Britney Spears has explained why she precipitously shaved her head in 2007: It was her way of “pushing back,” she writes in her upcoming memoir.
“I’d been eyeballed so much growing up. I’d been looked up and down, had people telling me what they thought of my body, since I was a teenager,” she wrote in “The Woman in Me,” in an excerpt published by People ahead of the book’s Oct. 24 release.
“Shaving my head and acting out were my ways of pushing back,” Spears said in the Gallery Books release.
Shearing off her locks in 2007 at a Tarzana salon coincided with the “… Baby One More Time” singer’s tumultuous divorce from her second husband, Kevin Federline — and reportedly during bouts of postpartum depression following the back-to-back births of the couple’s two children. (Last year, Spears revealed that she had suffered from perinatal depression after revealing a new pregnancy that ultimately ended in miscarriage.)
The head-shaving incident, an infamous pop-culture moment that was immortalized by a paparazzo, also supported a damaging narrative that the singer had become increasingly erratic. That narrative ultimately led to welfare checks and psychiatric holds in early 2008 that laid the groundwork for her family placing her under a controversial conservatorship in California that year.
The infamous legal arrangement, known in some other states as a guardianship, put a court-ordered choke hold on the entertainer’s personal life, financial affairs and globally recognized career. An L.A. judge terminated the conservatorship in 2021 when the singer was 39, but the legal saga has lived on as those involved with the arrangement navigate various issues and fees.
It also lives on in Spears’ highly anticipated book.
With her father, Jamie Spears, and a lawyer controlling her moves during the legal arrangement, Spears said she was forbidden from keeping her newly shorn hairstyle.
“Under the conservatorship I was made to understand that those days were now over,” she wrote. “I had to grow my hair out and get back into shape. I had to go to bed early and take whatever medication they told me to take.”
The “Hold Me Closer” and “Gimme More” singer reflected on her productivity and career highs during that time — including four albums and her “Piece of Me” Las Vegas residency — but, People said, she was desperately unhappy.
“I would do little bits of creative stuff here and there, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore. As far as my passion for singing and dancing, it was almost a joke at that point,” she says. “Thirteen years went by with me feeling like a shadow of myself.”
“I think back now on my father and his associates having control over my body and my money for that long and it makes me feel sick… Think of how many male artists gambled all their money away; how many had substance abuse or mental health issues. No one tried to take away their control over their bodies and money. I didn’t deserve what my family did to me.”
The seismic shift in Spears‘s public-facing story came in early 2021 when dueling documentaries contextualized the singer’s struggle, giving a mainstream voice to the influential #FreeBritney movement and Spears’ massive ‘Britney’s ‘Gram’ following. The pop star’s bombshell testimony in court that June also catalyzed the termination of her legal battle as she lighted up the courtroom with shocking and “abusive” revelations about her decade-long living conditions.
With “The Woman in Me,” Spears has set out to tell “my story on my terms at last” after decades of tabloid headlines, unsubstantiated rumors and investigations have attempted to characterize the entertainer. Spears has previously described the writing process as “hard,” “healing” and “therapeutic.”
The 41-year-old’s head-shaving explanation is just one of the revelations she makes in “The Woman in Me” that have been publicized so far.
On Tuesday, an excerpt from the book revealed that Spears had an abortion while dating fellow “Mickey Mouse Club” alum Justin Timberlake. She made the “agonizing” decision to terminate the pregnancy allegedly at the behest of the NSYNC frontman because he “was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father,” she wrote.
Another excerpt cites Spears as saying that her father repeatedly told her that she “looked fat” and “infantilized” her during the conservatorship.
The “Crossroads” star has only recorded an introduction for the audio edition of the book because “reliving everything has been exciting, heart-wrenching, and emotional” for her. The memoir will be narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Michelle Williams. .
This story originally Appeared on LATimes