Just when you think teen superstar Justin Bieber couldn’t possibly do anything dumber, he does something that makes you do a double face palm. Bieber is truly achieving the impossible: He’s making Lindsay Lohan look good.
So what did Bieber do this time? Well, over the weekend he stopped at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. This museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of Anne Frank, whose chronicle of her family’s efforts to hide from the Nazis during World War II would later become “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
Bieber ended his visit by writing in the Holocaust memorial’s guest book: “Truly inspiring to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
For those who wonder what he’s talking about, a “belieber” is a term used to describe one of Bieber’s devoted fans. Apparently Bieber’s take-away from visiting this Holocaust memorial was that he hoped that Anne Frank would’ve been a fan of his music. He may have just redefined the word “narcissistic.”
There is a silver lining to this. Some of his young fans tweeted that they had never heard of Anne Frank. Consequently, the controversy surrounding his comments apparently raised awareness about the horrors of the Holocaust to some young people previously unfamiliar with it. And the Anne Frank House praised Bieber’s visit.
It was being gracious. But Bieber really needs to stop talking for a while. And I don’t say that as someone who harbors an inappropriate amount of dislike for the teen singer. In fact, last May I wrote a piece for CNN.com defending and actually sympathizing with Bieber when he had an altercation with the paparazzi.
But that was almost a year ago. Since then, Bieber has become unbearable.
In the last month alone, we have watched Bieber caught on tape being restrained by his bodyguards as he unleashed a stream of obscenities and threatened members of the paparazzi with physical violence. He also allegedly spit in the face of one of his neighbors and threatened him after the neighbor complained that Bieber was driving his Ferrari at 100 mph in their gated community.
Then we saw Bieber storm out of his March birthday party like a spoiled child calling it the “worst birthday.” He went on to show up almost an hour late for his concert in London. And in January, photos surfaced of Bieber smoking what the website TMZ said appeared to be weed with his friend rapper, Lil Twist.
I get it. Bieber wants the world to know he isn’t a kid anymore. So he has decided to go the “bad ass” route.
But Bieber will never, ever be the tough guy he wants to be. Why? For starters, he’s Canadian. When you think Canada, you think nice, often overly polite people — not thugs.
Second, Bieber is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. Those measurements say “horse jockey,” not scary guy. (Sure, actor Joe Pesci is only 5 feet 4 inches tall and known as a tough guy, but Pesci is Sicilian and was born in Newark, New Jersey, not London, Ontario.)
Bieber is clearly heading down the path of many child stars desperate to make the transformation into grown-up star. But his actions are not getting him there. Instead, he is becoming a walking punch line.
He has a few options. He could simply retire and enjoy his wealth. Estimates are that he is worth more than $100 million. Not bad for a 19-year-old kid — from Canada. But it’s unlikely that Bieber will take that route.
The other option is to avoid the fate of past teen stars who have ended up behind bars or worse as they struggled toward adulthood.
Instead, he could follow the lead of another Justin: Justin Timberlake. He, too, was a young star. First on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and then in the much better known boy band ‘N Sync. Timberlake didn’t try to be something he’s not. He continued to make music and then made a successful transition into acting.
Decision time is now for Justin Bieber: He can be a Timberlake or a cautionary tale that parents tell their kids who want to go into show business. What’s it going to be?