Justin Bieber’s Rolling Stone cover, by way of Lindsay Lohan, celebrates the singer’s arrival to adulthood, four months after his 18th birthday. But it isn’t just the magazine and its attempt to sell copies with shocking adjectives declaring Bieber a man. He feels different, too. “I feel like I carry myself in a more manly way,” he says. “I don’t carry myself as a boy.” Oh dear. We’ve been down this road before. In the months surrounding his milestone birthday, various profiles have attempted to capture Bieb doing some quintessential “manly” activities, which either results in elaborate makeup jobs or a whiny half-baked account of waiting for a superstar to finish working. He’s already classified himself as a “swaggy adult,” and it turns out Bieber prefers to exercise his newfound manhood through his interaction with photographers.
The paparazzi and Bieber have had a complicated relationship over the last few months, with age and increasingly terrible experiences giving Bieber the gall to act out when pursued by their flashbulbs. While being interviewed at a local golf course for the RS article, Bieber wasn’t too happy about the photographers following their game, and exerted his masculinity by “taking out his nine-iron and hitting a golf ball at them.” Fore! They probably had it coming, sure, but at least Bieber is smart enough to know that using precious clubs for anything other than 18 holes makes one a less than desirable customer.
In further attempt to capture the essence of Mature Bieber, the magazine also spoke with Scooter Braun, The Bieb’s manager and the best male role model he has when dad Jeremy isn’t around to teach him how to properly show his underwear to screaming girls. “Personally, I think that’s all a bunch of bullshit,” Braun said, speaking to those image experts who worry Bieber’s relationship status will hurt his career. “Yes, there’s gonna be some girls that if they see him with a girlfriend, it kills the dream—but there’s also gonna be girls that see him with a girlfriend, hear about the romantic things he does and want him even more.” Nothing like a potty mouth to make you look more manly, Scoot. Looks like Bieber’s already working on expanding his vocabulary.