It’s easy to forget that celebrities are human beings, even though they might seem flawless on stage when singing or on the big screen starring in their latest movie.

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, and Britney Spears, for example, were all at one point in time America’s sweethearts. All three were child stars who grew up to become successful actresses and in Britney’s case, one of the most successful pop stars of all time.

But another thing they all sadly have in common is that the media made them all look out to be “crazy” when they had meltdowns in front of the world to see, when in reality, they were having mental health issues. 

Having a mental illness is already difficult to deal with. Imagine going through something like bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder and having to go through it in the public eye. And on top of that, your worst days are caught by the paparazzi and blasted over news outlets and on covers of magazines.

It’s sad to say, but it’s not even the worst part. The last thing they all have in common is the fact that they were all affected by conservatorships. 

A conservatorship is when a judge grants another person to be responsible for someone who they deem can’t make their own decisions.

For example, if someone fell into a coma, a judge would grant conservatorship to someone else to care for their estates and finances because they would no longer be able to make those decisions themselves.

All three women, at one point in their lives, were deemed unable to responsibly make their own decisions by their loved ones.

While Lindsay was never in a conservatorship, her father attempted to secure one for her after several stints in rehabilitation centers for drug and alcohol abuse in 2012. Her father failed to secure one. 

Amanda, on the other hand, was in a conservatorship for nine years. It started in 2013 after a few erratic incidents. She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After years of working on herself, Amanda was freed from her conservatorship in March 2022.

Britney, though, had one of the most unfair, cruel, and dragged on conservatorships we’ve ever seen.  

It started in 2008 when Britney was hospitalized for mental health concerns after a couple of incidents with her family. Her father was granted a “temporary” conservatorship.

Temporary turned into 13 years.

Everything from her money, estates, assets, and business affairs were controlled by her father. As disastrous as that sounds, it gets worse.

She was put on birth control and wasn’t allowed to have children. She was also forced against her will to take lithium; she claimed that there were six nurses that monitored her for a month and made sure that she took it everyday. The lithium made her feel so delirious and “drunk” to the point where she couldn’t even hold a conversation. 

It’s a horrible thing to not have control over your financial assets, but to have someone else making decisions over your own body is terrifying. No one should ever have to live like that, especially since Britney was perfectly capable of living without the conservatorship after she was treated for her bipolar depression.

But in November 2021, after a long, tiresome, and very public and very messy process, a judge finally terminated her conservatorship.

All this talk about conservatorship and mental health brings me to my next point: Kanye West. 

Kanye West is an American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer. He is one of the most talked about and controversial people of our generation.

He also suffers from the same mental illness as Britney Spears – bipolar depression. He was diagnosed in 2016, and has since spoken out about it openly saying that it has caused him paranoia and manic episodes. He is also very open about the fact that he chooses to not take any medication for it. Unlike Britney, at least he had the choice to make that decision for himself.

Kanye shared some of the same similarities as Britney in the public eye. He had public outbursts, but has done more outrageous things that are really terrifying for the people around him.

Since the announcement of his divorce with Kim Kardashian, it seemed as though he went on a downward spiral. He posted the school that his daughter North attends, which could be a disaster waiting to happen considering what happened to Kim back in 2016 when she was held at gunpoint in Paris. The family’s privacy should be top priority.

He went as far as attacking Kim and her family online, messaging everyone in her close circle for the address to where she was; he even bought the house across the street from her. 

These are all abusive tendencies. This is far from celebrity drama – it is actual domestic violence.

It is sad to see Kanye’s behavior be dismissed by his followers. It’s also really scary to see people saying that there is nothing wrong when in actuality, there is. He is putting his family in danger and showing signs of abuse towards his ex-wife. Not to mention the scary cryptic music video where he is shown abducting a Kim look-alike and burying her new boyfriend Pete Davidson in the ground.

It really makes you wonder: why isn’t Kanye West in a conservatorship? 

He is showing very concerning signs, just like Britney once did. Lindsay and Amanda, too. But why is his situation being treated differently? 

The media and other industries turned Lindsay, Amanda, and Britney’s public outbursts and mental illnesses into memes and entertainment going as far as making t-shirts with Britney’s face when she had a public mental breakdown and shaved her head.

Outlets are saying that talking about Kanye West and bipolar depression is tricky and complicated – but why wasn’t it tricky and complicated for Britney Spears?

When Kanye was banned from performing at the 2022 Grammys despite being nominated, a panelist on The View defended him saying he shouldn’t be banned because of his mental health, and that he was being stigmatized.

The truth is, although the Britney-Kanye situation is very similar, they are being treated very differently – by both the media and fans.

In a time when the media should’ve been compassionate and concerned for the women’s well-being, they made them all out to be a joke. It is so easy for the media to villainize a woman for being “crazy,” but they will never villainize a man in power for it.

Pamela Martinez (she/her/hers)

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