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On the Road to Recovery from Justin Bieber Fever
When Justin Bieber hit the music scene just a few short years ago, my daughter, like so many other young girls, was mesmerized. Her world was surrounded by everything Justin Bieber—folders, pajamas, posters, t-shirts and more. Even her netbook had a decal with a picture of a beaver on it that read “Justin Beaver”. If we were in a store and his picture or name was on something, we had to have it.
For me, his singing left a lot to be desired. His bubblegum voice and the songs he sung were certainly not music to my ears. Yet, I did find myself singing “Baby Baby” around the house without realizing it. Even one of my fitness instructors had the song playing during class as everyone in the room squatted, lunged and crunched their way through verse after verse of the redundant, yet catchy chorus. There was no escaping Bieber or the fever.
But something has suddenly changed. Maybe it was the recent explosion of One Direction or the big rumored break up between Justin and Disney queen, Selena Gomez, but the fever seems to have gone away. The other day I decided to ask my daughter why Justin Bieber is no longer a household (at least in my household) name.
“Well, he really isn’t that good a singer,” she explained to me. “And Big Time Rush is so much better. No one really likes him anymore.”
I have to admit, I was surprised when she told me he was not a good singer. Frankly, I already knew that (like so many other moms), but try explaining that to a young girl who thought the sun rises and sets over his bushy hairdo. To say I was happy about her recent change in attitude towards the Biebster would be an understatement and not for the reasons you may think. Since becoming an overnight sensation, he has been in the media a lot, but not for the right reasons.
Sure, I cannot hold him responsible for the crazed fan who claimed for weeks that he fathered her baby. We can all spot an overly exuberant fan when we see one, but then there are the many brushes with police that he has had. He was pulled over by police for speeding, but claimed he was being chased by the paparazzi. He then called police to complain about being chased and used a fake name. Incidentally, he was driving his car at a speed of 100 mph which means so were the paparazzi in an effort to take his picture—a truly dangerous situation for him and everyone around him.
Justin was also accused of roughing up a photographer for taking pictures of him. His obvious distaste for the media is apparent in often reported incidents where he snubs reporters and even fans who wait for him at appearances to meet and greet the superstar. His usual response is a big smile while flashing a peace sign—hardly what these adoring fans were waiting for.
Air travel also seems to be a difficult issue for the Biebs. Last year, he and one of his bodyguards were reprimanded by crew members on a Qantas Airlines flight for leaving their seats while the plane was getting ready for takeoff—a serious violation of airline rules. And this past July, Justin got a major tongue lashing from a mother of two who could no longer take the incessant amount of curse words that he and his entourage were using on an Air Zealand flight. She basically told the heartthrob and his posse to stop their foul language.
If all this was not enough, in the past he has been accused of snubbing fans by refusing to sign autographs and has gotten a reputation for being a spoiled brat during shoots, at events and during special appearances. Certainly not the kind of behavior a young man, famous or not, should be displaying.
My daughter and her friends are not too familiar with all of his escapades and not-so-nice behavior, but the few times she does hear or see something related to him, she sort of shrugs her shoulders and says, “I don’t like him anymore anyway.” All I keep thinking is “good”. The last thing I want is my daughter to idolize a kid who it seems is still trying to figure out who he is and where he fits in his new-found status as a celebrity. So far, he hasn’t done much right, but he is young and I am guessing in a few years, he will look back on what he did, feel pretty embarrassed about it and then crank out even more, irritating, yet highly addictive tunes. Let’s just hope he doesn’t alienate all of his fans in the process.