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Justin Bieber’s Fall From Grace

In January of 2011, Justin Bieber told Vanity Fair, “Of course, people are just waiting for that time when I make a mistake and they’re going to jump on it…I know I’m not going to make a life changing bad decision, as some people have. I’ve seen it happen too many times…but I don’t want to mess this up.”

The irony in this statement should be evident, assuming you don’t live under a rock and have heard of Bieber’s recent “bad boy” behavior. And quite honestly, bad boy may be a bit of an understatement. In recent months Bieber has garnered negative attention and an infamous reputation for brawling with a photographer, urinating in a bucket in the back kitchen of a nightclub, saying “f**k you” about President Clinton, egging a neighbor’s house, assaulting a limo driver, and most recently, drag racing while intoxicated and under the influence of marijuana and Xanax.

For someone once so determined to not mess up his career, Bieber now appears intent to destroy everything he’s worked for. And worked he has. Bieber is not one of the privileged stars born into an elite Hollywood family. He grew up in Canada with a single mother and little money, and he was discovered from a singing video his mother posted online. If anything he should be grateful for the opportunities and fortune he has encountered since then. However, his recent behavior suggests that Bieber is out of control and testing the system to see just how much he can get away with, and all evidence hints to the breaking point looming.

On January 23rd in Miami, when Bieber was arrested for drag racing on a residential street he was reported to be “excited, insulting, profane, and cocky” to police officers. His intoxication was obvious to officers by his dilated pupils, flushed face, bloodshot eyes, and mumbling, and he admitted he had been smoking pot all night in the studio and was on a prescription drug for anxiety. All of these signs should have indicated to his inner circle that night, including his father, that he was not okay to drive, much less drag race down a residential street. Nevertheless, Bieber’s father and others assisted the popstar in his escapades by blocking off the street in large SUVs, all of which led to his arrest for DUI, resisting arrest, and driving with an expired license. A few days later, Bieber was arrested on an assault charge in Canada for hitting a limo driver repeatedly on the back of the head, and there is currently a felony vandalism arrest pending for him in California for the $20,000 of damage Bieber did by egging a neighbor’s house.

There comes a time when Bieber needs to own up to his actions, and people on his team, such as manager Scooter Braun, are not allowing him to do this by constantly defending him via Twitter and other outlets. Bieber has been named the “Most Popular” and “Most Influential” person on social media and Twitter multiple times, and with this comes a responsibility to keep your actions in check for the welfare of your fan base and yourself.  For Bieber, this time has clearly come. His best course of action would be to own up to his mistakes, apologize to his fans, and seek the help he clearly needs.

Miley Cyrus, another celebrity who has experienced her fair share of criticism, offered some wise advice to her fellow young star. She suggested Bieber “pay someone to make sure he doesn’t get in trouble.” This course of action is one that many troubled stars have taken in the past. And before you go bashing Miley for all the disapproval she’s received recently, you’ve got to realize that she has not yet been arrested or in trouble with the law—a rarity in young starlets these days.

Not only is Miley weighing in on the issue, but soon President Obama will be involved as well. Outraged citizens have started a petition on the site We the People to deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card, sending him back to his native Canada.  Because the petition has now surpassed 100,000 signatures, the White House is required to address the issue. And the demand isn’t that extreme. In the past, celebrities such as the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Paris Hilton have been blocked from entering countries and deported from vacations because of criminal charges and drug abuse.

So while the world waits to see what the outcome will be from Bieber’s exploits, whether it’s remorse, jail time, rehab, or even deportation, I’ll leave you with a quote from Bieber’s interview with the Hollywood Reporter just three months ago, “I know who I am, and what I’ve accomplished. I’m happy with the man I’m becoming.” At this point, the only thing Bieber is becoming is an immature, spoiled, disrespectful criminal who is soon to experience the adverse effects of his fall from grace. 

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Liz Muller

Vanderbilt

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