We grew up in the exact right time to be in love with Britney Spears. We were both 15 in the year 2000 as Britney was skyrocketing to fame and we were head over heels. There were a lot of pop artists taking over the scene at the close of the 90s grunge era, but Britney was the queen.
Cut to a few years later. The media has completely vilified her because of how she dresses and acts. She starts to break down mentally amidst this extreme media scrutiny. Finally she snaps, shaves her head, attacks an SUV with an umbrella. In this time she lost legal control of herself and her assets, having been entered into a conservatorship, led by her father. It’s ugly. But not nearly as ugly as the way she was treated. The New York Times has produced this documentary, Framing Britney Spears, about the current Free Britney movement, and dissecting her treatment in the past.
It’s not something we can say we love. I mean it shines a light on all the ugly things we used to say and do without thinking. In 2021, it really is a horror show. But it was a really good collection of all the things we’ve mostly known into one, pointed and effective documentary. The doc is full of red flags, interviewers who would have been #MeToo’d and at least once that has been, and reminders of our own internalized misogyny beaten into us since birth. Thankfully, we’ve made our own efforts in our adulthood to rid ourselves of these nasty preconceptions, but that can’t erase the things we thought about Britney at the time, because we were told to think them by every news outlet. There was no internet so we got the side they wanted us to see to fit their narrative and that’s it. Worth noting is that this was happening just as the Clinton/Lewinski scandal was cooling down, so the media was looking for another young woman to demonize, and they found one.
Framing Britney Spears was a really good watch. We already knew she was trapped in a conservatorship run by her shitty father, but to be reminded of how badly she was treated leading up to that point was really tough. What did you think? Let us know over on Twitter or in the Youtube comments! We love Britney and want to chat about her with you. For now though, settle in for today’s episode of So…I’m Watching This Show!