It’s been a challenging year for Britney Spears.
In January, she announced the cancellation of her second Las Vegas residency and an indefinite work hiatus after her father suffered from a serious illness. In April, she reportedly checked herself into a mental health facility and then endured speculation about whether that was really her own choice, sparking the #FreeBritney hashtag on social media. And in September, her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, claimed that her father was involved in a “physical altercation” involving one of their sons.
Amid all of that, she’s lashed out at paparazzi for allegedly altering photos of her and opened up about her battle with “self-esteem problems.” And now, before the close of 2019, Spears is sharing another hardship with her fans and followers — one that makes her reluctant to share even more.
On Sunday, the 38-year-old took to Instagram and posted what appeared to be a carefree holiday clip, in which she showed off her Christmas tree — and struck a few model-worthy poses — while Michael Bublé’s version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” played.
But the video accompanied a not-so-carefree message.
“Happy holidays friends !!!!” she wrote. “I love sharing with you all ... but it’s been hard to keep wanting to share because people say the meanest things !!!”
That comment came days after Spears posted a similar clip on Instagram, one in which she showed off a sundress and one that, for whatever reason, inspired a series of unkind responses.
Some followers complained about her eye makeup, claiming it “makes me think it’s Halloween” and “makes you look older.” Others said she appeared “bizarre” in the clip, asking, “God, what happened to her?”
So in her recent post, the pop star added a few suggestions for those people.
“If you don’t like a post ... just keep it to yourself and unfollow that person !!!” she wrote. “There’s no reason to ever go out of your way to make mean comments and bully people.”
After adding a few sad-face emoji, she signed off by telling her fans, “Stay happy and nice this holiday season y’all and God Bless !!!!!”
While Spears has been concerned about sharing more on social media, the same can’t be said about her boyfriend, Sam Asghari.
In fact, earlier this month, he celebrated Spears on his own Instagram account in honor of her birthday.
“We live, we laugh, we argue, and most of all we LOVE,” he wrote, adding, “There’s a reason why the world fell in love with you! You might be the princess of pop but mostly you’re my princess.”