The more outrageous Justin Bieber’s behavior has become in the past year, the more his loyal beliebers jump to his defense. Time and time again, I see comments telling everyone to calm down and quit complaining about him. After all, he’s just a stupid 19-year-old figuring his life out. “Besides, what were you doing at 19?” they follow their initial defense up with, as if to make us feel silly for judging Justin Bieber more harshly than we judged ourselves. As if money and fame don’t make any difference when it comes to teenage mistakes.
So Justin Bieber got a DUI, let’s make a big deal about it because he’s the only 19 year old who has ever been caught drinking and driving.
— Lindsay Scheffler (@lischeffler) January 24, 2014
tmz should change their bio into: “we stalk Justin Bieber a 19 years old boy. we want to destroy him and finally yesterday we did”.
— always & forever (@kidrauhlabove) January 24, 2014
This is why you smile for a mugshot. All that “Bieber is out of control” talk needs to come to an end. He’s 19. http://t.co/52lA1dH4gK
— Micah Singleton (@MicahSingleton) January 24, 2014
Y’all are killing me with these Justin Bieber tweets! Let the boy live! He’s having fun just like any other 19 or 29 yr old
— Amanda (@xo_Amandaleeee) January 24, 2014
I’m really sick of hearing about Justin Bieber. If you were 19 with 160 million dollars you would do stupid crap too.
— Joshua Jachimczyk (@Yahemcheck) January 24, 2014
And on one level it doesn’t. At the end of the day a stupid teenager is a stupid teenager is a stupid teenager. So when everyone jumped down Miley Cyrus’ throat for smoking “salvia” back in 2010, I too went with the age defense. Because I too knew 18-year-olds who smoked “salvia.” In fact, like many of you, I knew people much younger than 18 that dabbled in smoking “salvia” recreationally. That’s a universal thing that many teenagers do — regardless of the size of their bank accounts.
But here’s what many teenagers do not do:
Yes, I know. Being a millionaire a million times over as a teenager increases the opportunities available to make stupid decisions. But at some point we can’t keep blaming Justin Bieber’s bad behavior on teenager. Because while being rich and famous opened the door to a lot of bad things, it also opened the door to a lot of good things too. Somewhere between touring the world, putting out number one hit singles and releasing two movies, he stopped being just another 19-year-old. With the money and the fame should come some sense of responsibility. Some desire to be better than the average 19-year-old. Instead, he’s somehow worse.