Entertainment And News

Britney Spears Cried 'For Two Weeks' Over Documentary — Let’s Stop Capitalizing On Her Trauma

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Britney Spears

As the entire world weighs in on the #FreeBritney movement on what seems to be a regular basis, the most recent person to speak up is also the only voice we should be listening to — Britney Spears herself.

Spears has revealed that in the fallout of the Framing Britney Spears documentary, she “cried for two weeks.”

She responded to the much-talked-about documentary in a lengthy Instagram post, telling fans, “I didn’t watch the documentary but from what I did see of it I was embarrassed by the light they put me in.”

The documentary shed light on years and years of harassment experienced by Spears in the press and made a scathing critique on the people closest to the singer from Spears’s father Jamie Spears to ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake.

However, the documentary didn’t feature any commentary from Spears herself, adding to the years of silencing she has been subjected to.

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While it may have been a valuable attempt to reeducate audiences about how Spears was exploited from a young age, it also added to that same exploitation by rewriting Spears’s story without allowing her to author it.

Spears seems to be struggling to find her voice.

Spears also mentioned that after a lifetime of being “judged,” “insulted,” and “embarrassed by the media,” she has a hard time trusting them with her story.

Her comments revealed how decades of exposure and trauma spun into a sensationalized documentary only deepens the pain of that trauma, no matter how well-intentioned the documentary might be.

The New York Times documentary may have shown more sympathy towards Spears than other media outlets, but they still profited off her pain just as much as anyone else.

If hearing about the documentary and its contents was enough to make Spears cry for weeks, then perhaps more needs to be considered before we try to take control of her story.

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Does #FreeBritney cause more harm than good?

The documentary was born from the rise of the #FreeBritney movement, a movement seeking to end Spears’s father's conservatorship.

The movement has become increasingly popular across social media, and it's hard not to wonder if the creators of the Framing Britney Spears documentary seized on an opportunity and used Spears’s story as a cash-grab.

That said, we know that Spears no longer wants her father to be in charge of her conservatorship, as the singer recently filed a petition asking the court to replace him with court-appointed conservator Jodi Montgomery.

Followers of #FreeBritney are supporting her by advocating for this.

In the aftermath of the documentary, Republicans also proposed Congress review the laws around conservatorships which could be life-changing for Spears.

However, the reality is, we know very little about what Spears truly needs and wants.

She told fans, “It takes a lot of strength to trust the universe with your real vulnerability,” implying that there is likely a lot more to her story that happens out of sight.

Now, as BBC prepares to release yet another documentary about Spears’s life and the #FreeBritney movement, her calls for kindness matter more than ever.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment.