Although the comedian meant for the Friday, December 2, post to be a sweet birthday tribute, fans couldn't help but reminisce on the icon's natural beauty before she faced her downward spiral.
Seeing the “Toxic” singer’s 2003 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show also caused social media users to rethink Spears’ current mental health status, as the singer they know now is nearly unrecognizable in comparison to the blonde babe that sat beside the famed talk show host 19 years ago.
Stunned admirers couldn’t believe the “pureness” Spears portrayed during her first appearance on the show, which aired four years before the 41-year-old infamously shaved her head, which ultimately led to her life taking a spiraling turn.
Although the mother-of-two recently broke free from her 13-year conservatorship and attempted to retake control of her life, fans have remained worried it isn’t her behind the camera. And even if she is the same person physically, many social media users believe her emotional damage might be too deep to repair.
"Seeing Britney like this makes me so sad for now. If that’s even truly her in her current Instagram. Her teeth are different now (gap in front teeth), her southern accent is gone now, she looks tired and sounds sad all the time now too. It’s all so weird!” one individual wrote on DeGeneres' post, while another added, “this was the Britney we always know and love!! Now....she is not the same anymore, so sad!!”
A third user insisted Spears “needs a welfare check ASAP,” while a younger admirer was in disbelief by the whirlwind of hardships the “Circus” singer dealt with, stating, “imagine living [during] that time as Britney. How did she endure it all the time? I don't blame her for what happened to her. So young and all by herself. Imagine being her age and [dealing with] sh*t like what she went through.”
While many fans thanked DeGeneres for “being one of the only celebrities who care” about Spears, others begged for the Finding Dory star to take action and make sure the Princess of Pop is receiving the care they believe she needs.