“Why would she need someone to take care of her?” : students react to #freebritney
When Drew Hudson, a third year student at St. Thomas University, went to class the day after Britney Spears’ father announced he would be stepping down as curator, he recalled a teacher saying : ” She’s free ! To which Hudson replied, “Well, sort of.”
Spears, child star turned pop icon, is in an ongoing public battle for his personal freedoms.
The controversy, covered by the media and several documentaries over the past year, is based on Spears’ attempts to break out of his tutelage. His father resigned his post as curator in August.
Guardianship is put in place when a court judges that a person is not sane to manage their medical and financial responsibilities so that another person takes over. For Spears, that person was his father, Jamie Spears.
Spears’ father was responsible for his personal decisions and his $ 60 million estate for 13 years.
âIt’s a good thing his father isn’t the one in control,â Hudson said. “But again, there is someone in control.”
The #freebritney movement gained traction in April 2019. Started by concerned fans, Hudson said people would scan Spears’ Instagram posts, trying to find a hidden subtext in the captions. With enough attention online and in protests, the issue of Spears’ welfare has once again made headlines.
Since being placed under trusteeship in 2008, Spears has released four studio albums and completed a four-year residency in Las Vegas.
Working under guardianship was one of the reasons fans were alarmed. Hudson said many fans wanted Spears to be responsible for herself.
“She’s a grown woman with a life of her own who has worked so hard so far,” said Hudson. “So why would she need someone to take care of her?” “
Hudson has been following Spears’ case for the past several years. He said he has an affinity for women in the public eye and thinks there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding them. In middle and high school, when he expressed his love for Spears, his classmates called the singer “crazy.”
“It’s always harder for women in the media than for men to do just about anything,” said Hudson.
He hopes the #freebritney movement will bring more attention to the guardianship system. He said that despite less media attention, celebrities like Amanda Bynes were also previously under guardianship.
Hudson said he thinks sometimes people forget that celebrities are also human.
âYou wouldn’t want that to happen to your best friend or someone like that,â Hudson said. “So why would you let this happen to a celebrity?” “
FÃ©lix Turgeon, a second year student at STU, said the subject is much more serious than you might think. As more and more detail came out, the darker it seemed to get, said Turgeon.
Spears rose to fame at a young age, appearing at the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with other well-known names like Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. Spears released her debut album, âBaby One More Time,â at the turn of the century and was then cemented not only as a pop icon, but also as an LGBTQIA2 + icon, Turgeon said.
Growing up in a French household, Turgeon listened to icons of the 70s and 80s like Celine Dion and Michael Jackson. It wasn’t until he was seven that he started listening to Spears, but the connection was instantaneous.
âShe is one of the first icons who made me who I am today,â said Turgeon.
With the #freebritney movement, he said that documentaries like Coaching Britney Spears helped the audience understand what was going on.
After Spears first testified in court this summer, the full story of how she felt about being in the Guardianship came out.
âIt was ruined everything they did to him,â Turgeon said. “She couldn’t even see her sons.”
During the tutorship, the 39-year-old singer was unable to go on a date, shop, release new music, or talk to people she didn’t know without her father’s consent.
Turgeon was relieved to see Spears’ father step down from his role.
He said women in the music industry are meant to be perfect, and when faced with mental health or addiction issues, they are often treated differently from their male counterparts.
âBeing under a microscope in the world which is a music industry, which is such a tough business to do,â Turgeon said. âIt messes up your sanity and your mind for sure. “