It's safe to say that Justin Bieber's Men's Health interviewer is not a Belieber. Oliver Broudy spent a day with the 21-year-old pop star for the magazine's April 2015 cover story, but he did so, it seems, rather unenthusiastically.
Broudy's profile doesn't even attempt to mask his less-than-flattering opinion of the singer. In fact, he mentions it outright in the first few paragraphs of the piece.
"It's not that you don't like Justin Bieber. You actually find him offensive," Broudy writes. "Why? Because his success primarily depends on skillful producers and shrieking tweens? Because he managed to steal the attention of half the planet's girls by basically becoming one of them?"
He goes on: "Or maybe it's just that he's never had to deal with all the crap the rest of us have. Like public transportation. Job interviews. Getting fired, or dumped, or ignored at the bar. Mowing the f–king lawn. This is a kid who had his bodyguards carry him up the Great Wall of China. Everything was handed to him. And now he's a big boy and he thinks manhood is going to be handed to him too. And you're like, no, dude. No."
The rest of the article is sprinkled with similar little asides — responses to Bieber's quotes about his quest to become a man.
At one point, when the "Heartbreaker" crooner mentions that he doesn't have a stylist because he's grown up and wants to "take initiative," Broudy writes, "There's your problem right there, you're tempted to say. But don't. Because really, you don't want to be a dick about it. And what would be the point?"
Later, describing Bieber's efforts to grow up in the public eye, the writer notes, "Watching it is painful, like watching a skunk attempt to work loose from a bear trap. But there's something fascinating about it as well. It turns into a kind of dark sport. And if you watch long enough, you can't help but think Jaysus, if I only had five minutes with the kid…But what exactly would you say? And could he even hear you if he hasn't learned to listen yet?"
By his own admission, Bieber hasn't been a model citizen in recent months. As Broudy points out, he's run into trouble several times over the last year, with his neighbor, a limo driver, the police, etc. "And you could easily sit back and wish more of the same upon him," Broudy writes. "Until in the end he achieves the well-trod exit from celebrity that some part of him surely desires."
All that said, Broudy acknowledges that "it's hard to be a man these days," no matter who you are. And in the end, it seems, he isn't quite sure how to feel about his subject. "As he talks you realize the funny way you each want to be like the other," he writes. "He wants to be like you. Real. Limited. Bounded. You want to be like him. Or do you?"
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