“No 15-year-old wants to be around his mother 24/7. And no mother wants to be around her 15-year-old 24/7, either.”
Sounds like a pretty down to earth comment really and the interesting thing is that it was made by Pattie Mallette, the mother of 16-year-old pop star, Justin Bieber.
Ms Mallette has been in the news this week for reminding the world of her son’s Christian origins. In a discussion about the star’s commitment to remain a virgin until marriage, his mother said, ‘He’s expressed his desire to stay pure, and honour women, and treat women with respect. So hopefully that stays valid.’
Apart from the slightly obscene aspect of the world discussing a 16-year-old’s virginity, it is an intersting insight into ridiculous fame crashing headlong into real people in real family.
Pattie Mallette was just 18 when she became pregnant with Justin, who was born on March 1, 1994, in Stratford, Ontario. She worked low paying office jobs as she raised Justin as a single mother.
While Justin taught himself to play the piano, guitar and trumpet by the age of 12, Pattie began posting videos of his performances on YouTube with a clear strategy in mind.
It seems that she had a strong Christian faith and at some point, as many parents do, had in a very real way ‘given’ her son over into God’s hands, seeing him as a possible modern day prophet Samuel.In an interview with the New York Times, Pattie said that she wondered if Justin might become a youth pastor or a singer with a Christian label so was confused when Scooter Braun contacted her about Justin.
Scooter is a hip-hop industry marketer, known for discovering the rapper Asher Roth and associations with Snoop Dogg and Kevin Fenderline.
Pattie said that she had not envisioned a future in mainstream pop music for him. ‘I said: “God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label!’ ” She said she prayed with her church elders, who gave permission to proceed.
Perhaps her very public statements about her son’s vow to celibacy is an attempt to hold back the tide of fame and fortune that is engulfing Justin.
And while for many adults, Justin is a star we smugly distance ourselves from, maybe it’s actually time to pray for him and his devout and determined mother. PH