Britney Spears shares rare reflection on growing up under the spotlight and blasts the ‘mean, body-obsessed’ press

Britney Spears blasted the “mean” press for its fixation on celebrities’ looks in an Instagram video.

The 38-year-old, who is currently entrenched in a legal battle to “regain some autonomy” under her controversial conservatorship, hit out at the way in which media outlets report on issues related to body image of celebrities.

In the thinly-veiled rant that referenced the singer’s decades of being fodder for celebrity press, she lit into the ways she is often reduced to just her looks.

“For the first time in my life, I’m going without lots and lots of make-up,”, Britney wrote alongside a video in which she looks coyly into the camera.

“These clips show a closer look at my face, which is very scary for me, you can actually see my freckles.”

Britney, who was born in Louisiana but spent much of her life living in Los Angeles, added: “Growing up in Hollywood can be hard! It’s all about looks, and the press can be pretty mean.”

The “Toxic” hitmaker then listed the barbed questions often posed by the press against celebrities: “Why does she look so old… Why does she look so young… Why is she too big… Why is she too skinny?”

“As Selena Gomez says, ‘The world can be a nasty place, kill them with kindness’,” she added.

Britney’s own relationship with the press is complex and well-documented.

After soaring to fame aged 16 with “… Baby One More Time”, the singer saw the even the most trivial of details about her life be scrutinised by the press, which sexualised her from the very beginning of her career.

She had a heavily-publicised period of mental distress in 2007 and 2008, during which press shared invasive pictures and stories documenting her ill-health.

This period led to a court-ordered conservatorship – a legal arrangement in which the artist’s estate and wellbeing, among other things, are managed by court-appointed officials or family.

Britney has been fortified by her guardianship for 12 years, a complex and highly private arrangement typically put in place for the elderly, the disabled or the inert.

In 2019 she entered a mental health facility after a trying period in which her father fell seriously ill. Many noted how the press took a markedly more respectful tone in its coverage.

Supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a courthouse in downtown for a #FreeBritney protest. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a courthouse in downtown for a #FreeBritney protest. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

In the years since, a grassroots movement to “Free Britney” has rumbled as fans have rallied for the star’s guardianship to end.

Recently the singer has launched a bid to stop her father, James ‘Jamie’ Spears, from being reinstalled as conservator of her estate and mental wellbeing.

She said through her court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham that she is “strongly opposed” to his return.