There is a point early in Framing Britney Spears, a new New York Times documentary about the popstar's long-standing conservatorship, that surprised me more than anything else.
The documentary probes the circumstances and details of Britney's 13-year legal conservatorship, giving her father the power to make medical and financial decisions for her. But before it gets to this, Framing Britney Spears offers up some wider context by looking at how Britney was treated since becoming a household name as a teenager.
In an early interview, Britney claimed she's not just a manufactured popstar doing what a group of men in suits tells her to do.
Watch: The trailer for The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears. Post continues below video.
She was a young woman, with authority, reading the contracts and making the decisions about her own image and career, she said.
I was taken aback at the clip, to be honest. I couldn't recall ever hearing Britney discuss her own agency before.
Now, on one hand, this could be because I was a tween in the early stages of her career. But also, as Framing Britney Spears points out, the media landscape and treatment of Britney has been unfair right from the very beginning.
At multiple points, we see interviewers ask inappropriate questions. This begins when she's only 10, when the host of a talent show asks if she has a boyfriend.
She says no, because boys are mean. She's ten. The host responds to say he's not mean, so could he - a 60+ year old man - be her boyfriend?
Britney was 16 when her debut single '...Baby One More Time' was released in 1997, catapulting her to instant popstar status and only increasing the invasive questions.