"I will not quit this game because of what the media has done to me."-Michael Jordan
First off, let me start by saying that in no way am I a "Belieber" or a superfan of Justin Bieber. The only song I own by him on my iTunes is his debut single "Baby". But apparently, this is enough for me to defend him.
If you don't know by now, Bieber has been getting himself into a load of trouble lately. He's been on the front page of every celebrity news site and if you turned on your television you've probably seen him on every news channel. Now, the problem I have with all of this is that instead of helping him and giving him the space that he needs, the media is demonizing him. Everyone has something to say about his behavior but no one wants to lend a helping hand. Everyone's a critic but no one wants to make their criticism constructive.
Before you attack me with "he's doing it to himself" or "he deserves it all", the truth is he doesn't deserve any of this. No one deserves this. When are we going to learn that sticking a camera in someone's face while they're going through their trials is never a good idea. Since when was it okay to post videos of someone in court and pictures of their mugshot for everyone to see? Just because his job is to be in the public eye doesn't mean that his personal life shouldn't belong to him.
I am not defending his actions but I am defending his right to privacy and his age. He's a 19 year old boy who drinks and party (why doesn't this sound out of the ordinary?). The only difference between Bieber and the average 19 year old male is that he has a large sum of money and fame to go with it. Underage drinking is illegal but how many of you out there has done the same thing when you were in college (and even before that)? And drag racing for a young boy isn't anything new (just ask why insurance rates are higher for boys than girls). Besides, it's already been stated that he wasn't even racing his car, it was just another story that the media needed to run with.
What I'm trying to say is let's not be too quick to judge. He's not an angel but he's not the devil either. Seeing all of the pictures and videos, not to mention the horrific comments about him brings me back to 2007 and seeing what they did to Britney Spears. It's like Charlie Sheen all over again. Most people are afraid that the more attention you give him, the more he'll lash out because he wants the attention. Maybe that's not the reason why he'll lash out more. Maybe he'll lash out because the attention and the constant hate is all too much. Imagine if every mistake you have ever made as a teenager/young adult was photographed and video taped, then posted on the internet for everyone in the world to see? How you would react? How would you feel? You can't tell me that you haven't done anything remotely close to what Bieber is being demonized for. Again, not saying that what he is doing is right but how can we judge someone we know nothing about.
What worries me more is that Bieber's action could be a cry for help as opposed to "give me attention!" We're always so quick to judge and throw dirt on someone and the moment they have a mental breakdown we go down the "sorry" route. "I'm glad he's getting the help that he needs", "Stay strong Bieber" will be the comments once it's announced that he's been checked into a rehab facility or worse. Then we'll be waiting for a grand comeback and make him out to be bigger than life itself. We have to stop building monsters and then spitting on our own creations and blame them for malfunctioning. The media and the general public condones this and then wonder why it becomes a trend for young stars.
Now, many people are worried that he'll influence their children or his loyal beliebers but the truth is, people know right from wrong. If your kid doesn't know that underage drinking is bad by the time they're 15 you should probably be questioning your parenting skills. If they do know but still choose to do it, don't be so quick to blame a celebrity who has no power in your household. What I've learned in life is that people are going to do what they want at whatever age. I've seen many great and awesome parents have children that turned out to be exactly what they were afraid of. You know why, because after a certain age you can no longer choose what you want your child to do or believe in. Bieber isn't going to make your child drink or smoke before they're 21...college will do that. He's not going to make them lose their virginity before marriage...hormones will do that. We should stop placing the blame where it doesn't belong.
I don't mean to get all "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" on you guys but in reality we should leave Bieber alone. Maybe alone time and zero attention is what he needs at the moment. Maybe some time to make mistakes without there being a camera flash is the answer. One thing is for certain, demonizing him isn't the way to go.
I don't want to see Bieber become another child star gone wrong...someone who had the world in his hands and then drops it completely. Sadly, I think the world would rather see him fall until they're ready for him to rise again...IF they're ever ready. It saddens me when I see people who once loved and supported him turn on him so quickly. It just proves that there wasn't any love there from the start...just infatuation. You don't leave someone when they need help the most and you certainly don't kick someone when they're already down. Let's stop the name calling, pointing fingers, and the ugly comments. It's not helping anyone in the long run.