It’s the summer of Britney Spears. In June, the singer gave a devastating, disturbing court testimony about the depth of control the conservatorship by her father Jamie Spears has had over her life. She’s been fighting for her freedom all summer, and just days ago saw a major victory: Jamie Spears asked to step down from her conservatorship.
Now, Britney has been named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 — which should come as no surprise after the wild swell of the #FreeBritney movement after the New York Times documentary that brought to light the disturbing details of the conservatorship and sought to reframe how we as a culture view Spears, particularly during the vicious tabloid culture of the 2000s.
When most people think of Britney Spears, they think of Britney the superstar. She’s iconic. A legend. One of the most influential artists in pop-music history.
When I think of Britney Spears, I see the sweetest soul. A mother. A friend. A fighter. A young woman who grew up in the tabloid culture of the 2000s, when the paparazzi machine was accepted, unforgiving and cruel.
She continues, writing that Britney “embodies joy and shares the light of her beautiful heart, forever the superstar,” and praises her “unwavering spirit” that’s “stronger than ever.”
Whichever editor commissioned Paris to write the blurb for the TIME article should get a raise — but then again, who better could have written it? Hilton has been supportive of Britney’s fight for freedom all summer, weighing in on the developments of the conservatorship case and sharing support on her podcast This Is Paris.
It makes sense: Paris just gets it. Paris and Britney are two of the biggest, most culturally significant stars who together survived the brutal tabloid era, from the first time Perez Hilton (literally named after Paris) started drawing all over paparazzi pics in MS Paint. They survived an era where girls were allowed to be called stupid on the cover of national publications — and have come out the other side in 2021, bringing a cultural reckoning with them.
Spears isn’t quite free yet. But she’s already been exercising what appears to be some newfound freedom: She got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari last week and deactivated her Instagram this week to take some time off to celebrate.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 29, where the judge will take up Jamie Spears' request to terminate the conservatorship.