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Justin Bieber is growing into a young man right before our eyes – literally.

The 21-year-old heartthrob sat down with Billboard magazine for a very honest interview, during which he talks about the perils of growing up in the public eye, his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez inspiring his new music, not knowing who Bette Midler is, his dad defending those pesky nude photos, and more.

It’s clear Biebs has done a lot of self-reflection, but he assures fans he is veering away from his previously “self-centered attitude” to focus on all those who’ve been on this journey with him.

He admits that his love for Selena never went anywhere, asks us to be nicer to child stars like himself and Kylie Jenner (because their lifestyle is the “toughest thing in the world”), and even discusses Nicki Minaj vs. Miley Cyrus at the VMAs – sort of.

It was a very heartfelt interview, especially when he talked about his dad walking out on him at 4-years-old. Here are a few excerpts, courtesy of Gossip Cop:

On his struggles with fame:

“It might seem awesome from the outside, but I’m struggling. Certain things broke my trust with people. Situations happen that taint your mind. I started going through the motions. I felt like people were judging me all the time. I came out alive. I came out swinging. But I was close to letting [fame] completely destroy me.”

Justin says he felt “empty, lost, like I didn’t know myself, and would think, “You’re not good enough. People hate you. You try too hard.”

On not focusing on himself anymore:

“Enough with the Justin Bieber Show. I want to veer away from the self-centered attitude. I’m just focused on the people who have been there since the start, on people who are taking the journey now. I want them to feel like we’re doing this together.”

On being a child star:

“I wouldn’t suggest being a child star. It’s the toughest thing in the world… I want people to be more kind to young celebrities. Like Kylie [Jenner]. Look at her world: She has been living on TV since she was a kid. Every time she’s looking around she sees a camera, and that’s affecting how she’s thinking and how she’s perceiving people and why she has to do certain things… Situations that happen taint your mind, especially in this industry. Especially for girls.”

“Everything is so [based] on people’s looks and stuff… Look at the statistics on how many child stars have crumbled and turned out to be wack jobs. It’s because — it’s [expletive], bro, this lifestyle.”

On his father:

At 18, he was “not in a place where he could raise a kid. He was immature. He left for like a year when I was about 4, went to British Columbia, came back on Father’s Day. I remember my mom said, ‘If you’re going to be here, you have to be here.’ There’s a misconception that he’s this deadbeat dad, but he has been in my life since. I was with him on weekends and Wednesdays.”

On his father’s nude photo tweet and the Bette Midler slam:

“This Britt Meddler [sic]. I don’t even know who that is, honestly. I wanted to immediately say ‘Who is this lady?’ but then I’m just fueling this negativity. I do feel the photo was an invasion of my privacy. I felt super violated. My dad made light of it, but I don’t think that’s sick and twisted. It was funny. Dads are going to be dads.”

On his mom:

Over the last two years, their relationship became “pretty nonexisting. I was distant because I was ashamed. I never wanted my mom to be disappointed in me and I knew she was. We spent some time not talking, so it takes time to rebuild that trust. She’s living in Hawaii now, so it’s hard, but getting better. She’s an amazing woman and I love her.”

On Selena Gomez:

“I’m proud of the woman she is today. When you love someone that much, even if something comes between you, it’s a love that never really dies.” Justin says he hasn’t listened to her new album (“I know I had a lot of play in that one; I don’t know what she’s saying about me”), and that it’s “too soon” for another serious relationship.

On his Comedy Central Roast:

“There were moments like, ‘Man, that cut deep,’ but I was there to take it on the chin.”

On Miley Cyrus Vs. Nicki Minaj at the VMAs:

“I honestly thought my crying was more talked about.”

We love this side of Biebs. Check out a few photos from his cover shoot above and leave your thoughts below.

SOURCE: Gossip CopBillboard | PHOTO CREDIT: Billboard, Instagram, Getty

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