Twitter users got a little confused when #FreeBritney started trending again. Although this phrase has been around ever since Britney Spears’ personal affairs were taken out of her control back in 2008 after that infamous public breakdown, there’s been a renewed interest.
To cut a long story short, when Britney went on that head-shaving, paparazzi hitting rampage, it was clear she needed some help – STAT.
To protect her assets, her father, Jamie Spears, effectively became her legal guardian. Every aspect of Brit’s life, from her finances to her touring schedule, had to go through him and a co-conservator.
I don’t think anyone would deny this was a good idea at the time, given how broken Britney was. To say she was a woman on the edge would be an understatement.
Spears saw the edge and took a flying leap over it, landing in a truly spectacular pile of bad decisions and mental instability.
Who can blame her? She was getting divorced and trying to hold onto custody of her babies for dear life. A woman in that much pain, under that much scrutiny, can only take so much.
She snapped harder than she whipped that paparazzi with the umbrella.
More than a decade later, Britney is a 38-year-old woman – and fans think she should be able to do what she wants.
That could go to hell in a handbasket. Even her brother thinks so.
Twelve years is a long time to recover from mental health issues. Being almost 40 is very different from being a 26-year-old mom on the brink.
Is Britney finally capable of looking after herself again?
Bryan Spears, Britney’s older brother, spoke to the podcast As NOT Seen on TV recently to shed a little light on the matter.
She’s been in this thing for quite some time now. Obviously there was a need for it in the beginning. Now they’ve made some changes and all we can do is hope for the best. [It’s] been a great thing for our family, to this point, and [we] keep hoping for the best…
We’ve had to work together as a family to keep it all going. One person might be on stage doing this, but it’s a sacrifice from everybody. Everyone is putting in, to some degree, a little bit to keep everything going.
It may be a family affair, but Bryan admitted that his sister never wanted to be in it in the first place.
When it comes to the future, he’s not convinced Britney is capable of coping in the big, bad world without it.
She’s been surrounded by a team of people since she was 15. So at what level does everyone walk away, or at what level does that get reduced? I know what she wants but at the end of the day, what’s the reality of that? What is the practically of that? So are you going to call and make reservations for yourself today? Let’s just say [the conservatorship] does get let go and she’s on her own – everyday task stuff is probably… it’s a great challenge.
Given Bryan’s response, will Britney’s fans see a different side of the coin and appreciate that it’s not as straightforward as it looks? Britney may have continuously been working since her breakdown, but she still isn’t on a level playing field.
When it comes to looking after herself, I’m scared Britney just isn’t up to the task.
Besides struggling to manage her everyday affairs, there’s a much bigger point here. Spears still doesn’t look like she is 100%.
Although she’s undoubtedly much better than she was, she canceled her Las Vegas residency due to her father’s illness last year.
Britney was reportedly so disturbed by his brush with death that she entered a rehab facility.
While we all wish we could #FreeBritney, her mental health is paramount. If she’s as fragile as that rehab incident suggests, she needs to be treated with kid gloves.
The fact that she’s a functioning artist doesn’t change that. The pressure of performing might even make that help more necessary.
Take away the conservatorship, and it could be the end of all the progress she’s made. Does anyone want that weighing on their conscience?