In Framing Britney Spears, a new feature-length documentary from The New York Times, we see the moment the paparazzi followed Spears as she arrived at a hair salon in 2007.
Once inside, she reportedly asked a hairdresser to shave her head, but they refused to do so - meaning Spears decided to do it herself.
Filming through the window, cameras captured Spears as she grabbed a pair of hair clippers and shaved off all of her hair, sending the media into a frenzy.
A voiceover in the documentary explains: "She came in and she said she wanted her head shaved. The hairdresser refused, so she literally grabbed the hair clippers and started doing it herself.
"She said, 'I don't want anyone touching me. I'm tired of everybody touching me.'"
New York Times critic Wesley Morris argues that the meaning of Spears' stunt says more about what she was trying to step away from than her state of mind at the time.
He explains: "She's saying, essentially with no hair, 'I quit.'
"Whatever you guys are looking for, in terms of me coming back from being that person again, that person is gone, and you have destroyed her.
"The idea that people could look at that and only see a crazy person - that just tells me what a vulturous society she was working with to begin with."
Later in the doc, Morris adds: "Nobody was talking about mental health when Britney Spears was going through all of that stuff in public.
"The conversation was about what was wrong with her. There was too much money to made off her suffering."
After shaving off her hair, Spears turned up at Body and Soul Tattoo studio, where she asked for a tattoo of a pair of lips and another of a small cross.
But she also ended up confiding in tattooist Emily Wynee-Hughes, who asked about her new look.
In a 2019 documentary called Britney Spears - Breaking Point, Wynee-Hughes recalled: "I noticed her hair was gone. I remember asking her, 'Why did you shave your head?' And her answer was a bit weird.
"It was, you know, 'I just don't want anybody, anybody touching my head. I don't want anyone touching my hair. I'm sick of people touching my hair.'"
Watch Framing Britney Spears now on Now TV and Sky Q.
Featured Image Credit: Framing Britney Spears/New York Times
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