Britney Spearss new memoir, “The Woman In Me,” dives into her conservatorship with her father and sparks controversy over her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake.
Britney Spears’s new memoir, “The Woman In Me,” dives into her conservatorship with her father and sparks controversy over her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake.
Photo credit: Grace Callahan/Canva/Achona Online

Britney Spears launches new memoir, “The Woman In Me”

Britney Spears, one of the most influential and controversial artists of our generation, recently published a new memoir titled “The Women in Me.” The memoir covers everything from Spear’s romantic entanglements, mental health challenges, and battles with her family over her conservatorship. Spears started in the music industry at age 11, starring in Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club. Spears later sold over 150 million albums, with her hit songs “Baby One More Time” and “Oops! I Did it Again”, making her one of the best-selling musicians ever. While Spear’s sometimes erratic behavior has made her a polarizing figure, she now has over 42 million Instagram followers and billions of YouTube views, making her an iconic social media influence.  



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Spears started dating Justin Timberlake in 1999 when she toured with NSYNC, Timberlake’s band, which Spears reveals in her memoir led to an abortion after Timberlake reportedly pressured her to terminate the pregnancy. Spear’s public breakup with Timberlake in 2002 left her traumatized after Timberlake released his hit single “Cry Me A River,” a music video that Spears claimed made her look like a “…harlot that broke the heart of America’s golden boy”, a theme the media amplified which Spears claims in her memoir was symptomatic of a double standard in the entertainment industry where “…men are encouraged to talk trash about women in order to become famous and powerful.”


Spears’ memoir also details how her managers carefully cultivated her image as a wholesome “eternal virgin” during her early years and particularly before her breakup with Timberlake.  Spears struggled with the pressure of conforming to this “good girl” public persona and subsequently married her backup singer, Kevin Federline, in 2004, with whom she had two sons before divorcing in 2007. Following her breakup with Federline, Spears’ erratic behavior and mental health challenges became more visible to the public, notably when Spears shaved her head in 2007 in direct rebellion against her “good girl” persona and started abusing Adderall, which Spears describes in her memoir as her drug of choice because it gave her “….a few hours of feeling less depressed.” 


In 2008, Spears was admitted to UCLA for psychiatric treatment. During that time, Spears’ family successfully petitioned a California court to place her into a conservatorship, a legal structure that effectively stripped her of all of her rights and gave her father, his attorney, and Spears’ former business manager complete control over her personal life, finances, and business empire. While Spears had no control over her personal life, her father forced her to continue performing and producing new music. Spears describes how destructive and oppressive the conservatorship was in her memoir, stating that “…the conservatorship stripped me of my womanhood, made me into a child…I felt like I was being deprived of those good secrets of life – those fundamental supposed sins of indulgence and adventure that make us human. They wanted to take away that specialness and keep everything as rote as possible. It was death to my creativity as an artist.” Spears’ fans, sensing that the conservatorship was hurting her, started a massive online “Free Britney” movement that brought attention to Spears’ exploitation by her father and how conservatorships were often abused to hurt those they were meant to protect. In November 2021, a court ended Spears’ conservatorship, giving Britney back her freedom.


While Britney Spears is one of the most popular and successful artists of our time, she’ll be remembered most for her resilience. Spears grew up with unfathomable pressure where she was forced to conform to a persona that was crafted by her father and managers, who later exploited her financially through an abusive conservatorship. While Spears’ continues to struggle with mental health challenges, she’s won her freedom back and inspired millions of her fans who are also struggling with mental health challenges to persevere.  


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