Justin Bieber may have told the world he is taking “some time” out after his recent bruising at the Billboard Music Awards, but that doesn’t mean the world is ready to let him.
The 19-year-old’s privacy was invaded by paparazzi on Saturday, May 25, as they snapped the teen star at his Calabasas, Los Angeles home during a helicopter fly-over.
In the pictures, which can be seen here, Bieber is seen holding up his white vest as he stood outside in the backyard of his property. The singer also wears long shorts, red high-top sneakers, a green baseball cap, white boxers and black leather gloves.
These details are unsolicited, rather like the paparazzi attention foisted on the Canadian while at his own home, and likely explains his defiant ab flash to the circling photogs and the violated expression on his face.
Inevitably, the shots have been purchased by outlets, one of which described Bieber’s six-pack display as “any excuse to show off his washboard abs.”
Another ran with the line that the singer was reminding “Selena Gomez what she’s missing.”
Obviously, both of these soundbites are assumptions given that the photos of the pop star were taken without his prior permission.
Inexplicably, E! Online! trills the teen “flaunts” his abs and “shows off” a leopard-design car seen in the singer’s driveway, glibly ignoring the fact that observing — then purchasing — pictures of someone else’s property without invitation would seem to be far more offensive.
Clearly, there’s a huge difference between looking at photos taken of Bieber at a public event or images posted to his social media accounts, and commercially-motivated invasions of his right to privacy.
Two days after he was booed at the Billboard awards the singer tweeted that he was “gonna take some time,” presumably to take a breather from a spotlight that has grown increasingly punitive. And apart from a few cat Instagrams, the teen’s Twitter feed has remained inactive since May 21.
In addition to some commentators concerned suggestions that Bieber take on board some of the constructive advice he may be receiving from his team or elsewhere, many high profile names have also offered similar advice — in their own way.
Among them, Chris Brown, who tweeted a short but strongly worded message to the embattled teen shortly after the Billboard event, that read:
“Congrats @justinbieber. Focus and f**k the bull***t! Love ya boy!”
Meanwhile, Bridesmaids producer, Judd Apatow, commenting on the booing debacle, said:
“I feel bad for him. We’ve seen that before and you want to give him a hug and tell him to calm down. But hopefully he’ll just pull out of it and it’ll be alright. It must be a very strange position to find yourself in as a young person.”
He added: “I think there is a natural way the world reminds you when you’re getting out of hand and it’s not the worst thing in the world for him to read things and realize that he can handle himself better. But if you saw what I did at that age, it would be way worse. I was much worse than him.”
The director’s comments followed the recent Bieber blasting by veteran rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who declared the singer was an “a**hole” for “disrespecting” his fans with late show starts at some of his tour concerts.
It’s somewhat incongruous, then, to see media outlets paying for invasive shots of someone who they have widely castigated for overexposure and instances of immature behavior, but who is now being denied the freedom to reflect and think about his next steps in private.
If Bieber has personal growth to explore, shouldn’t he be allowed to get on with it without being provoked by low-flying helicopters whenever he steps outside his own home? Or has the three month public battering of this teenager simply been a meaningless exercise in stone throwing?