Britney Spears appeared to give her Instagram followers an intimate glimpse into her life this week, but all her fans saw was a replica.
On July 7, the pop star posted an Instagram image of her backside as she seemingly got ready to soak in the tub. However, fans were quick to believe that the woman in the photo was not Britney, especially due to the fact that the tattoo on the nape of her neck was absent.
Almost immediately, Britney's Instagram feed has turned into a, well, circus.
"Yall know this ain't Britney right??" one person wrote in the comments section. Another added, "We know this isn't you."
A third, sounding very similar to other commenters, wrote, "WHERE ARE HER TATTOOS THOUGH?!?!"
As expected, a huge contingent of her 31.3 million Instagram followers commented with the familiar "Free Britney" message.
While it's possible that the photo is actually Britney, it seems odd that the tattoo isn't there. She could certainly be in the process of getting the ink removed, but just last month she said that her "favorite tattoo" is a Hebrew message on the nape of her neck. Then again, perhaps her hair is just covering up the tattoo, something that she also said happens often. "It's my favorite tattoo but ironically you never see it," she wrote on June 11.
The story then took another turn when Britney posted a message to Instagram criticizing fans for questioning the photo. The meme said, "While you're talking behind my back feel free to bend down and kiss my a**." The attached caption read, "Ok so … I edited out my tattoo on my neck cause I wanted to see what it would look like clean… and yeah I like it better so while you guys are talking behind my back go ahead and kiss my a** haters."
This message only furthered the fan's belief that Britney didn't post the photo. (Of course, they only don't believe she posted the fiery response.) "Britney is never this rude," one fan said. Others agreed and felt that it wasn't the pop star's words. "I don't feel like she would say this…because nobody was hating," one comment read. Another said, "Nah sis. That wasn't you. Lol. They really going the lengths now."
Fans have long questioned the authenticity of the pop star's Instagram, as they believe she's not actually the one controlling it. There's a common thought among the Free Britney brigade that her father, Jamie Spears, or Britney's social media manager, Cassie Petrey, is operating the account.
The current Instagram kerfuffle is all going on while Britney fights to end the conservatorship that has guided her life since 2008. Last month in her bombshell court hearing, Britney called the conservatorship "abusive" and equated herself to being a "slave." The conservatorship, she also argued, is even preventing her from having another child.
"I have an IUD in my body right now that won't let me have a baby and my conservators won't let me go to the doctor to take it out," she told a judge. "I feel ganged up on. I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone."