Photo Credit: Rolling Stone
Have you heard the news? Justin Bieber is a man now. At least, that's what he seems to think. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the 18-year-old "Boyfriend" singer continues his campaign to be seen as a grown-up artist.
"I feel like I carry myself in a more manly way," the pop star tells the magazine, when asked how he knows he's matured. "I don't carry myself as a boy."
Nevertheless, Bieber looks young and innocent on the magazine cover, accompanied by a salacious headline -- "Hot, Ready, Legal" -- that the magazine used once before, when Lindsay Lohan turned 18. (How's that for ominous?)
The photo, of Bieber in a white tank top and mile-high hair, is the kind of clean-cut shot a mother would be proud to put on her mantel -- unlike the March cover of Complex magazine, which showed a beat-up Bieber looking bloody and bruised. That boxing-themed pictorial was the beginning of Bieber's efforts to be seen as a little rougher, a little tougher -- no longer a teen idol.
Justin tried still harder in his May GQ interview, when he admitted to drinking beer and called himself a "swaggy adult." Then earlier this month, the pop star gave a radio DJ the cold shoulder after the jockey dared to compare him to Justin Timberlake, which is apparently not what Bieber is going for.
So what is Bieber going for? He's certainly trying for a more mature R&B sound on his album Believe, instead of the sugary pop that made him famous. And you know what? It worked! The album got great reviews, and the lead single was a No. 2 hit. Justin Bieber has a really fantastic career for any artist, let alone an 18-year-old.
The thing is: he's still 18. Ironically, by relentlessly reminding us that he's all grown up now, Bieber actually makes himself seem even younger than he is. Do adults constantly remind everybody that they're adults? Nope -- teenagers do that.
And that's fine, really. Justin Bieber is a teenage kid who's ahead of the pack, but has a lot of growing up still to do. He's in an awkward place right now, in both life and his career. But we'd rather see Justin be who is -- a talented, dynamic boy still figuring things out -- than the cocky know-it-all he's trying to be. Remember, Justin: Lindsay Lohan tried to grow up quickly, too. It's not always a good idea.