Justin Bieber’s Reasons For No Longer Taking Photos With Fans Are Totally Understandable

Justin Bieber has had enough of being treated like a “zoo animal.” The singer said he is “done taking pictures” with fans in a frustrated-sounding message he posted to Instagram on Tuesday night. If, as a reader, you find yourself getting angry over his words: Consider the reasons the Biebs went on to share in his post.

“It has gotten to the point that people won’t even recognize me as a human,” the Canadian explained. “I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to keep my sanity.”

Justin added, “I realize people will be disappointed but I don’t owe anybody a picture. and people who say ‘but I bought ur album’ know that you got my album and you got what you paid for AN ALBUM! It doesn’t say in fine print whenever you see me you also get a photo.”

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Shortly after that first post, the Biebs shared another. It shows a screen shot of his reply to one commenter who called him a “p***k,” and who insisted “your fans are the reason you are as successful as you are. The least you can do is take pictures with them.” The commenter added that “‘normal’ isn’t what you signed up for” and called the singer a “douche.”

So, how did Bieber respond? Two words: Lucidly and politely. Essentially, the heartthrob pointed out that the fame game and inroads into stars’ privacy has changed dramatically since the days when “not everyone was accessible to a camera” to now “when everyone has a camera phone and.. [n]ow it’s just a different thing.”

“If you think setting boundaries is being a douche, I’m the biggest douche around,” the 22-year-old added, “But I think it’s smart and will be the only way I last.” He went on to say he wanted to “enjoy life and not be a slave to the world and their demands of what they think I need to do!!”

Bieber then said if the commenter were in his “position” they “would understand how tiring it is [to deal 24/7 with fans demanding photos in aggressive ways],” before concluding that, “I’m going to keep making decisions I feel are fit for my growth and no human being will make me feel bad for it.”

Braekess you are so right btw your Instagram name is fire. Years ago it was impossible to even take a picture at anytime not everyone was accessible to a camera now everyone has a camera phone and Now it's just a different thing.If you think setting boundaries is being a douche I'm the biggest douche around but I think it's smart and will be the only way I last. I wanna enjoy life and not be a slave to the world and their demands of what they think I need to do!! I love the fact that I am able to make people happy but cmon if you truly were in my position you would understand how tiring it is ( boo hoo Justin get over it) I'm going to keep making decisions I feel are fit for my growth and no human being will make me feel bad for it.

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Naturally, as with all things Justin Bieber, his fans, detractors, a few minor artists, stars, and Youtube personalities and more, had their say on Twitter and Instagram about the superstar’s decision to stop taking photos with fans. Before highlighting some of the comments, it’s useful to note some context.

After seven years of hectic meet and greets with fans, dealing with screaming, typically overly-tactile teens on a daily basis, it’s possible the “Sorry” singer reached his tipping point after a fan threw a flag in his face in New York City last week. The incident was knowingly misinterpreted by tabloid media outlets and turned into an implausible accusation of Bieber “disrespecting” the Argentinian flag, when it was apparent from footage that in the seconds in which Bieber had to react he didn’t know the item was a flag.

Days later, Bieber was mobbed in Boston ahead of a two-night Purpose World Tour concert stint. A group of fans shoved phones in the singer’s face and grabbed at him on Monday and Tuesday. Take a look at the clips below.


Justin Bieber spotted in Boston, Massachusetts . (May 10)

A post shared by Justin Bieber Updates™ (@justinbiebertracker) on

Additionally, it’s been revealed that Bieber and a pal were harassed by an invasive family, who demanded that the superstar pose for a photo while they played pool at Lucky Strike Lanes on Tuesday afternoon.

A rep for the venue told Just Jared, “It was toward the end of their last game that a family, also at the venue, began trying to get to Justin,” adding that the family were “acting like they were looking for the bathroom and eventually confronting him and demanding photos, implying they were owed a photo [just] because they had bought Justin’s albums.”

It’s worth noting that nowhere in Bieber’s two Instagram posts did he say anything about not wanting to talk to fans in impromptu scenarios. Instead, he is clearly saying he struggles with the invasive way in which some fans thrust phones in his face without warning or his consent.

Take a look at two examples of this.

Y’all see? pic.twitter.com/XSXrgcNsfG

— Kim Anderson (@levinesbieber) May 11, 2016

Last September, during a trip to Australia ahead of releasing his Purpose album, Bieber was mobbed by fans when he landed at an airport. That experience led to him posting a Snapchat video in which he asked fans to treat him humanely and “respect” him, and said he would prefer to talk to fans and have an actual conversation rather than take frantic selfies.

Fast forward to March 2016, the Grammy winner canceled his tour meet-and-greets with fans, saying they left him “drained and unhappy to the point of depression” and that he takes on other people’s “spiritual energy.”

At the time, TMZ also reported a security incident at a meet-and-greet was part of the reason for Bieber’s pullback.

Love u guys.. I'm going to be canceling my meet and greets. I enjoy meeting such incredible people but I end up feeling so drained and filled with so much of other people's spiritual energy that I end up so drained and unhappy.. Want to make people smile and happy but not at my expense and I always leave feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to the point of depression .. The pressure of meeting people's expectations of what I'm supposed to be is so much for me to handle and a lot on my shoulders. Never want to disappoint but I feel I would rather give you guys the show and my albums as promised. Can't tell you how sorry I am, and wish it wasn't so hard on me.. And I want to stay in the healthy mindset I'm in to give you the best show you have ever seen ;)

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Into the mix of Bieber’s decision to stop taking photos with fans is his history of depression and anxiety. Back in his more turbulent days, one post-arrest toxicology test revealed marijuana and Xanax in his system. The latter is used to treat anxiety. The singer later explicitly revealed he suffers from depression and anxiety in interviews last year, telling NME, “I just want people to know I’m human. I’m struggling just to get through the days. I think a lot of people are.”

The Biebs added, “You get lonely, you know, when you’re on the road. People see the glam and the amazing stuff, but they don’t know the other side. This life can rip you apart,” also admitting that he deals with depression “all the time” and feels “isolated” by fame.

While media, fans, and more are now chiming in on the singer’s decision, it’s worth remembering that Bieber burst into tears onstage during the recent Philadelphia leg of his Purpose Tour. In fact, most massive artists do not meet fans in spontaneous situations on a daily basis as Bieber has done for years. His “no photos” decision shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. It’s the result of his fans — for the most part — ignoring his repeated requests to be treated as a human being.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the online conversation about Bieber’s latest statements.

He’s a douche for wanting 5 minutes with you instead of just a pic and goodbye? People are missing the whole point.. upset over nothing????

— ️ (@rihfIection) May 11, 2016

[Images via Kevin Mazur / Getty Images]