As her legal battle with her father continues and her fairytale wedding is crashed by a toxic ex-husband, when will Britney finally be allowed to live happily ever after?
If there’s one woman the internet has collectively placed its unequivocal support behind, it’s Britney Spears.
Throughout her journey from beloved pop princess to her widely publicised mental health struggles and battle for freedom from her father’s gruelling 13-year conservatorship, fans have rallied behind her pursuit of a quiet, happy and peaceful life.
Under the conservatorship, Britney claimed she had been drugged, forced to perform against her will and prevented from getting married and having more children. So when it finally ended in November 2021, many hoped she was well on her way to a well-deserved fairytale ending.
But despite her freedom, Spears continues to find herself under the same insidious media microscope she’s experienced since childhood.
With every Instagram video she posts, whether she’s gleefully showing off an outfit or posing for the camera, Britney is scrutinised from every angle. She’s faced body shaming, ridicule for the zany nature of her clips and outpourings of “concern” for her mental wellbeing.
It seems the media is still obsessed with centring Spears in any kind of controversy they can. Just this week, she responded to claims made by fellow singer Kelly Clarkson that she might have faked her infamous 2007 breakdown for album publicity.
Even her moments of joy appear to be marred by the bad behaviour of those in her life.
Announcing her engagement to longtime partner Sam Asghari in September 2021, Spears wrote: “I can’t fucking believe it.”
On Instagram, she described how before the ceremony she was “was so nervous all morning” and experienced “a panic attack and then got it together”.
However, their wedding this week was interrupted by Spears’ ex-husband Jason Alexander, who was later charged with two counts of misdemeanour battery, one count of misdemeanour vandalism and one count of misdemeanour trespassing at the ceremony.
The couple were later granted an emergency restraining order against Alexander.
Britney has also experienced deep personal tragedy in the months since her conservatorship ended.
After publicly announcing their pregnancy in April, a few weeks later Britney and Asghari shared the devastating news that they’d lost their “miracle baby”.
“Perhaps we should have waited to announce until we were further along, however we were overly excited to share the good news,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. “Our love for each other is our strength. We will continue trying to expand our beautiful family.”
She remains embroiled in legal disputes with her father over her estate, including allegations that Mr Spears surveilled Britney and requested “specific items from Ms Spears’s iCloud, such as therapy notes or text messages” as well as GPS data to obtain the locations of certain people, including “former romantic interests”.
Britney’s estranged relationship with her sister, Jamie-Lynn, has also been widely publicised, following the publication of Jamie-Lynn’s memoir, which Britney slammed as “derogatory”.
In a cease and desist letter, Britney’s lawyer Matthew Rosengart claimed that the “ill-timed” memoir, published in the wake of #FreeBritney, contained several “misleading or outrageous claims” and stated that Britney believes her sister has “exploited her for monetary gain”.
Jamie-Lynn refuted the statement, claiming: “My book is not about her. I can’t help that I was born a Spears too, and that some of my experiences involve my sister.”
As a woman who has been beloved then scorned then beloved once more by popular culture, Britney is certainly more than entitled to live whatever kind of life she wants, whether it’s wholly, partly or hardly in the public eye.
She has already suggested that she won’t return to performing and expressed a desire to expand her family with Asghari.
But whether you’re a fan or not, you can’t help but root for someone who has been through so much to finally achieve their happy ending. Whatever it looks like, we only hope that she finds it soon.