It looks like Justin Bieber is not happy with the media for their choice in photos. Yep, the singer just called out a bunch of news outlets for using old pictures of him in their stories, where he said he looks “sick and unwell” due to his battle with Lyme disease.
“I’m still in shock we are still using those photos of me,” he wrote on his Instagram Stories, alongside a screenshot from an article that used a January 2020 snap from the red carpet premiere of his YouTube docuseries, Justin Bieber: Seasons. “I’m telling you media wants to pick bad photos of me to make it look like I’m not OK.”
In another post, he shared a few pics that he would prefer outlets to use. The “Love Yourself” crooner continued, “There have been countless photo shoots and opportunities for media to pick up other photos but they still run with this one to make me look sick and unwell. It’s not right.”
What Do We Know About Justin Bieber’s Battle With Lyme Disease?
For those who missed it, Bieber revealed that he had Lyme disease in January 2020. At the time, he wrote on Instagram, “While a lot of people kept saying, ‘Justin Bieber looks like s**t, on meth, etc.,’ they failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health. These things will be explained further in a docuseries I’m putting on YouTube shortly… You can learn all that I’ve been battling and OVERCOMING! It’s been a rough couple years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever.”
His wife, Hailey Baldwin, later slammed people who were “downplaying” the disease.
“For those who are trying to downplay the severity of Lyme disease. Please do your research and listen to the stories of people who have suffered with it for years. Making fun of and belittling a disease you don’t understand is never the way, all it takes is educating yourself,” she wrote on her Stories.
What Else Has He Said About This Situation?
And this isn’t the first time that he addressed the situation. Back in November 2020, he uploaded a video of himself talking about the situation as he searched his name on Google and noticed that the photos that came up first were from the same event.
“I don’t know what the algorithm is for why certain photos come up, but this is so frustrating considering that I took a lot of time to get healthy and I feel as though people try to legitimately sabotage me,” he said. “This was a time where I was really unhealthy, I was battling Lyme disease. All of the top photos are of me looking disheveled. I was obviously going through a tough time. But these are the photos that the media tries to run with. There’s so many new photos that I’ve serviced to the media, and they continue to use these photos. So what’s the deal? It’s frustrating me, I’ve asked them to change it, I wish they would change it. I’ve done a lot of photoshoots since then, they don’t have to put these photos [out] but they do. I mean look at my skin now, there’s so many [new] photos they could choose.”
What Exactly Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that you can catch if you’re bitten by a deer tick carrying a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. It causes a rash — often in a bull’s-eye pattern — and flu-like symptoms. Joint pain and weakness in the limbs can also occur. Thankfully, it can be easily treated with antibiotics if it’s discovered early on, but because ticks are so small, some people don’t even notice that they were bitten or that they’ve developed the illness, so they don’t get treatment — which is what allegedly happened to Bieber.
There’s actually been much debate about whether or not chronic Lyme disease is a real illness, with many medical professionals calling it “health fraud.” One doctor described it as “the name used by some people with a broad array of illnesses or symptom complexes for which there is no reproducible or convincing scientific evidence of any relationship to Borrelia burgdorferi infection to describe their condition and their beliefs about its cause.”
“Despite numerous studies, there is no evidence that symptoms associated with CLD are caused by any persistent infection,” an outlet reported. “The symptoms attributed to chronic Lyme are generic and non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle pain, and in many cases are likely due to fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.”
Do Any Other Stars Have Chronic Lyme Disease?
It turns out, Bieber isn’t the only star who has claimed that he has chronic Lyme disease. Bella and Anwar Hadid both revealed that they have Lyme disease, and when the model was first diagnosed, she admitted that it was a “dark time” for her.
“I was exhausted all the time,” she told Evening Standard. “It affected my memory so I suddenly wouldn’t remember how to drive to Santa Monica from Malibu where I lived. I couldn’t ride. I was just too sick. And I had to sell my horse because I couldn’t take care of it.”
Avril Lavigne also has Lyme disease, and she said it made her stay in bed for “two years.”
“I’m achy, I’m fatigued, I cannot get the f**k out of bed — what the f**k is wrong with me?” she recalled asking herself before she was diagnosed.