Britney Spears has been hounded by the press and paparazzi for over two decades now.
Lately, her social media page is not only filled with typical mom quotes, but also more personal messages about her wellness and life. Her first Instagram story, however, diverged from these patterns.
After yachting with her boyfriend, Britney took to Instagram to introduce a "conspiracy theory" she's been working on:
"Hello, and please don't judge me, I look haggard right now. But my question to all of you is: a lot of fans in our world today, they always are subject to really criticize people and say that the pictures and videos that they're posting are either not on time or they're fake.
"But no one ever really asks: Are the paparazzi pictures fake, and do the paparazzi people do stuff to the pictures and is the news really real? It's a conspiracy theory that I'm actually interested in. Yesterday I went swimming. I look like I'm 40 pounds bigger [than I am today]. This is how I am right now, and I'm skinny as a needle. You tell me, what is real?"
While Spears is in fact "skinny as a needle" and toned like a goddess, angles were obviously a factor.
She tends to be sillier on her Instagram than some of her pop peers, but the pressure and refocused spotlight may be getting to her. With the #FreeBritney movement and on-going concern for Britney's mental health, it's difficult not to take note of the manic expression on the star's face in the video. The proud gym rat prioritizes her physique, but calling out the paparazzi for the first time since the mid 2000s raises eyebrows and possibly points to an unraveling icon. Spears' distrust of the media is understandable, as the traumatizing tabloid era and Britney frenzy would make anyone distrustful and full of disdain. Hopefully, the media can soon regain her trust to help drive the #FreeBritney movement forward.