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    23 Things That Were Left Out Of The "Free Britney" Documentary That I Really, Really Wish Were Included

    There is so much more to the story.

    As a lifelong fan I really enjoyed the New York Times' Framing Britney Spears documentary. It's important that the general public gets the basic facts. But there were some things I wish were included or were better communicated. Here's a list of those things only super fans know.

    1. The mysterious appearance of this album cover.

    RCA

    In 2016, Britney released her ninth studio album, Glory. The cover for the album was a screenshot from a re-shot music video. It was, and is, awful.

    RCA

    Then, one random day in 2020, this cover featuring Britney breaking away from chains appeared on streaming platforms.

    RCA

    Fans were super excited about Britney's Glory album because Britney was working with David LaChapelle on the visuals for the album. So it was especially shocking when the album was released with a literal screenshot from a music video as the album cover. We had no idea what happened to the LaChapelle shoot.

    Fast forward four years later, on a random day in 2020, a new cover randomly appeared on Spotify. The new cover featured Britney breaking away from chains, seemingly liberated in the desert. Symbolic? Seems like it. Why wasn't this original cover released in the first place?

    2. The unreleased "Make Me..." music video and the one request Britney had for the director.

    Twitter: @SpearsSparkles

    Not only did David LaChapelle work with Britney on the visuals for the Glory album cover, but he also directed the music video for the lead single from the album.

    Like the original album cover, the music video was also scrapped. The video randomly leaked online in 2019 and that too was full of symbolism.

    In a lengthy now-deleted Instagram post, LaChapelle said Britney had one request for the video: She wanted to be put in a cage.

    The caption said: “The video/song wasn’t released because Britney didn’t like it. Her voice as an artist, should be respected. The only direction Britney ever gave me for this video is for me to film her in the cage. At the time I didn’t understand why would you want to be filmed in a cage? At first I envisioned to film her as a tigress, but she wanted to be filmed more timid, like a kitten. For everyone on my team, at least, we could tell something was off.”

    3. The way Britney completely transformed Las Vegas.

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    A narrative that continues to play over and over in Britney's career is that she never gets credit where her credit is due.

    Britney quite literally changed Las Vegas in the 2010s. Her wildly successful Vegas residency changed what people originally thought a Vegas residency was. Before Britney's residency, Vegas was seen as a place for has-beens or acts that were targeted to boomers. Now it's trendy and cool. Everyone is doing it. She's responsible for bringing young people to Vegas.

    One thing the documentary failed to show was her massive success in the 2010s. Britney was and still is a HUGE global popstar.

    4. The sold-out world tours.

    cnn.com

    Not only was Britney performing sold out Vegas residency shows in the 2010s, but she went on a wildly successful world tour in 2017. All of this under the conservatorship.

    5. One of the best years in Britney’s career was 2016. She released one of the best and most critically-acclaimed albums of her career, gave some of her best performances in a decade, and basically proved to all the naysayers that she was in her prime.

    Britney sitting on stage in a rhinestoned leotard with matching choker and knee-high boots
    Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

    I just want to circle back and say that 2016 was a HUGE year for Britney. She took the stage for the VMAs for the first time since 2008, she released one of the most cohesive and excellent albums of her career, and she seemed the happiest and healthiest she’s been. Some fans even call it her second prime.

    6. Britney allegedly talked about the conservatorship in a 2016 interview that was cut from air.

    youtube.com

    Here's the thing: Britney hasn't ever really given an interview about the conservatorship. There is basically only one time she did and that was on the Jonathan Ross Show. The clip was allegedly cut from the final broadcast. According to an audience member she said, "Okay, so I have this conservatorship. I've been under this conservatorship for three years and I felt like a lot of decisions were made for me, so I wanted Glory to be my baby and I've been really strategic about it." According to Pop Crush the same audience member said it seemed like she really wanted to talk about it.

    FTR, neither Jonathan nor Britney's team have commented on this reported incident.

    7. This truly bizarre video of The View celebrating Britney Spears' divorce from K-Fed in 2006.

    View this video on YouTube

    ABC/youtube.com

    Britney was was 24 with two infant children when she announced her divorce from K-Fed. Again: 24 with two babies! It's absurd and incredibly upsetting to see people celebrating, with confetti canons (!!), the breakdown of her marriage. Can you imagine?

    8. When MTV sat Britney down to watch and react to (cruel) criticism from random people in Times Square.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    I think about this video a lot. Following her iconic 2000 VMA performance, MTV sat Britney down and had her react to people railing on her. It breaks my heart and really, I don’t get the point. It’s just mean and, sadly, was something that was done to her time and time again.

    I think this video captures the overwhelming "meanness" average people were conditioned to have about Britney. The slut-shaming. The cruelty. It also goes into the whole argument of Britney as a role model, which is something she has said for YEARS she never wanted to be.

    In A CD:UK interview from 2003 Britney said, "The only person I'm a role model for is my sister. That's it. Other than that, I'm here in the world to inspire people, not tell them what to do."

    9. Britney's love for driving.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    In this bonus clip from the 2008 For the Record documentary, the interviewer asked Britney when she last felt free. Her answer: "When I get to drive my car. There's something about being able to drive your car that allows freedom, and I haven't been able to drive my car." Britney fans know she loves driving. It's kind of her thing. So when we see her driving her car, we get a little excited. She's happy.

    10. Megyn Kelley’s attacking Britney for her song “If U Seek Amy” and Britney’s subsequent jab back/mocking of it in her music video.

    Fox

    Britney is smart. Very smart. In 2009 she snuck “f-u-c-k” on the radio in her song “If U Seek Amy.” This pissed off Megyn Kelly and she did a whole segment against the song.

    The music video for "If U Seek Amy" was released after Megyn's segment with a Megyn Kelly lookalike saying the same thing.

    RCA

    She dragged Megyn Kelly before dragging Megyn Kelly was cool.

    11. The boyband double standards.

    youtube.com

    Britney was well aware of the double standards against her. In this super early interview from 1999 she called it out.

    "I did the 'Baby' video with my belly showing or whatever. I love BSB and NSYNC, but when they're doing all those thrusts on stage and make out with a microphone no one says anything about that. When I'm just showing a little belly they're like "oooh!"

    12. The cryptic messages Britney put on her website from 2004-07.

    britslettersoftruth.tumblr.com

    From approximately 2004–07, Britney posted letters on her website that were...very cryptic. It was a rare look into what she was thinking. It was one of the few outlets she could express her thoughts and it true Britney fashion it was equal parts funny, clever, and mysterious. Britney has something to say and she knows subtle ways of getting her message out there.

    13. This clip of Oprah saying Britney was the kindest, nicest guest she's ever had in the history of her show.

    One of my favorite Britney moments-at the height of her stardom and still kind

    I think it gets lost that Britney is genuinely one of the nicest celebrities out there. Celebrity after celebrity say it when they meet her. She's one of the best.

    14. Gone into deeper length about the censorship of her interviews.

    My last Billboard cover story was with Brit in 2015, and it was rough. All my questions had to be vetted in advance, her manager (and surely the whole conservator team) listened in the whole time and she sounded so trapped & uncomfortable. I hope she finds peace soon #FreeBritney

    Twitter: @ahampp

    The past 12 years or so have been very...tight lipped.

    Britney has been notoriously hard to interview.

    Remember that time @britneyspears’ dad had me banned from ever working with her again because I didn’t ask HIM for permission to a photo she HERSELF consented to? Yeah, #FREEBRITNEY

    Twitter: @CandidlyCarlo

    15. Iggy Azalea and Britney's bizarre salad date.

    RCA

    In 2016, Iggy Azalea and Britney collaborated on a song called "Pretty Girls." On an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Iggy told the story about her and Britney's salad date. She said, “[Her team] came and checked my place to make sure I wasn’t trying to stash anything weird and give it to her. I was like, ‘It’s just salad.’ To make sure I wasn’t a bad influence. And I’m not. I passed the test…They didn’t scrub it. They just came and…they were very nice.”

    16. The absolute, total obsession with her boobs. Like really it was wild.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    I always think about this clip of Rosie (who is a Britney ally, mind you) grilling Britney who was probably 17 or 18 about wearing a tight white shirt on a Nickelodeon performance. It's total cringe.

    17. The tabloid war that was incredibly biased in favor of Justin Timberlake. Britney was the betrayer. Justin was the sad victim.

    Britney and Justin in their infamous matching denim outfits
    Frank Trapper / Getty Images

    When they broke up headlines about Justin were calling him the hero:

    US Weekly

    She was the betrayer:

    US Weekly

    Tabloids were *the* news source of the time period and they clearly had a side:

    US Weekly

    18. Her philanthropy.

    Britney speaking in front of the Britney Spears Campus
    Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images

    When she was in Vegas, Britney opened the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation Britney Spears Campus.

    I just thought you should know that!

    19. Her social activism and love for the LGBTQ community.

    20. The fact that Britney was dealing with a custody battle when the paparazzi were at their most rabid.

    Britney attempting to drive her car as she swarmed by paparazzi and police officers trying to clear the way
    Robyn Beck / Getty Images

    There is nothing more that Britney loves more than her kids. Nothing! People forget that she was fighting for custody of her kids during the worst of the worst of paparazzi stalking.

    21. The VERY quick turnaround between 2007 and 2008.

    Britney went from this:

    A brunette Britney battling paparazzi
    Toby Canham / Getty Images

    To this:

    Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

    In less than a year.

    Kevin Mazur / WireImage / Getty Images

    Britney Spears the brand is worth A LOT of money. There's a lot of money in getting Britney Spears running and going. It's just wild that she went from super low to super high in a year. The woman hasn't had a rest her entire life. She's human.

    22. She's a Karate Kid.

    MTV

    Britney Spears is way, way smarter than you think. She has been incredibly patient for the last 10 years. She isn't dumb. When asked in 2008 what she learned from the past she says, "Now I try to avoid situations from the past that may threaten me." When asked how she does that she says, "I go through life like a karate kid."

    23. That she has lots more to say. She said it herself: She’ll write a good, mysterious book someday.

    “I’ll have a good book one day. A good, mysterious book” - Britney Spears

    In her 2008 MTV documentary, Britney said, "I’ll have a good book one day. A good, mysterious book."

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