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Britney is “a woman reborn”

Having fun again? Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

Britney Spears’s so-called “comeback” on The X Factor back in 2008 was “one of the saddest celebrity spectacles I’ve ever witnessed”, says Piers Morgan in The Sun. Awkwardly gyrating and shamelessly lip-syncing, she appeared a “tragic train wreck”. “The only way she’s ever going to ‘hit me baby one more time’ is if I’m lying manacled to a torture-chamber bed,” I wrote at the time. But now “I shudder at how I mocked her so mercilessly”. I didn’t know Britney was trapped in a real-life torture-chamber: the conservatorship of her father. She was forced to take birth control, kept on a strict 1,200-calorie-a-day diet, and her telephone calls were monitored. “Even when you go to jail you know there’s the time when you’re gonna get out,” Britney said at the time. “In this situation it’s never-ending.”

After more than a decade of this, Britney is finally free. But after posting a nude photo on Instagram, the singer’s comments section has been flooded with supposed fans calling her “sick” and saying the conservatorship should be restored. I’m not a fan of “disingenuous female reality stars” like Kim Kardashian, who strip off claiming it’s for “feminist empowerment” when they only really want to “empower their bank balance”. But Britney’s not trying to make any statement – she’s just showing she can make her own decisions without needing them “approved first by her controlling father”. The Britney I saw on Instagram this week “is a woman reborn” and seems incredibly happy and free. “Give her a break – she’s having fun again.”