Britney Spears turns 39 in December.
Yet for most of her adult life, the icon has been under the control of a conservatorship that denies her many of the basic freedoms enjoyed by most grownups.
By court order, Britney is unable to make any major decisions regarding her vast fortune or the welfare of her children without consulting a team of overseers headed by her father.
The arrangement has been in place since the time of Spears' well-publicized breakdown back in 2007, but it's been back in the news in recent months for a number of reasons.
For starters, the legendary Britney faced off against her father in court in an effort to end the conservatorship.
Her efforts were in vain, as the judge ruled against her, but the appeal process is already underway (more on that later).
The other reason the pop star has been making tabloid headlines for the past three months is that fans are convinced Britney has been sending coded messages to her fans through her Instagram page.
These are the same people who believe that Spears is being held captive by her conservators, and is not even allowed to leave the house without permission and supervision.
It sounds a little crazy - at times, more than a little crazy - but lately, there's been reason to believe that card-carrying members of Britney Nation might be on to something.
All summer, Britney seemed to subtly respond to prompts from fans who asked her to wear yellow or talk about flowers in her next post if she was in danger.
Now, the singer has posted a series of videos in which she works her way through new dance routines, and fans are convinced they're witnessing yet another cry for help.
“This is my next project “Just a Touch of Red“ .... get it .... RED ROSE? Ps way more of RED to COME ... my hair will get a little wilder and my body a little sweatier," Spears captioned one such clip.
Fans were quick to notice that Britney was once again mentioning flowers and colors, both of which she used as symbols to indicate distress in recent months.
“This is chilling. I feel like I’m watching someone go through something horrible and I can do nothing to help,” one follower commented.
“Omg red means danger and she said red three times. Guys what can we do to help?” another wrote.
Obviously, fans could be overthinking this one, but Britney's situation is so bizarre these days that no theory about her increasingly erratic posts should be discounted.
Further complicating the situation is the intensifying legal battle Britney and her father, Jamie Spears (below).
In new court documents obtained by TMZ, Brit's lawyers blasted Jamie for attempting to re-hire Andrew Wallet as the head of her conservtaorship team.
Wallet served as Britney's conservator from 2008 to 2019.
Her lawyers argue that Wallet is "uniquely unsuited" for the job, not only because he clashed with Britney, but also because he was wildly expensive to retain.
They say the singer is being forced to make "difficult budgetary choices going forward," and they simply can't afford Wallet, who was paid millions, and received a $100,000 payout when he quit the job last year.
Britney's dad has fired back, alleging that his daughter's latest filing is "full of factual misstatements."
She has now hinted that she will not be performing again - possibly ever - unless this is resolved.
It's anyone's guess what might happen when Britney and Jamie face off in court again later this month.
But one thing is certain - it seems fans are right to be concerned, and this is not going to be neatly resolved.