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Freeing Britney

Republika

CHINA CONSTRUCTS | Louise Nichole Logarta

Britney Spears, arguably the brightest star of the late ‘90s to 2000’s era–with a considerable faction of critics as well as fans (myself included, in my younger years)–has come into the limelight again recently over challenging her 13-year-old conservatorship.


For those not familiar with the term, a conservatorship is an arrangement whereby a judge entrusts the care of a person to another, or an organization. The person under the conservatorship, called the “conservatee”, is considered unable to take care of his or her finances or personal matters. In Britney’s case, following a mental health crisis she suffered after her divorce from ex Kevin Federline and losing custody of her two kids–quite publicly–her appointed conservator was her father, Jamie Spears. Under him, Britney had no control over her estate, among other things. Since 2008, this has been her life.


This sparked a campaign by fans called #FreeBritney, which actually began a year after her conservatorship began. The movement rallied for Britney to recover autonomy over her own decisions.


Her father then temporarily stepped down as conservator due to health reasons in 2019, after which he was replaced by a care professional Jodi Montgomery. Britney asked for this change to be permanent.


But as of late, Britney filed complaints of “conservatorship abuse” against her dad, and reports quickly surfaced that she had opposed the court-ordered agreement earlier than was previously thought and her decisions were so restricted that they even ruled on things like the color of her kitchen cabinets. Later Britney would say that she was forced to take birth control so she would not get pregnant, even though she wanted to have more children.


For four or five years, Britney held a concert residency in Las Vegas, several TV appearances (even as a judge in singing competition The Voice), and a seventh album. But after she resigned from her Las Vegas stint and entered into a mental health help center over her dad’s alleged health problems, the #FreeBritney movement came alive once again. Her supporters believe that the singer was actually communicating secretly with them, pointing out instances where she wore yellow after they posted comments telling her to wear the color if she needed help.


Some months ago, Britney announced before a Los Angeles court that she wanted to end her father’s grip on her conservatorship. Ultimately, the judge said that she could hire a lawyer of her choice to file a formal petition against her father and the legal battle surely to follow.


For which I can only say…what a shame. As a daughter, I understand the unique relationship between a daughter and dad. As with any parent-child relationship, the offspring depends on the parent for their care and wellbeing when they are young, and I doubt it ever stops being the case for the parent. But Britney, thrust into fame at a young age (she was a Disney child star), needed this genuine care more than ever. History shows the tumult that child stars experience under the spotlight. Her dad deserves to be removed permanently from being a conservator, and our blonde bombshell deserves to be the leading lady of the movie that is her own damn life!


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