Pro: Are Celebrities Responsible for Fans’ Actions?

Colleen Burke, Staff Writer

When someone has a talent, they can do two things with it: share it with the world for fame and money, or share it for the enjoyment of both the audience and the creator. Once someone signs to a label, they sign away their freedom and sign their name onto a new person. They then have to become a certain image in order to satisfy their audience and become “successful.” Essentially they sell out by losing themselves and creating an entirely new person for the public eye in return for large sums of money.

Success shouldn’t be measured by money, but by the happiness it generates. In that way, the success of Justin Bieber could be considered materialistic as well as genuine. However, the genuine side, the enjoyment factor, is not necessarily the truth. The image Bieber has created, as a clean-cut, straight-edge, inspirational young man, has many “tween” followers.

As previously stated, when one signs on to sell their talent to the public, they sell an image they are required to uphold. The media’s job, however, can be construed as simply digging into said person’s life and find out the misgivings and “skeletons” in their closet to generate a story. Although this could be considered an invasion of privacy, the media does have a right to free speech as long as it is not slanderous.
Bieber’s image helps sell his music and draws in all the young girls who simply swoon at his name. His right to privacy no longer exists, and if he desires a private life he should be careful about secret information reaching the public.

By posting tweets and photos about smoking and drinking, Bieber is exercising his right to be a young adult and have fun. Nevertheless, he is crushing the perception millions of people had about him. This can not only hurt his career, but it can negatively affect his fans.

Because of Bieber’s indiscretion, his young and vulnerable admirers began to act out on his behalf. Many turned to harming themselves in hopes to get Bieber’s attention and stop his smoking of marijuana. The #CutForBieber formed shortly after the public became aware of Bieber’s actions, and young girls proceeded to post photographs of self-induced cuts on their arms. #CutForBieber was initially created as a hoax and a cruel joke by teenage boys, but the effects of it were so strong due to Bieber’s devoted fans who strove to protect him. Bieber had an obligation to uphold his “good boy” image to protect his followers and although it is offensive and disgusting for the girls to harm themselves over something that doesn’t affect them, Bieber has let them down.

Biber’s ability to influence younger girls can only be beneficial if he exhibits good behavior. The blame can only be placed on him for his fans’ poor decisions following his folly. Media, promoting the incident, did not help the situation at all but it was their right to publish the photos.

When Bieber chose to pursue a career in the public eye, he should have been prepared for the consequences of his actions. His life is not secret; it belongs mostly to the media and his fans, and if he desired privacy he could have remained discreet about his actions. There are plenty of famous people whose lives the public hear nothing about simply because they take the necessary precautions and only allow the media to get their hands on certain aspects. Bieber may have not been prepared for his sudden fame, but he should have recognized the responsibility that comes with it.