In 2008, Justin Bieber stole the hearts of teenage girls around the globe when he released his debut EP My World.

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As of May 2012, Bieber has sold 15 million records worldwide. He was also named one of the three most powerful celebrities in the world by Forbes Magazine. But most recently, the young heartthrob has been in the press for the aggression he displays toward a nagging paparazzi.

How is it that a once wholesome young man has become so gangster? As with all young men transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, you want people to respect and acknowledge your newfound freedom. But all too often we see former teen stars lose control once the reigns are loosened.

Over the weekend, Bieber was involved in an altercation with the paparazzi, which has now led to him being investigated for criminal battery. This is not the first time Bieber has failed to control his anger. He’s had multiple incidents with fans and paps respectively, giving both the finger and using an assortment of expletives.

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In a recent GQ article, entitled Man Up, Bieber, reporter Drew Magary addresses the pop star’s adulthood dilemma.

…He has something to offer the world. He wants to be a real artist. He wants respect.

But the way his life is built around him is going to make that very difficult. There’s too much riding on his “brand” for him to get dinged and knocked around and punched in the face, to suffer—and to bounce back from—the kind of traumas that make a child into an adult. My mission was to make a man out of Bieber. The label’s mission is to make a man out of Bieber. The only person who isn’t ready to make a man out of Bieber is Bieber. 

This problem is not unique to Bieber, many other childhood stars have found it difficult to face the realities of adulthood and adjust to the expectations. In time, Bieber will learn that he cannot allow the paparazzi to bait him into physical altercations. Now that he’s no longer a child he will be treated that way, even when he believes he may have the right to act like one. For the sake of his career and fans, I hope that Justin gets his act together.

-John Conyers 

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