’s life hasn’t been her own in over a decade.
Maybe you haven’t heard of the #FreeBritney movement if you’ve been living under a rock in 2020. In case you aren’t sure, the newest episode of FX and Hulu’s docu series premiered February 5.“The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney,” takes us into the story of Britney’s entire life in the public eye. The episode recounts her initial boost to fame, her breaking point, and ultimately the odd details of her conservatorship, in which her father, Jamie Spears, has almost complete control over Britney’s life and fortune.
The episode also draws attention to the misogyny Britney and other young female artists had to tolerate at the time. The prejudice is especially apparent in the coverage of her break up with Justin Timberlake. After the 2002 premiere of “Cry Me a River,” which depicted a blonde, Britney look alike cheating on Timberlake, the media attacked her and Timberlake never spoke up.