Justin Bieber broke thousands of Beliebers’ hearts today when he posted on Instagram that he is no longer going to take photos with anyone. In a post that’s already gotten over 90,000 comments (more than three times his normal amount), he warned, “If you happen to see me out somewhere know that I’m not gonna take a picture I’m done taking pictures.”
It’s a little harsh, but completely understandable when you read further into why he has come to the edge of his patience. He said, “It has gotten to the point that people won’t even say hi to me or recognize me as a human, I feel like a zoo animal and I want to be able to keep my sanity.” He finished by explaining that even though he knows people will be disappointed, being a fan and purchasing his album or tickets to his concert doesn’t automatically mean he has to take pictures with anyone.
I know this isn’t going to be easy to hear for most fans, but Bieber is completely right here. He deserves boundaries. He deserves to, at the very least, be treated like a human being. I do understand that seeing your idol, and quite possibly the only boy you’ve ever fallen in love with, does bring out unexpected behaviors — like going for an immediate selfie and not taking the time to say hi. I was 14 once and felt the same way about the other Justin.
But fame is just on an entirely different level now. Bieber is doing what Britney Spears should have done years ago by deciding that he’s in control of his own safety and his own career. He doesn’t owe anyone anything except good music and live shows.
Most of the comments on Bieber’s post are ones of support. Most people are saying that they understand and they feel sorry that he’s had to feel like a caged animal for so long. One fan even said, “Only true Beliebers will realize this is the best for him.” Which is probably very easy to do when he’s not standing right there and all you want is proof that you met him.
I imagine most of the backlash he’ll face is in person when he does stick to his guns and enforce the no pictures policy. In those moments, I encourage fans to remember that he is still a person. And that he’s asking us all to respect him, not because he’s super famous and needs special treatment, but because he’s a human and deserves to be treated as such.