I went on Amazon to check if there was a “books by parents of celebrities” section – no dice. But really there could be: Jaid Barrymore (mom of Drew), Lynne Spears (mom of Britney), Debbie Nelson (mom of Eminem), Nancy Aniston (mom of Jennifer) and Kit Culkin (father of Macaulay). I’m sure I’m missing some, but that’s not exactly an illustrious list, is it?
Pattie Mallette, mom of Justin Bieber, is currently on tour for her new book, Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom. Line-ups that start at the crack of dawn, screaming and hysterical fans, posters, gifts - does this sound like your usual book tour? Well it is when your target audience is Beliebers.
The Ottawa Citizen recently profiled Ms. Mallette, and the hysteria she brings, not to mention the narrative her team tries to enforce:
“Although Mallette’s handlers warn interviewers to focus on her book and not her son’s recent headlines, her book tour unabashedly rides on her pop star son’s massive popularity. While people lined up waiting for her, an MC with a microphone threw Bieber trivia questions at the crowd. For most people lined up with a book in their hands, it was a stop on the way to the concert. “
When you put your son’s name in your book title (and in your Twitter bio), what do you want people to think? What do you want them to ask you?
And if Justin wasn’t pissing in buckets and acting the fool everywhere he goes, would Pattie’s handlers be so quick to discourage questions about him? Probably not, and this is really sh-tty for Justin.
Is there anyone in that kid’s life who isn’t living off his fame, his name and his money? Eating his food, driving his cars, living in his house? I know, I know – he needs to pull his pants up and stop spitting, but having people indulge you and having people actually want what is best for you are two completely different things. His public choices might be poor and Pattie doesn’t need to publicly defend them, but if she is going to use his name – literally – to sell books, what does she owe him?
This is the imbalance that creating a career off your kid must have – yes you are the parent, but when you are relying on them for your livelihood, are you going to eventually be motivated enough to keep quiet when they are being sh-theads? (And let’s face it, at 19, we were all sh-theads.)
This isn’t to say Pattie’s all fluff. She has lived quite a life - sexual abuse, depression, teen pregnancy, finding religion; it is a heavy story that some girls may benefit from hearing. Pattie’s take is that she reels them in with Justin, then gives them her story in order to reach out to the ones who need to know they aren’t alone. Great in theory, but when girls are weeping at your feet, is the message getting through? Or is this just another way for them to worship at the altar of Bieber?
Instead of encouraging this ravenous consumption of her son, it would be nice for her to guide girls into finding their own voices, their own talent and their own reason for pushing through all the sh-tty things life can throw at them. Being the mom of the boy they adore definitely gives her a unique place in their heart, but she’s also capitalizing off their high emotions and misguided hero worship to sell books.
Would she ever tell the girls to forget about the boy (including Justin) and focus on themselves? I don’t know, I haven’t read the book. I also hope USE A CONDOM is chapter 1, 2 and 3, but I doubt it.