Pictured above is the bizarre mug shot of Justin Bieber released earlier today when news exploded that he had been arrested for drag-racing in his Lamborghini while under the influence…
…and under the influence he definitely does seem, for who smiles so cheerfully when they have just been busted unless they are completely off their head?
Hearing news of this sparked thoughts I have always had concerning the fame of Justin Bieber. We’ve heard the stories of celebrities pushed into the limelight far too young, exploited far too much and given way too much importance. Britney Spears, Macaulay Culkin and Lindsay Lohan are just a few of the names that spring to mind when we think about celebrities who have hit a major downward spiral – who can ever forget Britney’s hair-shaving incident?!?!
Just last week, Liam Payne of One Direction fame tweeted a picture of himself standing on a balcony ledge and immediately had to take it down, later apologising and stating that it was a “stupid and irresponsible thing to do. I am sorry, and do not endorse any fans trying to repeat this, as it is extremely dangerous”. If any other person would have tweeted such a photo, very few would have given much thought to it. However, Liam Payne – a global superstar – who later tweeted he is trying to be a “20 year old just living life… but in extraordinary circumstances” isn’t just a normal 20 year old. In fact, whatever his age, he will be hounded, and it is exactly these extraordinary circumstances which propel such stars into detesting their own celebrity.
Let’s get back to Bieber – I believe this is an immature boy who now detests and laughs in the face of his own celebrity. Shoved into the limelight at a young age, it doesn’t seem like he (or other famed celebrities) have ever had a chance to understand what they were getting into. They’re probably not given lengthy lectures about what to expect, but rather just enticed into the whole shebang and expected to ride it out with help from the “support system” they usually refer to when winning an award. Yet to me, Bieber has just become yet another statistic, only supporting the idea that celebrities who are thrust into the limelight at an early age emerge as people really struggling to handle the fame. Once his fandom had been established and the music sales soared, this kid was not going to be just a kid anymore, just like Liam Payne can’t just be a 20 year old trying to live his life in extraordinary circumstances. Even if they tried to break away and make their life “ordinary”, they would be hunted down and ravished to feed the hungry media. Their life becomes the life they are forced to share with others, where every move, every relationship, every tweet or picture becomes over-analysed and scrutinised and published in the media for all to know about. It is the price they must pay for wanting to be famous, and it is more often than not, out of their control.
We will all make jokes about Bieber getting arrested and laugh at his mug shot, but what we might glaze over is that celebrity and fame is a very dangerous domain. If the media were grounded before, then they are threatening and predatory now, and they will most definitely get you. Personally, I feel that Bieber has just become another victim of the glorified world of wealth, celebrity and fame. The perfect target for media exploitation, he is now running riot and losing his way probably because it’s all a bit too much for him to handle. I’m not defending his actions and saying it’s okay to do what he does, but from what we’ve seen, his breakdown was imminent. Think about the search carried out at his house just last week when it was said that he had thrown eggs at his neighbour’s house, or alternatively, let’s recalling the admittedly hilarious clip of him attacking a reporter and looking like a bit of a numpty. The signs were always there. This is no surprise, just a huge cause for concern.
I can only imagine that behind Beiber’s smile is a very disappointed and confused little boy, drowning in the depths of celebrity and giving the media what they ultimately want. However, if it isn’t the fame that has got to him, then I’ll conclude that he’s just an idiot who needs to get a grip. We don’t need another “cut-for-Bieber trend”, please.