It’s not easy being Justin Bieber. He’s famous for his baby face, sweet lyrics and fanatic fans called Beliebers. But now – after turning 18 earlier this month – the young singer is aiming to change his soft teen-throb image into something more rough and ready.
The way he chose for that conversion is – mildly put – a bit odd. He’s gracing the 10- year-anniversary issue of young men’s lifestyle magazine Complex in quite unusual attire.
Shot by provocative photographer Tony Kelly, instead of his beautiful blow-dried hair wave young Bieber showcases blood splattering over his face while he is apparently severely beaten up.
Some of the photos are actually rather shocking and sure to make burst tweens into tears – but are certainly edgy.
The controversial shoot, which is touted as the publication’s anniversary “knock-out special edition“, was reportedly inspired by the pop star’s ability to “roll with the punches”.
Or the singer wants to see himself as a grown-up aspiring rapper who can take a public beating. But in the end he still looks like young Bieber who was mugged by some bullies.
And with that, the magazine writes, he polishes off the extra plate of broccoli he requested from the waiter and heads back to his hotel room to retire for the night.
The interview is marketed as Bieber being one of those singers – just like the late Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake – who grew up in the lime-light and had to work hard on the transformation of becoming artists who are taken seriously beyond their teenage years.
“Every guy has feminine qualities. You’re raised by your mother and father, and I was raised mostly by my mother. I think the pictures turned out good – so whatever,” he says, brushing off the so-called controversy.
He also talks about the media attention he and his girlfriend Selena Gomez receive on a daily basis, mostly because of the paparazzi, who never let them out of their sight.
Justin says people simply don’t understand that, at the end of the day, if you take away his money, fame and popularity, he’s still a human being.
“I’ll be covering my face and it [upsets] me so much when people say, ‘Get over it, Justin. You’re famous. People are going to take your picture. Suck it up, you’re rich…’ It’s like, ‘Yo, I just got off an eight-hour flight. I’m tired and my eyes have bags under them. I’m not trying to take pictures. I’m not going to come to your house, wake you up, and start snapping your picture’,” the star explains.
In the same interview, Justin says the reason he and Selena chose to stop hiding from the press is that they decided the amount of hiding they did was poisoning their romance – no one wants a relationship like that, he adds.