Recently Justin Bieber was charged with drinking and driving, resisting arrest and drag racing in the streets of Miami. He was also accused of illegal drug use. These are just the latest of his recent antics that seem to show the pop star spiraling out of control.
“He’s only just turned 19 and he’s still learning to cope with the pressures of fame. But it’s worrying.” His grandmother Kathy Bieber has been quoted saying in a past interview.
There is a lot of pressure of fame that not everyone knows how to handle, especially a 19 year old that’s been pretty much raised his whole life to not only think that he is special, but that he is somehow above the rules and laws that “normal” people have to abide by.
This is something that happens with lots of celebrities as they feel the stress and pressure of the spotlight and began to think of themselves as “special” and begin to lose their sense of self-awareness.
There is a tremendous amount of stress that comes along with fame, when people are always watching you and expecting you to be in character every time you are in public. Fame can turn into a lonely, isolating and mistrustful place where losing yourself happens very quickly.
The people these celebrities typically surround themselves with are usually so eager to be close to fame that when they should be telling these people “You need to slow down. You need to watch what you are doing.”, they typically don’t. Instead, they become “yes” men and women. We’ve seen this over and over again with celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
Psychologist Robert Millman created a theory called “acquired situational narcissism” to try to explain what happens when people acquire fame.
The theory basically states that when the world and the people closes to the famous person start to over praise that person and do not accurately reflect reality back to them, the celebrity stops knowing how to be in the world with other people because they are so used to being looked at that the celebrity stops learning how to be in the world with other people. They are used to everybody looking at them that they forget how to be in relationship and share equal responsibility. They become disconnected from reality, a form of narcissism where they believe they are extra “special”.
When you are surrounded by people who are willing to give you any and everything you want and not say “no” to you, it’s hard to learn how to restrain yourself. And when you have dozens if not more people around you everyday telling you how special you are, it’s hard to not start believing that. The constant praise and ability to get away with things creates a sense of entitlement that leads to worse and more extreme behaviors as these celebrities push the envelope to see just how “special” they really are.
These celebrities also tend to surround themselves with bad influences. “Yes” people who won’t tell them to stop, but will encourage their bad behavior. It is rumored that Justin Biebers dad helped block off the street in Miami so his son could drag race. If this is the case, his dad, wanting to share in the fame and fortune of his son is not likely to truly be a great parental influence out of fear that his son would push him away, which means instead of giving good fatherly advice, he is more likely to go with the flow even if the flow is against the law.
Some have asked if Justin Bieber is committing career suicide. I would say no to that. As long as he is rich and famous there are going to be fans who want to see him, even when he is doing outrageous antics. However, I’m more worried about Justin Bieber as a person. If he doesn’t start taking responsibility for himself and surrounding himself with people who aren’t afraid to reflect reality accurately back to him, he could end up in rehab, behind bars for a long time or worse.
He can definitely end up being the male version of Linsday Lohan and Britney Spears. At 19, he’s young enough to turn this whole thing around or throw it all away. I just hope out of his entire entourage there are at least some people who are grounded enough to be honest with him and that he is not too conceited or out of touch to actually listen and want to make the changes necessary to save not only his career, but his life.