Justin Bieber’s Instagram of himself giving a homeless woman a wad of notes through the window of his Ferrari in Los Angeles earned him some heat recently.
The snap, taken from a pap’s eye view on Tuesday and sold to TMZ, was captioned: “Always give back.”
In it, Bieber’s extended illustrated arm, expensive watch and sweet ride, are all that’s seen of the singer. What draws focus is a woman in need, the cash, and her placard saying:”Just need some help. Bless you and yours.”
In addition to the title accompanying TMZ’s publication of the photo which accused the pop star of grandstanding, the gossip site also posed this question:
“If Justin Bieber performs a good deed and doesn’t Instagram a photo of it, does it really count?”
So, was Bieber chasing good publicity?
But, why are we surprised?
Whether it’s his questionable but non-criminal conduct — most of which can be put down to teenage acting out, or criminal allegations that are not yet proven as fact — the singer has been in the crosshairs of the press and legal system for some time now.
Clearly, the kid is feeling the pressure. Going on past form, he probably didn’t think it through how his Instagram would be interpreted..
The irony that it was unnecessary for Bieber to advertise his Samaritanism while he is still getting great press from his recent Make-A-Wish Foundation record, could be read as a demonstration of just how twizzed out he is by the criticism he’s getting.
Only the churlish would rejoice at that. And only the very churlish would think one defensive Instagram negates the teen star’s four year track record with Make-A-Wish and his consistent support of several charities and outreach efforts.
Among them, Pencils of Promise, an organization that actively supports increased access to quality education in the developing world. Bieber also supports the Child Hunger Ends Here initiative and has an ongoing relationship with Whitney Elementary School. He continues to fundraise for AT/RT child cancer research, has previously donated to food banks, and directed partial proceeds from his 2011 Christmas album and Someday Fragrance to charities.
Over the past five months, most print, online, and broadcasting outlets have mercilessly ripped into the teen star while applying scant self-judgment to the rumors, inflation, and skewed negative narrative that dominates the Bieber news cycle.
The sum of these has clearly had a massively damaging effect on the 19-year-old’s public image and it remains to be seen whether he can recover from that in the long-term.
So, yes, an embattled teenager Instagrammed his own good deed.
Can we really blame him?