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Criticism of ‘Framing Britney Spears’ or why we all owe an apology to the princess of pop

She was the perfect girl. The girl with the eyes of the United States. The star that every teenager wanted to be. Pop princess. Britney Spears She became, shortly after the release of her first single in 1998, one of the best-selling artists in the history of music.. Within a few years, he had become a true legend. A living myth that, currently, and with only 39 years of age, is withdrawn from the media spotlight, locked in her Los Angeles home and without legal power to make her own decisions or manage your own finances.

Photograph of Britney Spears in her early days

‘Framing Britney Spears’, produced by the prestigious ‘The New York Times’ and broadcast in Odyssey in Spain, is a journalistic documentary that tries to offer the viewer a brief explanation of the confinement of the mythical artist and the #FreeBritney trend. The movement was born a few years ago on the occasion of ask that the singer be released from her tutelage situation. Since 2008, Spears has been mentored by her father, so You cannot legally decide which jobs you want to do and which to reject, access your own money, etc.. A situation that many of his followers have called « kidnapping ».

The situation worsens when the The singer’s alleged bad relationship with her father, Jamie Spears. ‘Framing Britney Spears’ devotes much of its footage to describing Jamie as a distant man, obsessed with money and who never paid attention to his daughter more than to take advantage of the millions he pocketed at his expense. All, through the testimonies of people who had some kind of relationship with the artist … although, in no case, too close.

Promotional image of ‘Framing Britney Spears’

Her former assistant, some of the lawyers who worked in the legal custody process of the artist, the hosts of a podcast about Spears, an editor for The New York Times or even one of the paparazzi with whom the singer starred in a notorious incident they take turns talking about their career and their relationship with the press. The above are integrated into a story that tries to explain the serious mental health problems that the singer would suffer, causing that supposed inability to manage their own decisions. Without family members and without close friends: just people who, in one way or another, they also lived off the Britney Spears brand.

Interviews and images follow one another to create a more journalistic than documentary story, as a report, no waste of creativity or special concern for aesthetics. We see different figures go by, more or less related to the interpreter of « Toxic », whose testimonies end up having, at times, less interest than the images shown in the audiovisual piece, in which we remember some of the key moments of the rise and fall of the figure of Spears.

If something captures our interest during this story, it is the correct analysis that leads us to ask ourselves the following question: « Why, not just Justin Timberlake, but everyone, should we apologize to Britney Spears? ». Several of the interviewees, accompanied by images that we may have already seen but not thoroughly analyzed, refer to how many industries were enriched at the cost of the erosion of the image of his favorite girl.

Britney Spears during a shoot

A history of machismo and misogyny

Machismo is one of the key points in the story. Britney was built, like a marketing campaign, to become America’s sweet, innocent little heart, yet still exploiting her sexuality when she was still a child. The good but sensual girl that every man wanted in his bed. The powerful and sexy artist whose outfit would make every teenage girl want to be. All that, for later become the most hated person in America when he broke his relationship with fellow singer Justin Timberlake. Because who was she to break the perfect love story to an entire country? What did it matter what he felt or what he was suffering? His role should be based on smiling and putting up with whatever it was for the good of his audience, It is not like this?

The whole world found in Britney Spears a target to attack, to laugh at. A walking meme before we knew what a meme was. The persecution to which he was subjected every day of his life for years by literally hundreds of paparazzi and media hoping to find the slightest flaw in her behavior or anything that proved she was not perfect (because she was simply human) it would end their sanity. And when we’re done with her, we laugh and make fun of her. « What happened to Britney Spears to go crazy, shaving herself to zero and attacking paparazzi with an umbrella? ». Britney Spears was passed by the paparazzi, was passed by the music industry, by the media. And those who consumed all the content that appeared on it. Britney Spears got us.

Britney Spears during the filming of « Oops! … I did it again »

Britney Spears vs. Jamie Spears

The last minutes of the documentary focus on the path of the #FreeBritney movement, as well as the analysis of the theories (described as « conspiracy » by the artist’s father) that would go so far as to affirm that The artist launches coded messages on her Instagram profile to try to ask her followers for help. The cameras even go to a rally that asks for the change of hands in the tutelage of the singer.

One of the documents shown and explained towards the end of the piece reveals that Britney Spears he had recently started a kind of legal battle against his father. The artist, who has been retired for a couple of years, she would have refused to work unless Jamie Spears ceased to be her legal guardian and stop managing your finances. A war that, despite having existed for twelve years, could be entering a completely different new phase.

While ‘Framing Britney Spears’ could have been more careful, its aesthetic could have been worked on better and the breakdown of its story could have had better storytellers, the journalistic documentary it does achieve one of its objectives: to leave us that bitter taste in our mouths, that need to apologize, not just Britney, but a broad lineup of public figures and female stars, and that desire to join the movement that asks so much, probably more than reasonable, that Britney Spears be released.