Justin Bieber feels too much

Lainey Posted by Lainey at March 23, 2016 13:49:14 March 23, 2016 13:49:14

It’s been exactly a year since Justin Bieber said sorry over and over again. It’s also been almost exactly a year since Where Are U Now was released, kicking off a major career restart that transitioned him from teen boy singing boy crush songs to young punk singing for the club crowd. Whether you want to admit it or not, Purpose is a really good album. And now JB is on tour. This is what I wrote about JB last month after the BRITs – original article is here:

(It’s been) the culmination of a plan that began a year ago with an endless apology, building toward the album that not only saved his career, but elevated it to another level. So does he stay this well-behaved when he starts going out on tour?

Quoting yourself is super braggy and gross, which is what I just did. And it’s probably even grosser in this case because, well, this cycle is just so predictable. The highs, the lows, the redemption, rinse and repeat. Justin Bieber announced last night that he will be cancelling all meet and greets with his fans:

 

Love u guys.. I'm going to be canceling my meet and greets. I enjoy meeting such incredible people but I end up feeling so drained and filled with so much of other people's spiritual energy that I end up so drained and unhappy.. Want to make people smile and happy but not at my expense and I always leave feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to the point of depression .. The pressure of meeting people's expectations of what I'm supposed to be is so much for me to handle and a lot on my shoulders. Never want to disappoint but I feel I would rather give you guys the show and my albums as promised. Can't tell you how sorry I am, and wish it wasn't so hard on me.. And I want to stay in the healthy mindset I'm in to give you the best show you have ever seen ;)

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on


Basically, hanging out with his fans before and after his shows is exhausting and sometimes depressing because it’s draining having to be the recipient of all those feelings, so many feelings, and he feels feelings so much more than anyone else. Kind of eye-rolly, for sure. But it’s not like he could tell them they’re crazy. Think about who these people would be. Think about TwiHards. Think about Benedict Cumberbatch’s CumHards. Think about the people who lost it on Charlie Hunnam’s girlfriend a couple of weeks ago – click here for a refresher. Did I ever tell you that for years, YEARS!, I had someone emailing me, regularly, claiming to be Justin Timberlake’s secret baby mother? She’d created an email address for him. And would forward me messages from this fake email address, emails they’d exchange about their child, he’d write how much he loved her, and their family, and express his anguish over having to fake a relationship with Jessica Biel. A LOT of work went into creating this fantasy. Now imagine giving that person several thousand dollars to spend on a meet and greet, where they have the opportunity to get right up close?

That’s next level crazy, for sure, but even the idea of spending that much money for at most a minute of a celebrity’s time is bizarre, isn’t it? Starlee Kine did a podcast on this last year about Britney Spears on Mystery Show. She paid for the opportunity to shake Britney’s hand backstage. And the way she describes the experience is exactly what experiences are now in the time of Instagram – impersonal and filtered. Also mutually exploitative. Because on some level, the way it works with social media, while the celebrity is profiting from you, aren’t you using them in return to brag to your followers about having 1. had the money to be able to do that and 2. being in their presence?

Word is, part of the reason JB cancelled the meet and greets was also for security. According to TMZ (and remember, TMZ has been exchanging pro-JB storylines for years now – click here if you missed The New Yorker piece) there was a security breach on Monday when someone on his “watch list” somehow made it within 10 feet of him. Fans have also apparently pulled his hair and ripped his clothes. From that perspective, I’m not sure I can blame him for not wanting to be part of that kind of environment. Which, by the way, should give you some insight on someone like Taylor Swift. Right now, no one is better at meet and greets – with fans and industry (radio players, label executives and their families) – than Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift has a gear/switch/whatever you want to call it that enables her to somehow remain unfazed in those situations. If you’re a hater, you’ll say here that that’s because she is a robotic machine and doesn’t deserve credit for that. If you’re not a hater you might attribute it to her focus, her ambition, her determined self-management, and her mental health.

How much of this then is about Justin Bieber’s discipline and how much of it is, as he claims, about preservation? Think of what’s required in “preserving” Britney Spears. We’ve already been told that he was taking Adderall on and off – click here for a refresher. He has anxiety. He doesn’t sleep. There’s a mystery doctor he’s been seeing in New York. Caity Weaver was telling us something in her GQ piece. And she’d be too classy to be super braggy and gross about it. She was showing us the warning signs.

You could argue then that this decision by JB and his management – if you take the explanation at face value – is in service of JB’s mental health, and we all need to work more on making mental health just as much of a priority as physical health.

That said…

Look at the picture he posted with his message.

 

Love u guys.. I'm going to be canceling my meet and greets. I enjoy meeting such incredible people but I end up feeling so drained and filled with so much of other people's spiritual energy that I end up so drained and unhappy.. Want to make people smile and happy but not at my expense and I always leave feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to the point of depression .. The pressure of meeting people's expectations of what I'm supposed to be is so much for me to handle and a lot on my shoulders. Never want to disappoint but I feel I would rather give you guys the show and my albums as promised. Can't tell you how sorry I am, and wish it wasn't so hard on me.. And I want to stay in the healthy mindset I'm in to give you the best show you have ever seen ;)

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on


Look at her face.

It’s hard to justify denying that – and moments like that – in the future, non? Especially since we’ve lived through a period of Justin Bieber being an asshole. And Justin Bieber being entitled. And Justin Bieber being ungrateful. Those qualities are only exacerbated by isolation. Stars like Justin Bieber become more and more enclosed and removed the more famous they are, surrounded by “yes” people, surrounded by other highly privileged people, and there is no arguing that it warps perspective. If Justin Bieber is no longer being exposed to public and regular non-famous connections, in order to protect his sanity, what happens to his perspective?

This is the push and pull of fame. We’ve already seen that fame arrests development, often stunting a person at the age (of maturity) that it arrives. Fame takes its toll, and it necessitates retreat. But that retreat can also be a barrier to growth. In these conditions, how does a fully formed person emerge?

Photos:
FameFlynet, AKM-GSI

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