Britney Spears explains she’s shaving her head after years of being ‘the eye’

Britney Spears is opening up in her upcoming memoir about previously unknown details about her life — including one abortion she says had while dating Justin Timberlake, and her much-scrutinized decision to shave her head at a California barbershop in 2007.

The choice to shave her head was an act of rebellion, Spears writes, against years of voyeurism and tabloid scrutiny that had been directed at her since her meteoric rise to fame in the late 1990s.

“I’d gotten so many eyes growing up. I’d been looked up and down, had people tell me what they thought of my body since I was a teenager,” Spears writes in an excerpt from “The Woman In Me”. “

“Shaving my head and acting out were my ways of pushing myself back,” she says.

Spears says that during a conservatorship that dictated her life for nearly 14 years, when her father and a lawyer controlled everything from the pop star’s professional decisions to her finances, she “realized those days were over.”

“I had to grow my hair out and get back in shape. I had to go to bed early and take the medicine they told me to take,” she writes, according to excerpts from the book published by People magazine on Tuesday.

In other excerpts from the book, published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS News parent Paramount Global, Spears recounts several of her experiences under the court-ordered arrangement that saw her father, Jamie Spears, along with an attorney appoint her co-conservator, legal status to control the most basic aspects of her existence as of early 2008.

Spears recalls criticism and body shaming from her father, which, she says, began in childhood and continued into conservatory. The anecdotes return to Spears’ striking testimony in court in 2021, when she successfully made her case to be freed from the order, Spears said the conservatorship and her father’s control over her was abuse, adding, “I’ve been in shock. I’m traumatized.”

In the memoir, which will be published in full next week, Spears writes: “Feeling like you’re never good enough is a soul-crushing condition for a child. He would [her father] drummed that message into me as a girl, and even after I had accomplished so much, he continued to do it to me.”

“I became a robot. But not just a robot – a kind of child robot. I had become so infantilized that I was losing pieces of what made me feel like myself,” she continues. “The conservatory stripped me of my femininity, turned me into a child. I became more of an entity than a person on stage. I had always felt music in my bones and my blood; they stole that from me.”

Spears recalled “feeling like a shadow” of herself during conservatory.

“I think back now that my father and his associates have control over my body and my money for so long and it makes me feel sick,” she writes. “Think about how many male artists gambled away all their money; how many had drug addictions or mental problems. Nobody tried to take away. their control over their bodies and money. I didn’t deserve what my family did to me.”

CBS News has reached out to a representative for Jamie Spears’ attorney, but did not immediately hear back.

Spears also says in the book that her high-profile romance in the 2000s with Justin Timberlake was not what it seemed and that she had a miscarriage while they were dating.

“At one point when we were dating, I got pregnant with Justin’s baby,” she says. “It was a surprise, but for me it wasn’t a tragedy. I loved Justin so much … But Justin was definitely not happy about the pregnancy.”

CBS News has reached out to representatives for Timberlake for comment, but has not yet heard back.

Additional excerpts from “The Woman In Me” were released Monday by Spears herself.

“My story is your October 24,” she subtitle a video shared on X, formerly known as Twitter. The video itself is fleeting with a total playing time of only 26 seconds. It contains a number of quotes taken from the memoirs, although the context surrounding them is unclear.

“My behavior was innocent – and it wasn’t an act. I didn’t know what I was doing,” reads one quote, while others say, “It felt like I was living on the edge of a cliff,” and “I don’t want it to be real, this is just a dream.”

Wendy Naugle, editor-in-chief of People magazine, discussed Spears’ book Tuesday on “CBS Mornings,” saying the star “writes very honestly and painfully in the book that the conservatory was soul-crushing” and calls it “her trial.” to reclaim his own life and his own narrative.”

“She wanted to try to be an adult, but they wouldn’t let her be an adult, so she would go back to being a child,” Naugle said. “Growing up is a process, and she was kind of denied that process of becoming a woman.”

Exclusive excerpts from “The Woman in Me” will be available this week on People magazine’s platforms as well “CBS Mornings” up to the publication of the memoir.

Analisa Novak contributed to this article.

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