“Framing Britney Spears”, the new hit FX and Hulu documentary, remains captivating, yet gut-wrenching, as it provides a glimpse into what the filmmakers depict as Britney Spears’s shockingly miserable life as a celebrity who has little control over her own life.
The American pop star took over news magazines and sparked a new generation of pop music during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Despite her worldwide fame, the “Princess of Pop” has ultimately found herself living the exact opposite of a flawless life.
The hour-long documentary, which is part of the “New York Times Presents” series, begins by focusing on the #FreeBritney movement. This hashtag, started by worried fans, has been trending on every social media platform to spread awareness of Spears's situation. Despite her worldwide image, Spears’s father, Jamie, has served as her conservator for 13 years, meaning he has complete control over her daily activities, financial decisions, and her music career. Conservatorships are typically required for those who are sick or elderly and cannot take care of themselves. Spears’s own comments stating she wants control of her own career and life has sparked fans to want to come to her aid.
The film flashes back to the star’s rise to fame as a child, while emphasizing the issues that arose due to her career. She was hyper-sexualized, even during her childhood, and there was often fake, personal information about her on magazine covers, and she was publicly asked about private matters, like losing her virginity.
Spears’s legacy coincides with many other women of the 2000s who were portrayed as trashy and classless, like Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan. Her entire life was torn down by news sites that would depict women in barbaric ways for entertainment, an idea the documentary heavily focuses on. Whether she was portrayed as a sexual object or a clown, Spears rarely received respect throughout her career.
Spears began her music career as a teenager but very often the media portrayed her as an adult. Now that she is actually an adult, with two sons, she is still perceived by her overseers as a reckless child.
“Framing Britney Spears” largely focuses on the concept of age. From a teen viewed as too mature, to an adult who is perceived as too adolescent, Spears has faced obstacles during her entire career because she is not allowed to make any decisions for herself. The question of whether Spears will gain her freedom has yet to be answered, but fans are still on the mission to #FreeBritney.