Britney Spears may post prolifically and candidly on her Instagram account, but according to one of her former makeup artists, she’s not actually the one in control of that content.
Billy Brasfield, a makeup artist who worked with Spears on The X Factor in 2012 and on her 2013 music video “Scream and Shout,” claims the pop star confided in him that she’s not as in charge of her social media as it may appear. On his now-private Instagram account, Brasfield responded to the singer’s recent post revealing she “cried for two weeks” after watching the Framing Britney Spears documentary, writing, “Of course watching certain things that are now so far in HER past … circumstances that she has already lived through, and has moved beyond, that are now being brought up over and over, can be #emotional. She ‘deals’ with it, and frankly very well…she is not ‘fragile’.”
The makeup artist then told Page Six that when he saw her post about the documentary, “I immediately knew it was not her. I texted her about it and she texted me back last night.” He continued, “What was upsetting [about the post] — it was basically a narrative denouncing her fans and the Free Britney movement and people now taking a very conscious look at the facts and what is going on. Although it might be complicated for her, of course she is invested. It’s her life. She does not like being a victim, she never wanted to be a victim and doesn’t see herself as a victim. She sees herself as a survivor and has navigated this with patience and strategy.” He added that he believes the post was intended to be a distraction from what’s currently going on with her conservatorship.
However, while Brasfield might believe there’s something more sinister afoot with Spears’s Instagram content, the pop star’s social media manager Cassie Petrey has already previously addressed many of his and Spears’s fans’ concerns in a lengthy, clarifying post on her personal account. In February, she explained, “Britney creates her own posts and writes her own captions for Instagram. She finds the google images, Pinterest images, quotes, memes, and everything else herself. Nobody is suggesting any of that stuff to her. She generally edits the videos herself. If a video she sends in is edited by her social media team, it’s because she gave specific instructions and asked for it to be edited that way. Then she sees it and decides if she wants to post it or not.”
She also denied many of the same conspiracy theories Spears has dismissed herself on Instagram in the past. “Britney is not ‘asking for help’ or leaving secret messages in her social media,” Petrey wrote. “She is literally just living her life and trying to have fun on Instagram. She has a team to help strategize like any major celebrity generally does at this point in her career.”
— The Shockingly Melancholy Britney Spears Doc You’ve Never Heard Of— R.O. Kwon’s Letter to Asian Women Whose Hearts Are Still Breaking— Angelina Jolie Offers to Testify Against Brad Pitt in Drawn-Out Divorce— The 14 Best Retinol Products for a Skin Reboot— A British Constitution Expert Explains Why the Royals Are Trapped— Cracking the Case of London’s Acrobatic Rare-Book Thieves— How a Jurassic Park Roller Coaster Got Attacked by Actual Raptors— From the Archive: The Ominous Signs in Ted Ammon’s East Hampton Murder— Serena Williams, Michael B. Jordan, Gal Gadot, and more are coming to your favorite screen April 13-15. Get your tickets to Vanity Fair’s Cocktail Hour, Live! here.