Justin Bieber has been sending a clear message to his fans for months, but they never seemed to pay attention.
Between canceling meet-and-greets at his concerts, rudely dismissing fan gifts, and outright refusing to interact with his dedicated pack of “Beliebers,” the 22-year-old performer has consistently shown that despite his ongoing success and sold-out world tour tickets, he’s done with fame. And maybe it’s time for people to start listening to him.
On Tuesday, following a bombardment of harassment from the collective that once helped to make him notable, Bieber deleted his Instagram account. To anyone else, the choice to have less of a social media presence is nothing too grandstanding, but when it comes to someone like Justin Bieber, a singer who once so steadfast in maintaining an active line of communication between himself and his fan base, it’s equal to signing a death warrant. There’s no coming back from this, and truth be told, he obviously doesn’t want to.
However, it shouldn’t have taken Bieber to disassociate from 77 million Instagram followers, according to Rolling Stone, for anyone to realize this. Again, this has been coming for months, and the signs weren’t just glowing, they were glaring. When he made the choice to stop all meet-and-greets during his Purpose World Tour, it should’ve been clear then. MTV noted his explanation for ending the once-recurring perk of his previous melodic excursions.
“I enjoy meeting such incredible people,” he stated in March, “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. [I] want to make people smile and happy, but not at [the] expense [of] feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to the point of depression.”
If that wasn’t clear enough, then his rage-filled decision to stop posing for pictures with fans in May should’ve been the checkmate. Alas, it still wasn’t to his “Beliebers.”
“I realize people will be disappointed, but I don’t owe anybody a picture,” Bieber wrote on Instagram, so says the L.A. Times. “And [to the] people who say, ‘but I bought [your] album,’ know that you got my album and you got what you paid for: an album. It doesn’t say in fine print [that] whenever you see me, you also get a photo.”
When one of his “Beliebers” countered back that he was being a “douche” about the situation, the gloves really came off.
“If you think setting boundaries is [me] being a douche,” Justin responded, “[then], I’m the biggest douche around, but I think it’s smart and [it] will be the only way I last.”
Those boundaries would make themselves known just days later, when an Argentine fan attempted to give Bieber a flag from her home country as he exited a New York City television studio. Rather than accept her gift, Justin tossed it out of the window of the car he was being driven in.
He would repeat the crude act with another fan during an Atlantic City concert in July. As reported by the Inquisitr, after someone threw a hat onto the stage between songs, Justin threw it back and said that he didn’t “want that s**t.” He apologized immediately after, but it wasn’t very genuine.
"Sorry for throwing your hat but you ruined the moment". ???? pic.twitter.com/t62NhlU4vj— Hanne (@hannespurpose) July 16, 2016
The reality is, fans have been stuck in a moment with Justin that has long since passed. Most still see him as being the young, floppy-haired kid who bounced around stages singing songs like “Baby” and “One Time,” but that’s not the same Justin Bieber we’re dealing with now. This Justin Bieber is someone who is clearly not happy or satisfied with the aspects of a career that a talented Canadian tyke with a YouTube channel and guitar-playing skills could only dream of.
And honestly, that’s no fault of Justin’s at all. Not everyone is cut out for continued or enhanced fame, and they definitely aren’t cut out to have their every move on Instagram followed and responded on by 77 million people (including a former love interest). The late Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “if somebody tells you who they are, believe them,” and Justin Bieber has been telling us exactly who he is lately: He is a famous person who no longer wants to be famous. Perhaps it’s time that everyone, including the “Beliebers,” do him a favor and let him be. How many times does he have to continue saying it before he’s finally heard? It’s time to move on, people.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]