When observing from afar the circus surrounding the life of Justin Bieber, I can’t help but be reminded of a certain episode of South Park.
The boys cross paths with Britney Spears in the middle of a media-fuelled crisis, driven to attempted suicide and with only half of her head intact, and set about helping her evade the paparazzi.
Of course, it’s later revealed that Spears had secretly been sentenced to death by media as part of an ancient ritual supposed to reap a plentiful harvest.
In the end, she is literally photographed to death.
Crazy, I know, but it’s an interesting take on the impact of the cult-like scrutiny placed on young celebrities like Bieber.
Regardless of what you think of Bieber – his music, his money or his persona – surely you can sympathise with the man.
The 23-year-old who can’t even stop in for a cheeky Nandos in Auburn without being surrounded by screaming “fans” within 10 minutes.
I have no doubt the media’s identification of Bieber as a click-baiting inch-filler drives that obsession, but at what cost? Will we only be satisfied when we see his life and undoubted talent unravel? His transformation from golden boy to laughing stock complete.
So how about we lay off this young man who, despite his obvious flaws, is exactly that – a young man. We could lose him completely if we don’t give him space to breathe.