The documentary 'Framing Britney Spears' shows it's past time to free Britney

The documentary 'Framing Britney Spears' shows it's past time to free Britney

What do we want?
Free Britney!
When do we want it?

It's easy to ridicule Britney Spears. I'm sure I've done it myself. When my daughters were young girls, the music of that era seemed to be all Spice Girls, Boy bands and Britney. The sounds going through our car were the sounds of those artists. I'd find myself singing along to "Hit Me Baby One More Time" or "Oops!...I Did It Again." I'm sure I did it with disdain in my voice or sometimes to embarrass the kids when they had friends in the car. It was a dad thing to make fun of Britney.

A lot of the ridicule she brought on herself. There was her marriage that was annulled after three days. She followed that with another marriage to Kevin Federline only a few months after the first failed one. Then there were the multiple pictures taken by the paparazzi that had one or both of her breasts was falling out of her top. There were other pictures taken of her sitting in the back seat of cars with her legs spread and not wearing any panties. And what was the deal with the shaving of her head?

There was no question that Britney Spears was out of control and the press was always around to document her every mistake. It's tough to grow up when you're always in the public eye. What made it worse was she was so young and also she was a girl. In the rock and roll world, such behavior by a male adds to the mystique. When a female does it, the name-calling begins. Misogyny was alive and well in the pop music world....and it still is.

The new documentary "Framing Britney Spears" tells us the life story of Britney. From a young age, her fame and talent were used to try to make life better for everyone surrounding her, at Britney's expense. It's not a story that is so different from others we've heard in show business.

The Spears were a poor family living in Mississipi. Early on they realized that one of their children had a chance to become special.  Britney Spears was groomed for a life in show business from the age of three. It started with dance lessons and singing in church. Nothing out of the ordinary for a young child at that point. But, becoming a performer on the new Mickey Mouse Club at age eleven can be overwhelming for a child who isn't ready to handle fame at a young age. For Britney and her family, fame and what came with it is what they wanted. Sadly, her family wanted it more than her.

From there it was on to making records. Her first album, "Baby, One More Time" has sold more than twenty-five million copies worldwide. The singles from it were also huge sellers. With it came a lot of money for Spears and her family...more than they ever imagined. Britney Spears was now the financial provider for her family. That's heady stuff for someone not yet twenty years old. Along with the money comes worldwide fame and attention.

When it became too much, too soon, it was easy to see why she was heading towards the notorious behavior issues and her eventual breakdown and mental health issues. But, the incredible thing is Britney Spears not only survived, but she put her career back together. She continued to make records and also started a residency at Planet Hollywood, in Las Vegas, in 2013. It won awards for best Vegas residency in 2015 and 2017.

However, Spears has done this while under a conservatorship. Her father has been in charge of her life for more than a decade. Yes, he gets a piece of her income because of this, but it's as much about control as it about money. She has not been able to make even the simplest decisions about her life without getting approval. But, now Britney Spears wants the strings loosened and her fans have been vocal in their support of this. That's where the "free Britney" chants come from and also what becomes the main focus of the documentary.

Because of the dispute over the conservatorship, Britney Spears has said she won't work until it's settled in more favorable terms. She has not performed in almost three years. The film won't leave you with a happy ending or even any kind of ending because the case is still ongoing, but it will leave you a lot more sympathetic to the life of Britney Spears. There's no question that she's a survivor and maybe it's time to finally "Free Britney."

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