On the evening of March 22nd, Justin Bieber posted a photo to Instagram with a caption announcing that he would be cancelling his meet and greets for the rest of his Purpose Tour.
“I enjoy meeting such incredible people but I end up feeling so drained and filled with so much of other people’s spiritual energy,” he wrote. He went on to say how difficult it was for him to come to this decision as he never wanted to disappoint anyone.
According to TMZ, the change came about after a security scare the previous night when a potentially dangerous fan who was on security’s “watch list” came to be within 10 feet of Justin. “He's had his hair pulled, clothes ripped and one fan even gave him the flu. We're told Justin never complained, but Monday night's scare was a wake up call for security,” wrote TMZ.
Those who had purchased a M&G package will be receiving emails allowing them to get a full refund on their purchase if they choose to do so. Those who want to keep the packages will now be a part of a VIP hangout at their shows where Justin's team will attend in a hospitality lounge, talking to fans. More details on what is included in packages is available on the app, Bkstg.
With all M&G’s no longer happening, the chances of fans meeting Justin just became a lot slimmer. And that’s okay.
This is coming from a die-hard fan. I’ve supported Justin since 2009. I’ve spent the last 7 years listening to his music, defending him from hate, and supporting him as a person. I’ve been lucky enough to see him perform live in concert a few times over the years. I’ve never had the chance to meet him and now, I have a much lower chance. But I fully support his decision.
The thing is, people are ignoring the bigger picture here; his mental health. Back in November, NME released an interview that detailed the struggles Justin faced with his mental health throughout 2013/14 and even now. During the interview, Justin had said, “I just want people to know I’m human. I’m struggling just to get through the days… You get lonely, you know, when you’re on the road. People see the glam and the amazing stuff, but they don’t know the other side. This life can rip you apart.”
He went on further saying how when he started out, he just wanted to make music. As his fame grew, his intentions stayed the same. He never wanted the fame; he just wanted to sing and do what he loved. When asked if he gets depressed, he responded saying, “All the time. And I feel isolated. You’re in your hotel room and there are fans all around, paparazzi following you everywhere, and it gets intense. When you can’t go anywhere or do anything alone you get depressed.”
It’s clear that Justin’s mental state wasn’t at its healthiest point, and still isn’t. Some have been quick to assume that the act of cancelling his M&G’s makes him a brat when in reality, it only shows that he’s human. Others are viewing mental health as more of a joke when it’s in fact a very serious matter.
No one has the ability to tell what is or isn’t mentally draining to someone else, simply because our minds all work differently.
For starters, the M&G process is likely being heavily underestimated. On one side, Justin is continuously meeting new people. He’s seeing thousands of new faces every night and getting barely enough time with them for a real conversation. With how quick this all goes, it's likely that by the end of it, he may feel more like an object than human. Massive amounts of fans come in crying, unable to contain their excitement, some unable to believe he’s even real. He doesn’t always get treated like a normal human being and that can easily take a toll on ones mental health.
He also has a lot of people coming to him to tell him that he saved their life. For many, this may be the truth. Music is powerful, especially for those going through their own mental health struggles. They can easily form a strong connection to music artists that have gotten them through hard times. But imagine the amount of pressure that gets put on one person to hear that they are the lifeline of someone else.
He has not only the pressure from that, but also the pressure of just meeting the expectations of everyone coming to meet him. Many fans have awaited that moment for years and have impossibly high expectations. They hope everything would go absolutely perfectly and that can’t always be the case.
Artists do not owe that to their fans. Making music albums and putting on a good show are the only things that an artist should be held responsible for giving their fans. The majority of big artists don’t even offer M&G’s as an option. For any introvert, meeting new people can be exhausting. Who is to say that Justin isn't an introvert?
Most media sources are currently twisting Justin’s words against him with the cancellations. Headlines everywhere try to claim that meeting fans is what makes Justin feel “unhappy and depressed” when it’s far from the truth. Cancelling events due to mental health does not mean he doesn’t love his fans. Justin is trying to do what’s best in order to continue putting on a great concert for these fans that he loves every night.
Making that tough decision to put his mental health first is something to be proud of. You've got a lot of support coming your way, JB. Keep your head up and pay no mind to the hate, as always.