By Brittney Nadler
Unfortunately, nearly everyone with access to the Internet, a TV, a radio or another human being has heard of Justin Bieber’s latest shenanigans (what about Amanda Knox or the Chris Christie bridge scandal…? No?) and we’ve all developed our own opinions on every detail of the situation.
The most common rationalizations I’ve heard are that the media is getting to the poor Bieb’s head and, oh, but all teenagers pull the same stunts, and the attention he’s receiving from his stardom is just getting too his poor head and – stop.
While it’s true that he isn’t the only 19-year-old (who will turn 20 in less than a month) in the world going to parties, doing drugs, drinking, getting himself into pickles and making a mistake every now and again (and again and again), he’s done too many other idiotic things to really allow himself the privilege of justifying any of his actions.
Is spitting on fans and peeing in mop buckets really an everyday teenage behavior? What about showing up two hours late to an event that thousands of people are attending solely to see you?
This isn’t a case of typical teenage times – it’s a pure demonstration of how someone acts when they become arrogant and conceited, narcissistic and entitled, “Hollywoodized.”
Obviously the stress of being a celebrity is something the vast majority of us can never truly fathom, but if it were me, and I knew that millions of people were going to know meaningless facts such as what I had for breakfast, I would be on my best public behavior.
To squash the weak rationalization of Justin’s antics, let’s take a gander at what other celebrities in his age range are doing:
1. Dylan Sprouse (21)
Dylan and his twin brother, Cole, are both currently attending New York University. Dylan is double majoring in poetry and studio art with a concentration in video game design and was elected president of his Third Avenue North dorm. He and his brother both supported the Hope for Sendai Japanese charity and actually went to Japan. They both left The Suite Life of Zack and Cody after they weren’t allowed to produce the final season. Talk about moving up in the industry.
2. Jennifer Lawrence (23)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE. ‘Nuff said.
3. Emma Watson (23)
The Harry Potter star started her magical career when she was just 11 years old, plus The Sorcerer’s Stone was her first acting gig, and look how she turned out. Watson attended Brown University and recently became a guest editor for the fashion magazine Wonderland. The British Scout Association honored her in 2011 for her charity work. She has supported multiple charities that support issues including the environment and schools in Africa. We don’t see her drag racing.
4. One Direction: (Niall Horan (20), Zayn Malik (21), Liam Payne (20), Harry Styles (20), and Louis Tomlinson (22 ))
With five times as many people as Justin Bieber, this group has five times as many opportunities to get caught doing something horrible – yet they haven’t. The boy band has supported Alzheimer’s Association, Comic Relief, Greenpeace, Mines Advisory Group, Sport Relief and Trekstock. They performed on the Children in Need 2011 broadcast and raised more than 26 million pounds and have released charity singles where all money earned goes to a charity. They contributed to Dish for a Wish, a fundraiser cookbook for The Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity which grants the wishes of sick children in the UK. They then visited the children. One Direction teamed up with Charitybuzz to raise money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and also aided the California Earthquake Authority. The list goes on and on – just look them up on Wikipedia for a quick 45-minute read of all they have accomplished.
5. Selena Gomez (21)
We had to go there. Justin should be downright grateful that Selena Gomez ever graced him with her presence. She has participated in countless philanthropic and volunteer events, including the UR Votes Count campaign, to encourage teenagers to learn more about the 2008 presidential candidates and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital “Runway for Life” benefit. She is the ambassador of DoSomething.org after being involved with Island Dog, and charity that helps dogs in Puerto Rico. She is also involved with the charity RAISE Hope For Congo to raise awareness about conflict minerals and violence against Congolese women. Gomez also participates in Disney’s Friends for Change to promote environmental friendliness and helped in the Hope for Haiti Now Telethon with other celebrities. In 2012, she was named ambassador for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and is also the youngest UNICEF ambassador ever.
The list goes on. While we may never know every fact to every situation, it is safe to say that Justin is travelling down a rocky path right now. Clearly these stars, and many like them, have not let fame and fortune ruin their lives and have actually -gasp- used their power to do good. Take notes, Bieber.