An embattled Britney Spears has taken a turn on social media, shifting from pictures of her son’s Dragon Ball Z fan art and videos of her dancing with boyfriend Sam Asghari to long, rambling takes on the “conspiracies” surrounding her. In her latest series of videos, she repeatedly asserts that the paparazzi agency MEGA has altered her appearance in photos during her stay in Miami.
From Spears herself:
“A lot of fans, in our world today, they always are subject to really criticize people and say that the pictures and videos that they’re posting are either not on time or they’re fake. But no one ever really asks, ‘Are the paparazzi pictures fake, and do the paparazzi people do stuff to the pictures, and is the news really real?’ It’s a conspiracy theory that I’m actually interested in.”
The bulk of her “conspiracy” alleges that she looks different in her front facing camera than she does on a telephoto lens. I won’t overly explain this phenomenon, but I suspect that her hundreds of front-facing videos suffer lens warp, and when photographed with a 200mm lens on a professional camera, she’d look different! Especially when you factor in things like the dynamic range of iPhone cameras, filters, and more. I’m also troubled by a question she poses to fans: “Is the news really real?” I’ll leave you to decipher the cultural implications of the phrase when aimed on young fans and the media at large.
The story then took a turn when MEGA, the photo agency she’s accusing of selective photoshop, gave an exclusive statement to Page Six:
“We think Britney looks great and it’s ludicrous to suggest the photos or video were altered in any way,” the rep said. “They were not. We shot thousands of photos of her over the weekend and are very happy to let her see the original files if she so wishes. It was good to see her happy and having fun and we wish her well.”
In response, Britney followed up with a second post on Instagram. And to her credit, I’ve previously reported on the digitally altered images ran in magazines like Us Weekly, where celebrity sponcon and arranged paparazzi images are disguised as “in the wild” encounters. (The legality of altering paparazzi photographs without a disclaimer is... fuzzy.) I can also imagine that it must be hard to properly express yourself when bound by the harsh strictures of a legal status that literally strips you of autonomy and choice. In such an environment, it’d make sense to use social media as an outlet for your frustrations.
This would normally be the end of the story. However, Jamie Spears recently filed for a continued conservatorship in her home state of Louisiana. Reported by The Blast:
Jamie Spears filed legal docs in which he is asking the Louisiana judge to confirm the long-time California conservatorship in the state. This type of case is called an interdiction-curatorship; in Louisiana law, “interdiction” means the “removal of the right to care for one’s own person and affairs.” Jamie is the “curator” and Britney is seen as the “interdicted person,” per the law.
Through it all, I hope she can find some peace in the coming months through an uncertain conservatorship and growing tabloid presence. Her team has yet to issue an official statement on the court filings (or MEGA’s response.)