That seemed to be the subtle message fans took away from Britney Spears‘ nude Instagram post on July 7, when the singer shared a picture of her back from behind while posing topless. She appeared to be in her bathroom in front of a sink, with her blonde hair swept to the side. The caption—three ballet slipper emojis—was simple enough, but still raised questions.
Some fans, emboldened by her tell-all testimony in court last month, commented with “FREE BRITNEY” and “Britney’s back.”
Others weren’t so sure the picture was actually of the Grammy winner at all. “We know this isn’t you,” one wrote, with 9,000 more fans liking the comment, as another added, “Yall know this ain’t Britney right??”
The clue was hidden in plain sight. As one fan asked, “Where are the tattoos?”
Britney normally has a flower fairy tattoo on her lower back, as well as a Hebrew neck tattoo that symbolizes healing. In her latest selfie, her body was totally ink-free.
At first, Britney didn’t respond to the skeptics directly, instead sharing an illustration of a girl with flowers and writing, “Our Father who ART in Heaven HALLOWED BE THY NAME !!!! Pssss you better F–KING BELIEVE IT !!!!”
But on July 8, she addressed the nude pic with a fierce caption to go along with a graphic of a woman flipping the bird.
“Ok so … I edited out my tattoo on my neck cause I wanted to see what it would look like clean,” she admitted, adding shrugging emojis.
The 39 year old went on, “and yeah I like it better so while you guys are talking behind my back go ahead and kiss my ass haters [kissing emoji] [peach emoji] !!!!!!”
The graphic boldly read, “while you’re talking behind my back feel free to bend down and kiss my ass.”
Fans remained suspicious, because she still didn’t explain the disappearance of her signature lower back tattoo, with some commenting, “Huh?” and “Britney would never.” One sleuth wrote, “Britney is never this rude.”
She has shared images of herself with both tattoos within the past two months.
As Britney continues to post a steady stream of videos and photos on her Instagram account, her family and team members have been filing new documents in court regarding her conservatorship of 13 years.
In July alone, Bessemer Trust asked to step down as the co-conservator of her estate; Larry Rudolph resigned as her longtime manager; and Sam Ingham requested to resign as her court-appointed lawyer.
Britney’s mom, Lynne Spears, filed a petition to ask a judge to allow Britney to hire her own private lawyer, so that she can continue to push to get her “life back,” as she asked for in court in June. Citing Britney’s claim that she “didn’t know” she could request her conservatorship to end, Lynne wrote in her court papers, “Clearly [Britney] needs private counsel to advise her as to her basic rights in this conservatorship.”
The temporary conservator of her person, Jodi Montgomery, released a statement through her attorney this week to say she “remains committed” to support Britney and won’t step down. Jodi later asked a judge to approve additional security costs for her, in light of the death threats she is receiving.