You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the #FreeBritney movement, with the 38-year-old singer's behaviour sparking global concern.
The movement was started by members of the public who were concerned for Britney Spears' wellbeing following a series of strange activity, and calling for an end to her conservatorship.
Britney herself has addressed the concerns a year ago, but fans still believe that she is being manipulated by those around her, taking her latest Instagram posts as a call for help.
And with Britney's conservatorship recently extended until 22 August 2020 at least, fans are calling for Britney to be allowed a lawyer in order to free herself.
What is Britney Spears' conservatorship?
After Britney Spears' very public mental breakdown in 2008, she was put under a court-ordered conservatorship, with her personal, health and business decisions taken out of her hands. A conservatorship legally means that a guardian or 'conservator' manages the assets and the daily life of the 'conservatee' in question, due to them not being able to do it for themselves. Britney's longtime conservator has been her father, Jamie Spears. But after his resignation last year, Britney's former care manager, Jodi Montgomery, has now taken up the role. Fans are calling however for Britney's freedom from her 12-year conservatorship.
Britney's statement about the movement
Britney has addressed the movement before, releasing a video to Instagram in an attempt to ease fans' concerns. 'Hi guys, just checking in with all of you who are concerned about me,' Britney explained in the 2019 video. 'All is well. My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately, so I just needed time to deal. But don't worry: I'll be back very soon.'
Despite claims by those around her that everything is fine, there are a series of details that have not sat well with the movement. From Britney's disappearance from public view for days to Instagram posts using language that seems out of character, fans believe that the singer could be being controlled. This was a particular point for concern when it was reported that she was 'highly functional' despite her conservators’ lawyers allegedly claiming that she was 'gravely disabled.'
The anonymous phone call
The #FreeBritney movement was prompted by Britney's Gram, a podcast dedicated to looking into the singer's Instagram activity. After their theories that the singer was in trouble, they received a voicemail from an alleged former paralegal who worked on Britney's conservatorship who confirmed their theories.
The caller who has been kept anonymous made various claims about Britney's wellbeing and told the podcast hosts, 'You guys are onto something'.
The hidden messages in Britney Spears' posts
Fans involved in the #FreeBritney movement believe that the singer is sending the world messages with her Instagram posts. Britney posts on social media a lot, whether it's strange dance videos or cryptically dark quotes. These have sparked concern from fans who think she is being held against her will, calling to viewers for help.
The yellow top theory
The yellow top theory is one of the main clues the #FreeBritney movement has, with the chilling theory unfolding earlier this month. In one of Britney's bizarre posts on TikTok, a concerned viewer commented: 'If you need help, wear yellow in your next video.'
Taking to Instagram to post her next video, Britney was wearing a bright yellow top, even commenting on the look in her caption.
'My florist surprised me today by making the flower arrangement all different colors,' she captioned the video. 'I was so excited I threw on my favorite yellow shirt and just had to SHARE.'
The 'smile' theory
One video of Britney working out with her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, caused particular concern as he appeared to instruct her to 'smile' in the video.
The shout theory
Britney Spears posted a photograph to Instagram of her sunbathing on a beach back in February. In shot by her towel however was the book she was reading, entitled 'SHOUT', a book about abuse.
The White House #FreeBritney petition
A White House petition calling for legal help for Britney has surpassed its goal of 100,000 signatures, which means it must receive a response from the Trump administration.
'Since 2008 Britney Spears has been in a conservatorship that gives her conservator full control over her personal life & finances/estate,' reads the petition. 'Conservatorships are typically used for those that are SEVERELY mentally ill. Since ‘08, she has been on 3 world tours with dangerous flying & fire stunts. It’s safe to say she is sane enough to feed and cloth herself. With this conservatorship she is unable to properly fight for her freedom as she isn’t legally allowed to hire her own lawyer. We need this petition so that Britney can hire her own lawyer and live a normal life as a 38 year old woman with two kids.'
'She has tried over the years to fight, attempts were shut down. Please look into this case. Every American deserves civil liberties.'
We will continue to update this story.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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