The curious case of Britney Spears continues to evolve, this time with a lengthy Instagram caption from the singer.
Monday afternoon, Spears shared a video of herself dancing (one of her preferred varieties of social posts). The almost 90-second clip is accompanied by a long caption, rife with emojis (also typical of her Instagram presence). “Geez !!!! 2021 is definitely way better than 2020 but I never knew it was gonna be like THIS,” the caption begins. “So many documentaries about me this year with other people’s takes on my life … what can I say … I’m deeply flattered !!!!”
She continues, however: “These documentaries are so hypocritical … they criticize the media and then do the same thing ???????? Damn … I don’t know y’all but I’m thrilled to remind you all that although I’ve had some pretty tough times in my life … I’ve had waaaayyyy more amazing times in my life and unfortunately my friends … I think the world is more interested in the negative ??♀️??♀️??♀️ !!!!”
In February, the documentary Framing Britney Spears premiered as part of FX’s standalone doc series The New York Times Presents. The Samantha Stark-directed film (now streaming on FX and Hulu) inspired a fan outcry — and one high-profile apology — for its account of Spears’ cruelly unfair treatment by the media in the aughts, as well as for its explanation of the legal conservatorship that has been in place since her public breakdown in 2008. Under the guardianship, the singer’s father, Jamie Spears, legally wields control over her finances, career, and personal life; the ongoing court case over the arrangement has inspired the fan-led #FreeBritney movement, which seeks to liberate Spears from her father’s control and advocates for probate court reform — and which has gained considerable momentum in the months since that doc’s debut.
Framing Britney Spears was only the beginning of this singular moment in the “Overprotected” singer’s life in the spotlight, however. Mobeen Azhar’s documentary The Battle for Britney: Fans, Cash, and a Conservatorship premiered in the U.K. over the weekend (it will become available to stream stateside May 11 on BBC Select), and Netflix reportedly has its own Britney doc in the works from filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, per Bloomberg.
Before Monday, Spears’ acknowledgment of Framing Britney Spears and its explosive impact had been minimal. Immediately following the release, she posted a throwback video of herself with a cryptic caption saying, “Each person has their story.” That post concluded: “Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens.” In late March, she posted another video of herself dancing accompanied by a long caption, this time admitting, “I didn’t watch the documentary but from what I did see of it I was embarrassed by the light they put me in … I cried for two weeks and well …. I still cry sometimes !!!!”
The latest video caption continues: “I mean … isn’t this supposed to be a business and society about THE FUTURE ??? ???? Why highlight the most negative and traumatizing times from my life and forever ago ???? I mean DAMN … on a lighter note, this is a video of me dancing ??? !!!!”
This new post comes six days after Spears’ most recent court date, at which time Spears’ court-appointed lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III (as Framing Britney Spears explains and #FreeBritney advocates cite as evidence of probate court corruption, she has been prevented from retaining her own counsel) requested on behalf of his client that she be allowed to address the court herself. Judge Brenda Penny agreed to the request for an “expedited” hearing during which the “Stronger” singer can speak, scheduling it for June 23.
FX Britney Spears shooting the ‘Lucky’ music video in 2000
That date sits heavy on the calendar of Britney-watchers, but the Instagram caption enumerates some other things she’s looking forward to. “I have so many trips I’m looking forward to taking this summer and I can’t wait to dance in different studios ?♀️?♀️?♀️ !!!!” she writes. “I’m hoping to get a miniature koi pond in my backyard as well ??? !!!! I know I’m weird but hey … it’s the little things you know … and I’m so grateful for my beautiful backyard !!!!”
With that, she calls out to some fellow celebs: “I’m no @MarthaStewart that’s for sure … but I will tell you I have the finest garden here in LA,” she claims. “I hope you’re all living your best lives and s— or as @parishilton would say SLIVING!!! … I know I am ???!!!!” Hilton, who was famously friends with Spears in the aughts (and suffered the vicious media culture of the time alongside her), has expressed her support for the “Everytime” singer on her podcast, This Is Paris. She also commented in response to being tagged in Spears’ new post: “? Yas!! ✨??✨ SLIVING sis!! ??????? Love you babe!?”
The post concludes with a less familiar name-drop. “PSSSS I don’t actually talk to Billy B AT ALL so I’m honestly very confused ???!!!” Spears writes. “This is my Instagram !!!! PSSSSS no paparazzi guy … I didn’t want you and your crew following me around !!!!”
The paparazzi guy in question is presumably the one interviewed in Framing Britney Spears, who indicates in the film that the relationship between the star and the photographers who mercilessly hounded her in the mid-2000s was somehow symbiotic rather than exploitative. “Billy B” would appear to be Billy Brasfield — Spears’ former makeup artist, who reportedly posted to Instagram after the star’s “I cry sometimes” post in March (his account is currently private), then spoke to Page Six alleging that “the content is her, but … the words are NOT how she feels.”
“I immediately knew it was not her,” he told the publication, alleging that she confirmed his suspicions to him via text. “What was upsetting [about the post] — it was basically a narrative denouncing her fans and the Free Britney movement and people now taking a very conscious look at the facts and what is going on.”
The question of whether or not Spears is in control of her own social media — since she wields little control over so many other aspects of her life — is frequently raised by fans who take careful note of her every move across social channels. (For instance, the “Each person has their story” post was shared simultaneously on both Instagram and Twitter, which many followers pointed out is unusual for the star.) Monday’s Instagram missive is the latest piece in an ever-developing puzzle.