Britney Spears is finally standing up for herself and everyone needs to leave her alone already

It’s about time someone stood up for Britney Spears, even if she has to do it herself. According to TMZ, Spears plans to sue In Touch magazine if they run a story that her camp says is not true at all. Spears’ people got wind of a story the magazine was running post-MTV Video Music Awards where Spears was supposedly staging a major comeback (she was totally upstaged by Rihanna and Beyoncé, but that’s another story). The tabloid claims she was “talking and laughing to herself and using a British accent,” and Spears’ lawyers immediately sent a letter to the magazine calling the story “utterly false, highly defamatory and completely offensive to Ms. Spears.” Can everyone please just leave the pop star alone? She’s been through enough.

It’s not 2007 anymore, but the media has never been kind to Spears. During her divorce, custody battle, and the ensuing breakdown that culminated in her shaving her head, the tabloids tore her apart. And they tore her down. While cashing in on her “crazy,” Spears’ career has sort of dwindled down to nothing. The release of a new album this summer and an appearance at the VMAs seemed to be all about her getting her shit together and venturing back into the public eye again, but now it’s getting sad.

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Show & Audience
CREDIT: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

I mean, watching her on the VMA stage after Beyoncé of all people was, well, it was anti-climatic. The world might not, might never, be ready for a Britney comeback. She’s not good at what she does anymore. There was a time when we would forgive a little lip synching because her moves were OK and she was Britney Spears, but she’s pretty washed up. It’s like watching a once-hot girl from high school show up drunk and in her old cheerleading uniform to the reunion. It’s a shame that we keep letting Brit perform and get away with trying to relive her glory days — the good old days are over for her and they aren’t coming back. Maybe she should start a lifestyle brand instead or something.

But that doesn’t mean shitty magazines get to tell lies about her or exploit her past mental illness to tear her down yet again. You can track her downfall just by the covers of tabloid magazine, where she was first lauded for her virginity, raked through the mud for “cheating” on Justin Timberlake, having “wild nights” with other male stars, “bizarre nudity,” feeding her babies soda in their bottles, and then she was just eventually deemed “crazy” for shaving her head and bashing a car with an umbrella.

There were a lot of times tabloids (and probably every single human who lived through it) could have been a little more compassionate towards Spears. But instead of supporting her or someone going, “Wow, a new mom and young performer feels really lonely and probably sad and seems to be self medicating — we should help her,” all we did was toss around exclamation points about her every move and speculate about “how far” she might go.

And it probably didn’t help her recovery. There were a lot of things about her breakdown that actually are completely normal (like that conservatorship), even if they apparently worked better as a punchline for most of us. She’s not making a musical comeback, but she has cleaned up her act a little bit and seems to be doing better; however, the tabloids still insist on making money off her.

So it’s about time Spears stands up for herself and sues the pants of any magazine that tries to make up a scandal about her being “crazy” or exploit her in any way.