The Dark Side of Fame: ‘Framing Britney Spears’


Courtesy of Glenn Francis

‘Framing Britney Spears’ explores controversial modern-day topics such as conservatorship and misogyny to showcase the downsides associated with stardom.

Among the rise of Y2K fashion and music trends making a comeback, celebrities from the early 2000s such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears are reentering the spotlight. This renewed attention is bringing to light topics never discussed by these public figures regarding the more twisted sides of stardom. 

Spears, who is known for her hit singles “Toxic” and “… Baby One More Time,” has been facing cruel commentary from the public since she first started releasing music. 

The documentary “Framing Britney Spears” covers the struggles Spears has had to deal with for over a decade. From her relationship with Justin Timberlake to the intense crowds of paparazzi following her day-to-day activities to criticism that her music was innapropriate, the documentary does an amazing job of highlighting how the media can destroy a person’s mental health.

The “Free Britney” movement gained an immense number of followers during quarantine, which is the main focus of the documentary. A combination of in-person and online protests revolve around Spears’ conservatorship struggle against her father, Jamie Spears. 

Jamie Spears gained complete control over his daughter around the time her fame was hitting an all-time low. The documentary also shows how moments such as Britney Spears shaving her head and attacking a paparazzi’s car with an umbrella were rooted in the mistreatment from the press and the misogyny she was facing on a regular basis.

Encompassing the theme of miscommunication, the documentary goes into detail about Britney Spears’ motives, such as her postpartum stage and constant invasion of privacy.

Due to these never-before-seen behavior patterns, Britney Spears was put into a “5150” hold, meaning she was placed in a psychiatric hospital for 72 hours. Ever since, Jamie Spears has gained the legal right of making all decisions regarding her public and personal life. 

The documentary has also caused controversy surrounding Britney Spears’ previous relationship with Timberlake. The film uses interviews from the past as concrete evidence of Britney Spears being shamed on television and magazines across the country after their breakup. Soon after the release, Timberlake issued a public apology for the way he acted in the public eye after they separated.

Just one week after the documentary came out, the “Free Britney” movement had its first major victory when a Los Angeles judge denied Jamie Spears from keeping some of his control over her estate. If Britney Spears were to ever win this case, she would regain control over her finances and daily routines.

The hour-and-a-half documentary can be streamed on FX, Hulu, YouTube TV and fuboTV.