From the tender age of four, Britney Spears has only ever known the spotlight. She has gone from being a child star on the Mickey Mouse Club with other well known faces, including Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling, to becoming one of the world’s greatest pop princesses, selling out arenas worldwide on numerous world tours.

Too much, too young

But in 2007, everything took a sad turn for Britney. Having gone through a highly-publicised separation with then-husband Kevin Federline who is the father of her two children, the media scrutiny on her daily life became too much for Britney and played a huge factor in her public breakdown.

The whirlwind of events that occurred left the media in no doubt that Britney was experiencing a mental breakdown. From late night shopping trips talking in a British accent to the iconic images of her shaving her head, she had clearly reached breaking point.

UNSPECIFIED LOCATION – UNSPECIFIED DATE: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Britney Spears is pictured. Spears is the subject of the documentary “I Am Britney Jean” which details her personal and professional life. (Photo by Michelangelo Di Battista/Sony/RCA via Getty Images)

And the heartbreak didn’t end there; she also lost custody of her two boys, Sean Preston and Jayden-James, when Kevin Federline was given sole custody of the boys, which led to more trauma and even hospitalisation for Britney on several occasions.

Following the incident which led to the second hospitalisation her father signed a court petition which made him a temporary conservator until Britney was mentally stable and able to handle her affairs.

Britney on the road to recovery

After a short couple of months Britney managed to push herself back into her work life releasing her hit single “Womanizer” and also appearing on several TV shows.

From the outside it seemed as though she was making the right steps towards finding herself again.

Britney Spears in David Dalrymple performing onstage at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards held at Radio City Music Hall on September 7, 2000  Photographer:  Scott Gries/Getty Images
Britney Spears in David Dalrymple performing onstage at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards held at Radio City Music Hall on September 7, 2000 Photographer: Scott Gries/Getty Images

FreeBritney

However, recently “FreeBritney” has been trending on social media platforms which has raised a lot of concerns about what is happening in Britney’s world.

It has been reported that her father signed an extension after the first year to carry on being the temporary conservator as Britney has allegedly “been showing signs of dementia” for many years, deeming her incapable of handling her own affairs.

Britney who is now 38 years of age, has since carried out a four-year Vegas residency, brought out four studio albums, released documentaries on her private life and was a regular judge on American X-Factor, to name just a few of her achievements since the events of 2007.

But it has come to light that she is still under the supervision of her father and has countless restrictions, requiring permission to do countless things. She has to seek authorisation to do something as simple as driving to a fast food restaurant. The list of reported restrictions ranges from a weekly financial allowance through to what she is allowed to post on social media.

The “FreeBritney” post on social media has received over half a million likes and endless shares in the past 24 hours with concerned well-wishers calling for Britney to have her freedom.

While the true inner workings of Britney’s life are impossible to fully understand, the restrictions on the freedom of an apparently fully capable adult woman are truly unsettling.

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