Friday , April 16 2021

Britney Spears, through the mirror

If we had to remember just one phase of Britney Spears ’explosive and then exploded career, the moment that best summed up his fate with endless twists, it would probably be his debut at the Mickey Mouse Club, at Disney. It’s impossible, while watching the amazing movie of this planetary pop star’s life, not to immediately think about the fate of these amazing Disney princesses – maybe Snow White, maybe Cinderella or Beauty. In a dormant tree -, mortally caught in the nets of a terrible stepmother whose fairy tales invariably turn into a nightmare. In the case of Britney Spears, a certain ease would make us say that this stepmother is none other than her father Jamie Spears. This father over whom the #FreeBritney movement has been endlessly embittered since October 2008, when he managed to get custody of his daughter who now remotely (unilaterally) controls everything, his money, career, movement, and even his Instagram account. But not only. If the documentary Framing Britney Spears (produced by the New York Times and available for streaming on the Hulu platform) exposes and condemns, through testimony and legal documents, the absolute and violent control that Jamie Spears exercised over his 39-year-old daughter, this investigation particularly calls for questioning the misogyny and cruelty of show business and the American media.

Crowds of fans have created a full-fledged activist movement called #FreeBritney. Photo from the documentary “Framing Britney Spears”


Basically, after watching this documentary, we also realize how Britney Spears ’journey reminds us of Alice in Wonderland. Like heroine Lewis Caroll, the American star from deep Louisiana one day in 2007 ran into a mirror where she undoubtedly fell victim to her industry, American tabloids and, frankly, the men who played with her. But before that, before this mirror crossed to its dark side, millennials discovered Britney Spears in 1998, thanks to their mythical Baby One More Time tube. At the time, you had to listen to her singing the refrain “Hit me, baby, one more time” with gently subversive school clothes, to already hit the contours of the personality much more complex than said. Toxic also, as predicted in the single from the same title, 2003. Toxic as any success when the head of a genius teenager who has no instructions for use is needed. It is about 200 million albums sold to date, a legacy estimated at over $ 60 million. Toxic like this cocktail of substances she made with her diet and which threw her to detox several times. Oops, did I repeat that? Toxic like a twisted doll in her industry and the media has locked her up, studying her virginity like a doll that is for nothing but to increase testosterone levels in a male audience. In that sense, in Framing Britney Spears we hear a terrifying TV presenter telling him “Your chest,” every time a pop star tries to talk about his music. Toxic, like the fake managers and real profiteers who vampirized her, especially her father whose she is today, and even her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake who made her wear the cap of their breakup in his title for the victims of Cry Me a River. During the release of this single, which, by the way, celebrated Timberlake, the journalists got rid of Spears together. Poisonous like this horde of paparazzi that has never stopped chasing even the slightest movement of the lashes, to the extent that it directly disturbs it. It is poisonous, then, like the triple alliance of starification, hypersexualization, and excessive mediation that always burns our wings in the end.

The tabloids did not spare the American star. Photo from the documentary “Framing Britney Spears”


Toxic is another name that could have been borne by the documentary Framing Britney Spears, the first part of which describes in detail each of the steps that led Britney Spears from her native Mississippi to conquer the pop stratosphere and then to fall without a parachute. The real descent into hell began in 2007, when a pop icon, under the eyes of a hundred paparazzi, stormed a hair salon in Los Angeles, grabbed a razor and sent his hair for a walk as if to crush the image of the imagination machine we chose for her. In fact, on this annus horribilis and on all those that followed, Framing Britney Spears focuses more. After losing her hair and honestly head, the latter in turn saw custody of her two children, privacy, freedom and, worst of all, control over her own person, as her father Jamie Spears managed to persuade the US justice system to put her under his tutelage. with the explanation “that he no longer has the psychological ability to make decisions on his own.”

She has since lived locked up in a creepy villa in Los Angeles from where she gives news about her, but in small quantities and through very unusual messages. My loneliness kills me? Look, here, a crowd of fans has created a full-fledged activist movement, called #FreeBritney, whose multiple petition (one of which, with more than 100,000 people signed, was even addressed to the White House) calls for the release of Britney Spear from the total tutoring conducted by her father who, with his almost demiurge power over her, receives 1.5% of the income from her activity. “She always wears the same clothes, even at intervals of months,” “We only see her at home,” “She sends us encrypted SOS messages via pictures and videos she posts. She’s doing badly,” agree Britney Spears case defenders who dissect Instagram in their spare time. the account of his idol where it appears to be the actress trapped in a millimeter frame. And if this movement has seen its ranks grow over the years, if it has even managed to persuade the New York Times to conduct this investigation involving former Spears assistants, stylists and friends all advocating in its favor, it would be reductive to just throw a stone at the father . Because what Framing Britney Spears suggests above all is the cruelty of the media who shamelessly broke the pop star and enjoyed making money on the backs of their depression. There are countless excerpts from interviews in which, under the weight of indiscreet questions, we see her bursting into tears, visibly upset and deeply disturbed. Then it is the absurdity of American justice that continues to promote practices like this system of guardianship. “The last straw was that through this surveillance, Britney Spears’ money was used to fund the opposing party’s lawyers. That’s unthinkable, “said one of the star’s hardcore fans. It’s also, above all, the misogyny of an industry that instrumentalizes women just because they’re an easier target, as Wesley Morris, one of the New York Times critics who intervenes in the documentary, sums it up: “As for attacking a woman, there’s a whole mechanism. So from his father, yes, but also because of all the other things, Britney Spears has to be released today.

If we had to remember just one phase of Britney Spears ’explosive and then exploded career, the moment that best summed up his fate with endless twists, it would probably be his debut at the Mickey Mouse Club, at Disney. This is because it is impossible, while watching an amazing movie of the life of this planetary pop star, not to immediately think about fate …

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