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The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Britney Spears tells her story with memoir: “The Woman in Me”

Photo courtesy of Amazon
For the first time since being freed from her conservatorship, Britney Spears finally addresses her fans with her new memoir, “The Woman in Me.”

Britney Spears has decided to give the public more. Almost two years after the end of her conservatorship, on October 24th, Spears released her long-awaited memoir titled “The Woman in Me,” illustrating her life as a worldwide pop sensation, her thirteen-year-long conservatorship and how she was finally able to reclaim her life and tell her story.

In 2008, Britney Spears was put under a conservatorship due to multiple public breakdowns. Essentially, a conservatorship is a type of legal guardianship for people who can not take care of themselves, for example, someone suffering with dementia. This conservatorship gave Spears’s father complete control over her estate and her life.

For thirteen years, Spears was under the complete control of her family. They decided what she ate, where she went, even when she used the bathroom. The public remained mostly willfully oblivious during these thirteen years. However, in 2020, the conversation started that spurred the #FreeBritney movement, a movement advocating Spears’s freedom from her conservatorship. Due to #FreeBritney, Spears’s conservatorship officially ended in November 2021.

However, Spears’s fans didn’t really hear from Spears herself after her conservatorship ended. Despite many long, winding Instagram posts, fans wondered if Spears was even really free. With the release of Spears’s memoir, “The Woman in Me,” Spears has finally been given an opportunity to tell her story to a more understanding world.

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This memoir had a very complicated task. Spears’ life has been tumultuous ever since the release of “Baby…One More Time” when she was only sixteen. It does a good job of this, providing context for iconic celebrity moments such as Spears’ 2001 VMA Performance in which she danced with a snake. It’s revealed in the memoir that Spears was terrified of the snake the whole dance.

The book also describes Spears’s positive relationships with many female celebrities. Spears discusses how kind Mariah Carey was when she first met her, how Madonna helped to boost her career, and how Paris Hilton was there for her while Spears was going through an incredibly upsetting divorce.

Despite these positive moments, this book heavily discusses how the men that Spears dated helped to ruin her life. While previously, Spears had never really provided her own perspective on her breakup with Justin Timberlake, this book goes into incredible detail about how Timberlake was able to twist the narrative of their breakup into something that benefited him and hurt her.

Spears also details her relationship with Kevin Federline. While previously, the public has only been able to understand this relationship through Federline’s words and tabloid headlines, Spears illustrates the heartbreaking divorce that separated her from her children with empathy for both sides of the divorce.

“The Woman in Me” also details how public opinion of Spears partly forced her into conservatorship. She explains how constant paparazzi chases exhausted her and kept her from raising her children in a normal environment. Spears provides her own perspective about the many famous tabloid headlines that twisted her image so negatively it aided her father in establishing her conservatorship.

There are so many different aspects of Spears’s life encompassed in this memoir. But at its core, it questions why female celebrities are treated so differently from male celebrities, especially during the early 2000s. Ever since she became famous, Spears has been bombarded with deeply personal questions by the public about her romantic relationships and her parenting, something that didn’t happen to Justin Timberlake or Kevin Federline. And that is just scratching the surface of this issue. This double standard partly led to Spears being stripped of thirteen years of her life.

Overall, this memoir contextualizes Spears’s tumultuous life, giving the public an opportunity to understand and empathize with her story. This memoir is a beautiful depiction of how a pop star was able to overcome every obstacle and emerge stronger, and it is something anyone should read if they truly want to understand Spears.

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About the Contributor
Rebecca Dean, Assistant Arts Editor
Rebecca Dean is a junior and the Assistant Arts Editor of the Observer. This is her second year taking journalism. She loves to read in her free time. This year, she is excited to further develop her writing skills and meet new people.

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