Justin Bieber is Still a Teenager. Help Him from Turning into a Grown Up ***hole. 

Mara Menachem
Jan 25, 2014 · 3 min read

History repeats itself. So, why are we having the same conversation over and over again? Being young and famous is a known recipe for disaster. Parents of the young and famous somehow lose the power to be effective role models, incapable of setting limits when their child is so successful. Then when their offspring turns 18, what can parents really do? Watch their progeny ride the roller coaster of fame, because the appeal to have your kid shine for all the world to see is powerfully enticing. And by the time you realize the great detriment of prematurely pushing your kid’s talent, the drug of fame has become an addiction — and it’s not only your kid who’s using. So, parents, think carefully about the impact of early fame, such as that of Justin Bieber, who, to everyone’s unsurprising surprise, has begun to show clear signs of fame’s impact. And it’s not good.

But really. Should we be surprised? I mean, what teenager gets a Lamborghini? Justin Bieber does. In fact, he bought it himself, and no one said “No,” and that was that. A Lamborghini. His first car. When I read that news-worthy information, I remember thinking, “Nothing good will come from your first car being a Lamborghini.” Did his parents really think their child was capable of making a decision like this without running some adult interference? Were they bullied into letting their superstar son spend his hard earned money any way he chose? Why not? It’s what many in our society value, right? Fame and all the “glamour” associated.

Which begs the question: What teenager is validated for being uneducated, materialistic, and entitled? Justin Bieber, that’s who — who, by the way has been played by a group of highly savvy, educated, and sophisticated music executives, who have rendered Mr. Bieber a money tree, and in the process, about which I’m making an assumption, have taken absolutely no responsibility for the outcome of the pressure they’ve subjected him to… or for the so-called “perks” of stardom. These “perks” of child stardom include psychological trauma, confusion, exposure — unpalatable for anyone, and especially unsuitable for the young and vulnerable. I think every child celebrity should be required to attend weekly group therapy with other child celebrities, and individual therapy, too. It’s been documented that fame has caused severe mental illness and breakdowns in celebrities, so why are we not helping them to avoid these problems? Are these kids merely objects, e.g., the more problems they have in public only adds to the total pay out?

Maybe so. Which is why I am excusing Justin Bieber for his behavior. I said it, and I mean it. My own young children have had the adult guidance to gain a basic understanding of appropriate behavior. And when they are teenagers, they will make mistakes and play with boundaries. In fact, if they don’t, that’s cause for concern. But what they will have is an adult to set limits and help them feel safe when adolescent peer pressure and hormonal changes become overwhelming. Has Justin had anyone helping him set limits? Or has he been responsible to raise himself?

Justin Bieber is not “bad.” After all, he did visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and there is something sweet about that. He has achieved the highest professional level and direction in his career, calculating every song, video, and performance… if only to ensure his fame continues to grow. And with all of that, in addition to being wealthy, handsome, and famous, he’s still desperately missing something crucial and intangible: guidance from an adult — who’s not afraid to set limits.

So Justin Bieber gets arrested, and the world is captivated. But really. How surprised should we be?

    Mara Menachem

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    Mara Menachem created hautedropoff, a website capturing the fashionable at school drop-off.