A year ago today a lot of us were facing both concern and disappointment. Britney Spears back in October of 2018, shortly after she wrapped up her Piece of Me tour, announced on the Ellen show that she was starting a new residency in Vegas called “Domination”. Many fans, including myself, were really excited and snatched tickets the second the dates went on sale. My crazy ass literally bought tickets for her first three shows, one of them would’ve been VIP.
I was really excited for this trip because over the years I have made many friends in the Britney army whether in Vegas or on social media who love Britney as much as I do. And majority of us planned to go to her first shows and were going to meet for the first time. We had planned so much together. From special outfits and other activities we were going to participate in together in Vegas. We were going to go to Fremont and do zip lining, I also had tickets to see the Backstreet boys for the first time and was really excited about that...It was going to be an epic trip...
However...Something did not feel right from the start and I’d be a moron not to admit that. Britney had just wrapped up her “Piece of Me” tour, which was also the show she did in Vegas for four years. The woman seemed exhausted and she barley had a break over the years. The announcement was so over hyped. They closed the entire strip of Las Vegas, and had an entire parade for her. We waited for over 30 minutes for her to show up on a podium just to wave, walk down basically a long cat walk, and walk straight into a car and her driver drove off....
Now if you’re a crazy Britney fan like me, although this sounds extremely tired and underwhelming, this is what I love about her. No fucks given and she just smiles, nods, and drives off into the night, hardly acknowledging anyone. Of course when she tried to sign an autograph for one fan, one of her security guards snatched her away real quick and would not let her sign for the fan.
I loved that she didn’t care, I mean after all what does she have left to prove, right? She’s an icon at this point. But it still did not feel right. Despite all of that, she started posting some rehearsal videos on Instagram. A lot of them got mixed reviews from fans, in my opinion she looked amazing, she was stepping it up a notch with the choreography, and I was really excited to see what this show was going to be all about. Even though so far the set list that we knew of were songs that were already in piece of me.
We literally did not know what to expect, except for the fact that a lot of us were hoping she’d bring back “overprotected” and perform “My prerogative” for the first time ever. I mean how appropriate would’ve it been considering she had just come out with a unisex perfume called “prerogative” at the time? And most of us found out she was indeed going to perform those songs and it was so disappointing that we didn’t get to ever see it.
But what came from this was more than disappointment, it was concern. Out of the blue on January 4th 2019, she made a post on social media and she mentioned that her father got sick and almost died and that she had to take time to take care of him. She canceled the entire residency....
Nobody wants to question the authenticity of something like this, how could you? But then out of nowhere she disappeared off social media and wasn’t seen anywhere in public. It’s as if she disappeared for a few months and at this point we were living in limbo as to what was going on with her and if she was okay...
A few months later, come April, Britney out of nowhere made a post about taking space and focusing on self care. Which had a lot of fans wondering what was going on but still had everyone excited to finally hear from her. Turned out, TMZ was releasing information to the public that she had been in a mental health facility getting help.
Nobody ever knew the real story behind this. But the podcast “Britney’s gram” basically got a tip from a paralegal who had inside scoop as to what really was possibly going on. It seemed Britney had been held in a facility against her will for months, and so much more. It seemed the story about her father being ill was fabricated so that they could cover up what was really happening.
All in all so many things started making sense. It was a dark time for the Britney army. From what we were learning is that she was forced into a lot of things, such as the tour she did over that summer, meet and greets, and starting the new domination residency. She seemed to be this puppet who was a money making machine for her father and anyone else who was in control of her....
This all goes back to 2007 when Britney had a breakdown which almost tarnished her career. She got the help she needed but right away, back in 2008, she had released a new album called “circus” and a tour and was already diving back into work without taking a much needed break to really recover. We all know she hasn’t been exactly the same since before 2007, but us fans love her so much that it didn’t matter to us. As long as she was alive and well, and of course still making music and performing for us....
Deep down over the years something never felt right to me but I was too scared to admit it. I felt someone was forcing her into all of this and that she wasn’t happy. I don’t know for sure obviously, this is just speculation, and the sad thing is speculating about this nowadays can get you in trouble. But using my free speech right as a fan I can express the concern I was feeling at the time without being punished for it....
After the breakdown she was put into a conservatorship. I am not going to deny that at the time it was appropriate. She was spiraling out of control and had her kids taken away. What didn’t make sense, and will never make sense to me, is that the conservatorship still exists almost 13 years later now...How on earth does someone who works nonstop, can get out of bed, feed themselves, and take care of themselves need to be in a conservatorship? Someone who works the job that she does? Makes no sense!
None of it made sense to me. And when these things were coming out to the public it made the fans outraged and the Britney army became a fighting force trying really hard to fight for her to get out of it. It was a dark time for me as well in my life, and I couldn’t believe this was happening to Britney at the same time...
The “FREE BRITNEY” movement became so popular it was all over the headlines. There were so many different stories coming out, I have to admit it was hard to keep track. But some things were painfully obvious. I won’t get into what was because I don’t want to get in trouble for stating an opinion. It was all painfully hard to watch...
I believe the outrage that came from fans, the protests, it shined a light on her situation and other people who go through conservatorship abuse. Apparently it’s very common and hardly spoken about. I strongly suggest people do research on this, it’s a terrible thing. The person literally loses majority of their rights, cannot make decisions for themselves, and in cases where its abused its like being a prisoner.
For a lot of us, we stopped caring about Britney the performer, but started caring about Britney the person. No human being should have to endure what she has over these years. Recently I watched the movie “Judy” about the story of Judy Garland’s last days. If you take a look at her life, it was awful. She was forced to starve herself when she was a kid and take all kinds of pills. Diet pills, pills to stay awake, and she had no control over her own money. Her kids were taken away from her and she had to keep performing just to try and earn a living despite all the money she had made and had no access to. She was used and abused, and it made me think so much about Britney and what she possibly could have been through her entire life and what she is going through now.
It doesn’t help that some fans/people were being hateful. Some were pulling through for her but once she started posting on social media again they stopped caring. Some got bored and just wanted new music from her. Some were saying cruel things about her appearance. Which clearly was upsetting her, as she had made several posts about mean comments on her Instagram and how it was hurting her feelings. The one thing social media has blessed us with, is seeing the ugly in people. People can be so cruel behind a phone or computer screen but I am sure in person they wouldn’t have the guts....
This “free Britney” movement has seemed to die down a little bit. I think because a lot of us are just waiting for her court dates to come. She is not allowed to see her children, she’s given more money to Kevin Federline, there’s so much going on, it’s hard to keep up. She also posts a lot more on Instagram which I think has distracted folks.
I don’t think it’s anyone’s job to fight for her if they don’t care anymore or don’t want to, and that’s fair. A lot of us are battling our own every day battles and I get that. I also toned it down and was going hard for her for the longest. But I still am rooting for her. I still am hoping she will get her freedom. I am even participating in a “free Britney” rally in New York City when she has her court date on 1/22/2020. It’s happening in Union Square if anyone is interested.
As much as I hope Britney the performer comes back, has a new tour or residency, makes new music, I pray Britney the person is okay first and foremost. She might just be a pop star to some, but for me she has helped saved my life in many ways. It’s why I care tremendously about her.
I pray that only good things happen from here on out. Since January 4th 2019 it’s been a rollercoaster for us Britney fans, and Britney herself. She seems stable and steady now and I just pray from here on out it only continues to get better. Most of all, I pray she will eventually be able to speak her truth, and tell her story herself some day. Maybe most of us have been wrong this entire time, maybe there’s more to it than we know, I just pray someday, we will know the truth, her truth!
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Louis Capici works in the health field and plays a role in saving lives. He writes on the side to express his views and thoughts on life.