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LAURA CRAIK IS UPFRONT

Laura Craik on Britney’s endless lockdown, Cardi B’s botched berries and the nonsense of Kendall Jenner’s tequila haters

Even before watching the documentary Framing Britney Spears, I’d been thinking a lot about freedom: what it feels like, what it tastes like (beer). Our lockdown will end. Britney’s is interminable. I can’t get this out of my head.

A 39-year-old woman has had her life controlled for the past 12 years by a father she allegedly fears (Jamie Spears legally controls her finances, children’s custody arrangements and medical care). It seems medieval, a dystopian fiction straight from Kafka’s pen.

Sometimes, I want to run out of my house and scream. Knowing that I can makes me not need to. Imagine all your needs and desires being thwarted in perpetuity. Britney’s conservators argue she’s not a prisoner because she gets to travel, as though that makes it okay. But she has to seek permission first. That is not okay. It’s likely to reduce every sun-drenched beach visit to a haunted shadow.

Meanwhile, Princess Latifa al-Maktoum, daughter of Dubai’s autocratic ruler, last week claimed to be incarcerated under armed guard, after having tried to flee her restrictive life three years earlier. Not seen in public since 2018, friends had smuggled her a mobile phone, on which she’d filmed herself saying she’d been drugged and returned to Dubai at gun point. Nobody knows where Princess Latifa currently is, or even whether she’s alive.

“ That a 39-year-old woman has had her life controlled seems a dystopian fiction straight from Kafka’s pen”

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical: coercive control is one of its less visible forms. According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 7.3 per cent of women — 1.6 million — experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2020, with three quarters of victims of crimes involving domestic abuse being female. God knows how much this figure will have risen over lockdown.

Those are only the official figures. ‘I feel like if you are an adult, you should be able to live your life and not be controlled,’ said Britney’s long-time friend, Paris Hilton. Britney is a global superstar with 28 million Instagram fans and a $60 million fortune, yet all the fame and money in the world can’t set her free.

I’m a slave for you: fans are campaigning to ‘free Britney’

Berry contrary

From her handbag collection to her recent trip on a yacht, few could deny that Cardi B’s life is enviable, even if Offset looks bored out of his mind — that would frankly put a downer on everything for me.

So it was a rare misstep when she posted a photo of her chocolate-covered strawberries, which looked more like little brown turds. Then again, if you haven’t screwed up a foolproof recipe in lockdown and ended up with something resembling effluent, who even are you? Besides, anyone who likes chocolate-covered strawberries is a psychopath. Don’t @ me.

Taking shots

Kendall Jenner is launching her own tequila and people are vexed, accusing her of cultural appropriation because authentic tequila is Mexican and she is not. I don’t remember George Clooney, Elon Musk, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul or Rande Gerber being called out when they launched tequilas and if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s selective outrage.

I would buy Kendall’s tequila, only I’m bored of tequila just like I’m bored of every other alcohol in the house. So I’ve taken up chilli chocolate Kahlúa, a delicious tipple that’s hugely underrated, namely because no one knows it exists. You know what they say: when a woman is bored of random liqueurs, she is bored of life.

HOT:
supreme cereal

Its Oreos changed
hands on eBay for up to $17,000: lets see how hungry the hypebeasts are for Wheaties.

NOT:
the laughing emoji

‘Not cool,’ according to Gen Z, ‘because your mum uses it.’ Ouch.