Counter to the well wishes of a Belieber Army’s parents, the object of their daughter’s worship is growing up and into himself. Justin Bieber has already worked through PDA and baby mama drama, and his recently sophomore album made a concerted effort to present a mature (or at least maturing) artist. And now, August’s Rolling Stone cover — which was revealed (via a retweet) today by the Biebs himself – declares the once precious pop star once and for all “HOT, READY, LEGAL.” Could it be? Justin has made the transition from “Baby” to “Boyfriend”, but does that make him “ready”? Did Rolling Stone jump the gun? You might want to take a deep breath now, because something tells us we have only seen the tip of the ice berg.
All pop stars grow up, and Justin is not the first young pop star to come out as an adult on the cover of Rolling Stone. Below, see three other celebrities who jump started the second stage of their careers with a “Too Soon?” declaration of maturity on the magazine’s front cover.
Britney Spears made waves back in 1999 when she let the magazine “Inside [her] Heart, Mind” and — so scandalously so, for a previously jejune girl like she! — her “Bedroom.” The David LaChapelle snapped picture shows her in just a bra and polka-dot undies, laid out on silk sheets with a Teletubby hugged close and a phone held to her ear. It made parents crazy to see her so sexy and proud, and it might have subsequently made Britney a little crazy, too.
Brit’s once boyfriend and perhaps “corrupter” Justin Timberlake came next, shirtless (and extra vein-y?) on the cover in 2002. The coverline then called him “Mister Heartbreak,” as he had just sold more than 1 million copies of his debut solo album, Justified, much thanks to the success of “Cry Me a River,” an ode to his by then ex-, Spears. We’ve since accepted J.Tim as an adult, and we have moreover assumed him the likeness to which Justin Bieber will at some point grow. Growing up is tough, and for those that make it, these sorts of scandalous “coming outs” end up but a blip on the radar.
For those whose transition is more tumultuous, though, they ring like beckons, warning of only the scary things to come. As Gawker points out, Bieber’s cover also closely resembles an August 2004 Rolling Stone cover featuring a similarly “Hot, Ready and Legal!” 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan. This shouldn’t portend doom for dear Biebs, as the Daily Caller seems to believe. But we do hope that things go easier for Bieber than they have for Miss Lohan.