by Eky Shirley
It is indeed a high price to pay for full grown adults, talk more a teenager/young adult. Justin has virtually grown up before our very eyes; from the time of the release of his ‘Baby’ single, the ‘My World 2.0’ album and his other releases
Once again, Justin Bieber is in the news for all the wrong reasons. In January 2014 alone, he has allegedly thrown eggs at his neighbour’s house, been arrested for drunk driving and substance use in Miami and released on bail for $2,500 and been charged with assaulting a limo driver during an altercation outside a club in Toronto on the 29th of December 2013. More recently, photos of him allegedly biting on a stripper’s nipple with a pal of his have been circulated all over the internet,as well as a petition of over 100,000 signatures requesting his deportation back to his native Canada from the US.
This comes on the heels of a tumultuous 2013 that saw a nasty break-up with his heartthrob, Selena Gomez, a purported retirement and very many heartbreaking stories about one of the most popular celebrities on planet earth; in spite of his being just 19 (he has more twitter followers than some countries have humans in them).
It makes one wonder at the cost of fame and being in the public eye, almost all of the time. It is indeed a high price to pay for full grown adults, talk more a teenager/young adult. Justin has virtually grown up before our very eyes; from the time of the release of his ‘Baby’ single, the ‘My World 2.0’ album and his other releases. He lost his husky voice before us, changed the popular ‘Justin locks’ before us, dated Selena Gomez before us and virtually everything else. Same thing went for the Miley Cyrus’, Demi Lovato’s, Lindsay Lohan’s, Macaulay Caulkin’s, Britney Spears’, Drew Barrymore’s (thankfully, she overcame hers) and even Michael Jackson’s of this world.
Only very few child stars are relatively unscathed by the price they have to pay for fame. Living in the public eye must be nerve wracking. I am an ordinary citizen and I get irritated sometimes with certain intrusions on my privacy; I therefore can not begin to fathom how I’d react to my every move being documented or photographed. In the case of the child star in the US, its made worse by the fact that, they are first treated as ‘Celebrities’ before they are treated as children. Their guardians tend to get carried away with the monies their wards are raking in and treat them like cash cows/investments. Most parents/guardians even encourage their underage ‘celeb’ wards/children to party, take drugs and have sex; inasmuch as the dollars roll in, they are fine.
I mentioned the US in particular for the reasons that their entertainment scene is the most easily accessed the world over; thus their misdemeanours are a lot more publicized. I also came across an interview that was given by Daniel Radcliffe (who reprised the role of Harry Potter in the movie series from J. K. Rowlings books) when he came to New York to perform the play ‘Equus’ on Broadway in 2008/2009. When he was asked the difference between his celebrity status in the US and back home in the United Kingdom, he replied, “here in the US, I am treated as a star first, then a child; in the UK, I am first a child, before a star”.
After a while, these young persons start finding a way to cope with all of the external and internal pressures by acting out one way or another. If my Psychology books are to be believed, these their untoward actions (like Justin’s) begin as ‘Defence mechanisms’; before graduating to become patterns and habits. A lot of these ugly headlines and shenanigans can be avoided if like Daniel said, child celebrities are taken in hand and treated like children; before the celebrity status is thrust upon their ‘too young shoulders’.
Of course, these are just my 2 cents; I’d love to hear yours below….. Ciao!!!
Eky Shirley blogs on www.Ekyshirley.blogspot.com
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.