Two weeks ago Justin Bieber left a crowd of young teens waiting on the first night of his O2 concert. He was two hours late onto the stage, by which time many weeping young fans and their parents had to leave to catch the last train home. Several older teens have reported sleeping rough for the night as they had no way of getting home after missing the last trains. Since, Bieber has been lambasted in the press for his behaviour and he has issued an apology, citing ‘technical difficulties’ as the reason for the delay.
Of course, stars like Bieber should have a responsibility to their fans, particularly a teen idol like Justin whose career is owed to his millions of ‘Beliebers’, but are we putting too much pressure on stars who are barely older than their young followers?
Individuals in the public eye must maintain their rapport with fans, in Bieber’s case 5-15 years olds, to strengthen their career and to show their supporters that their backing is what keeps them successful. However, it is rare that people take a step back and look at the bigger picture. With Bieber only just turning 19, he is under an immense amount of pressure at such a young age. There are tour rehearsals, constant travel, interviews, and a private life to maintain. This is a huge workload for anyone, let alone a teenager.
Bieber shot to meteoric fame at the age of 15. He reached every teen boy’s dream of having chart topping singles worldwide and an army of adoring female fans. Many of former pop stars have spoken out about the pressure of fame, particularly with the broadcast of ITV’s ‘The Big Reunion’, A show which reunites old pop groups. The male stars especially, have commented on how they thought their dreams were coming true but they ended up in a nightmare. Consider this and then remember than Bieber does not have a group of boys similar in age and situation to him, suporting him at every turn. With youth comes naivety and with fame comes responsibility. It is not difficult to imagien that Bieber did not expect that he could be under such strain whilst he was living a popstar’s life.
Not only does Bieber have to face pressure from his fans, he’s also come under fire for his fans behaviour. If you’re not already aware, Beliebers have an almost cult-like loyalty to to the pop star. He has amassed the largest amount of Twitter followers ever, gaining a colossal 15, 414 just yesterday.
When he was photographed smoking marijuana the Twitter hashtag ‘#cutforbieber’ trended worldwide. The hashtag was accompanied by hundreds of photos of teens with slashed wrists, many of them fake, but a scary number of which were real . The movement was created in a desperate attempt to stop the star from drugs to save his fans lives. “You stop using drugs and we’ll stop cutting. You make this world meaningless and we’ve lost hope,” tweeted one fan @brittanyscrapma.
Only a few nights ago Bieber retweeted a message of support for his new album from a 15 year old English girl. Twitter went into overdrive with hundred of fans tweeting her to call her ‘f****** s**t’ and telling her to ‘go kill yourself’ to command attention from Bieber. There were rumours that she has seduced Bieber while he was drunk and was now pregnant with his baby, leading some fans to label her a rapist.
The incredible reactions from crazed fans anytime Bieber rears his perfectly coiffed head has led to adults, mostly parents of teens bullied by fans, to call for Bieber to issue some sort of message discouraging bullies. This is actually a good idea but the fact that he himself is only a child, often bullied by the media, seems to slip adult’s minds.
If you take into consideration, previous stars thrust into the limelight at a young age, such as Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Macaulay Culkin, the end result has not been pretty. These celebrities were bought up in a world where they could have or do anything that they want. Any child would become spoilt and brattish under those circumstances and it’s easy to see how they have turned out damaged and unstable without anyone grounding them.
Bieber has a solid support system around him including his parents and pop star mentor Usher. However, those who overly criticize him in the press also a have a responsibility to remember that he is still a young man, and barely one at that.
The press do have a duty to report the truth and often feed the public’s interest in celebrities. However, it is possible that they go too far in reporting every detail of a person’s life. At the beginning of 2013 a paparazzi was killed whilst chasing a car owned by Bieber. Chris Guerra was attempting to photograph Bieber’s Ferrarri after it had been pulled over by the police in LA. He was hit by oncoming traffic as he stood in the road. Bieber wasn’t even behind the wheel.
This culture of being celebrity obsessed is not only detrimental to stars themselves but also to those around them and those who are fans of them. The media sh0uld remember that they must use their power to report responsibly whilst they are revealing a major scoop.