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#FreeeBritney: Britney Spears' first year of freedom: Dance, Beaches & Bitterness | culture

In the movies, the stories end with “the end” and the credits trade. But in real life, they keep showing up to the coffin. The story of the guardianship of singer Britney Spears, who has been under strict parental control by court order for 13 years, has come to a cinematic end. The pop princess, who was hunted down in a Las Vegas castle, has been released by an army of fans, with no weapon other than the hashtag #FreeBritney. A wave of protests began in 2019 when New York times She began repeating what her followers had been warning her for some time: the artist was not feeling well. movement ignited. As much as her Instagram account or her Las Vegas show said otherwise, the singer was a puppet of her father, who used her psychiatric entry in 2008 to take charge of her life and fortune. The change in social perception was crucial. On September 30, 2021, just a year before, Spears finally got her freedom. The world’s interest waned, but her life went on.

If there were post-credits scenes in a Britney Spears movie, it would show her nude, drinking champagne, on Paradise Beach. Since regaining control of her life, the 40-year-old singer has done what anyone would in her condition. “I’ve traveled the world. She’s been on the beach practically all year,” said Juan Sangueno, journalist and author of Britney. once again. “Basically, she devoted herself to doing what she loves most, which is dressing up, dancing, doing yoga, being with her boyfriend, being on Instagram. Because she is an Instagram addict.”

Last year, the singer was more present on social networks than on Spotify. She released only one song, a duet with Elton John in which they covered the old songs of the English artist. At the same time, she shared 483 photos and an unspecified number of stories on Instagram, causing a string of headlines. “For the public, this first year of Britney’s freedom meant discovering her as a person,” Sanguino says. “A lot has been said about her as a symbol, star, symbol or metaphor. But it has never been spoken of as a character until now.”

After years under guardianship, Spears now tells her story. And she does it on Instagram, a platform with 42 million followers who uses it almost like a virtual diary. Here she posts her free dance sessions and home fashion shows, and she compulsively tries on clothes while rocking her body from side to side, staring at the camera. Here she announced that she was going to have her first glass of champagne in 13 years and her first visit to a bar (“I feel very sophisticated,” she said). She shared her first time sailing and her first selfie. In one post she wrote: “A year from the first times…in the set list I think.”

#FreeBritney protest in Dallas, September 25, 2021.Omar Vega (Getty Images)

She also announced her third pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage. And her third marriage to 28-year-old Iranian model Sam Asgari. Marriage and the development of her family were the wishes of the great singer, which she could not fulfill during the regency. The wedding was attended by celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Drew Barrymore, Selena Gomez, Madonna and Donatella Versace. But there was no trace of the Spears family. The “I’m a Slave 4 U” singer is at odds with her father, against whom she has a legal battle over the consequences of his guardianship. She is also fighting her sister, brother, and mother for their part in the process. However, the most significant absence in the link was the absence of her two children, Sean Preston, 16, and Jayden James, 15, as a result of her marriage to dancer Kevin Federline.

The minors explained their absence a few months later in a television interview with their father in which they confirmed their separation. At Spears’ home, dirty laundry is broadcast on Instagram. And this is where Britney shared an audio message confirming that a part of her is dead: “I don’t have any purpose anymore. It was my joy. They were everything. I hope to see them. That’s what I live for. And suddenly they’re gone.”

Spears also took to Instagram to share details about the guardianship, posting bitter, emoji-filled ads that tabloids analyzed with glee. “I think she has a clear case of PTSD,” Sanguino says. “It feels like she’s just been released from a kidnapping. She’s been managing it with a therapist, but the way to learn to live with what she’s gone through is also to recognize it, announce it, and share it.”

She has also used his social networks to settle scores with her ex-colleagues, and may have even crossed the line on some occasions. She accused former singer Justin Timberlake of using her to gain “fame and attention” in a post that she deleted a few minutes later. “The new Britney is more badass, more advanced, more relevant from a media point of view,” Sanguino admits. “But it’s also more real, more real.”

It’s only been a year since the story of Britney Spears, the icon, ended. The telling of Britney Spears’ story, the woman, began with a first-person conscience. Like any human story, it has chiaroscuro. It says a lot about the pop princess’ past, but it speaks more about her audience. “Society has changed,” Sanguino says. “Her case became a symbol of everything we had to leave behind, of that cruelty, of the brutal misogyny of the 2000s. People saw in Britney an opportunity to atone socially and culturally.” I took this opportunity to stop living as a symbol and start living as a free woman.