My childhood belongs to the Spears family. Jamie Lynn starred in one of my favorite shows, Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101, as the title character, while Britney was the soundtrack of my adolescence.
Growing up, I’d sing “Toxic” at the top of my lungs. And the Circus and Blackout albums endlessly circulated through my iPod Nano. Britney’s denim outfit alongside Justin Timberlake were one of the most popular couple’s costumes every year.
And as I grew older, I was stunned by the truth that came out about the realities of Britney Spears’ life. Once the world’s sweetheart, she was constantly ridiculed online and began posting seemingly out-of-character Instagram videos. The world started paying closer attention, and the #FreeBritney movement began.
“I don’t think people knew how much the #FreeBritney movement meant to me…And the fact that my friends and my fans sensed what was happening and did all that for me, that’s a debt I can never repay”
Fans of Spears’ were told that the star’s erratic behavior may have be due to her father’s, Jamie Spears’ conservatorship that granted him control over Britney’s estate and personal affairs. A legal battle ensued, and in November 2021, Britney Spears was officially free.
“The conservatorship was created supposedly because I was incapable of doing anything at all…So why was it that a few weeks later, they had me shoot an episode of How I Met Your Mother and then sent me on a grueling world tour?”
Considering the horrors of Britney’s conservatorship, the harrowing legal trial, and all she’d endured, you might assume the harsh online criticism was over...You’d be wrong, because that’s the American public: ever-present, ever-hypercritical.
Which is why everyone had to read her debut memoir, The Woman In Me, it’s such a cultural phenomenon. We know the Britney Spears of the tabloids and the stage and the trial, but we’ve never heard her story from her perspective. Which is why I had to read it myself.
@yourbestfriendjoshua These are the biggest BOMBSHELLS about Britney Spears’ time in the 13+ year conservatorship, in her own words…🤯🤯🤯 #britneyspears #omg #justiceforbritney ♬ Biggest BOMBSHELLS in Britney Spears memoir - Joshua Pingley
What’s glaringly obvious from the book’s first paragraph, is that Britney must have had a strong hand in writing it. The sentences are quite simple, and this isn’t to insult her writing because I believe she’s got a fantastic story, but you can tell a professional writer did not write this. I was able to read 288 pages in only a few hours total!
Britney is clearly traumatized from a whole host of situations: her father stealing her money, being overworked and stay captive inside all day, her family turning on her for the sake of conservatorship, and the fact that Justin Timberlake wanted her to go through an at-home abortion so the public wouldn’t find out.
@betches This Britney and Justin tea is too piping hot to deal with! ☕️ #britneyspearsmemoir #britneyandjustin #justintimberlakebritneyspearsbreakup #thewomaninmebritneyspears ♬ original sound - Betches
She details her life in an honest and open manner that we’ve never seen before: her abusive marriage with Kevin Federline, how Justin Timberlake cheated on her multiple times, the abortion, the conservatorship, and her relationship with each family member including Jamie Lynn.
It’s genuinely haunting to hear the torture and abuse that she’s endured so far in her life, but also helps you understand Britney. While her Instagram posts may be off-putting to some, she’s lived so much of her life under the control of others.
“I would go to sleep early. And then I would wake up and do what they told me again. And again. And again. It was like Groundhog Day. I did that for thirteen years.”
But there are happy moments captured by Spears as well: her love for her children and her fans, her dedication to performing and the albums she loved writing. And then there’s her account of regaining her sense of self.
Now, we get to see Britney as she’d like to be seen: a strong performer, a loving mother and friend, and someone who deserves to live her own life on her own terms.
You don’t always get a firsthand glimpse into the life of one of the most famous pop-stars in the world…so when you do, you read their memoir.