Britney vs. Spears: Her Private Life Continues Under Public Scrutiny

The new Netflix documentary joins others that continue to expose the legal process experienced by "the princess of pop".

Still from the documentary 'Britney vs. Spears'

The film explains the origin of the singer’s personal problems, the various issues that led to the guardianship and how her career has been able to continue in parallel with these problems. Photo: YT-Netflix

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

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Leer en español: Britney vs. Spears: la vida de la artista privada continúa en escrutinio público

The documentary Britney vs. Spears, directed by journalist Jenny Eliscu and filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, in which they collect testimonies and documents that, from their point of view, reveal the complex legal framework that keeps Britney Spears under the control of her father, Jamie. The film explains the origin of the singer's personal problems, the various issues that led to the guardianship and how her career has been able to continue in parallel with these problems.

Britney vs. Spears

It has been a busy year for the personal life and career of Britney Spears, a celebrity who maintains her place as "the princess of pop" despite the legal problems she faces. On June 23, a statement before the court put her on the road to "freedom" when she expressed her desire to end the guardianship of her father and the exploitation that she has experienced of those around her (at least from her point of view ). In this context, the documentary starts from the moment in which the star was at the peak of her musical career and how her private life began to collapse until she reached the beginning of her father's guardianship over her and her assets.

The production explores how the pop star's career developed despite her tutelage, the success of her tours and albums, as well as what happened in her private life year by year. Eliscu and Carr interview doctors, former representatives, friends, assistants and other people close to her, trying to find and clarify inconsistencies such as declaring her with dementia, but at the same time committing her to world tours in which she was the mastermind of everything.

The work tries to maintain a visual language in which Britney Spears is not presented again with the iconic images that show her worst moments and that generated a negative image of her as a mother and a woman. However, the documentary falls into the same vice of many other works on the same subject: the overexposure of his private life. In any case, the title that refers to the legal and personal problem between Britney and her father, could also be extended to the media that have exploited her privacy and that have subscribed to the problem.

You can also read: I May Destroy You: What is the role of television in consent education?

Britney Spears as a victim of the media

Diana of Wales is an example of the power and influence that the media have when meddling in people's private lives, media harassment contributed to the final destiny of the princess. The Britney Spears case is similar in terms of harassment and the way her private life is presented. For almost two decades, she has been the target of paparazzi, tabloids, reporters and the general media who want to get the first news about what is happening in her life and, in some cases, show the "truth" about the case.

Only in 2021 two documentaries about the pop star were released on different platforms, one is of course Britney vs. Spears on Netflix, and Framing Britney Spears premiered on Hulu. Both productions deal with the same subject, although with different languages and with different approaches, in full effervescence by the #FreeBritney campaign that had a great impact due to the advances in the legal process.

Something that has been little emphasized is how all this affects her life and emotional stability, in Framing Britney Spears we can observe moments in which Spears suffers attacks from the media through invasive questions about her privacy and that are nurtured of rumors, in search of feeding that negative image that was built around her.

The contradiction then is that the same media apparatus that intervened in her life, that helped Spears to be portrayed as someone mentally unstable, and that possibly also had a negative effect on the legal process, now tries to vindicate her image. Although their intention has been to analyze the matter "objectively", they have fallen into the same problem by treating their private life as a central axis and feeding theories that have served as the basis for campaigns among their followers. For the moment, the musical career of "the princess of pop" continues to be in the background, behind the scandals that surround her.

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