Justin Bieber in 2012 (Kevin Mazur/WireImage)Mark Wahlberg circa 1991 (Barry King/WireImage)
Teen dream Justin Bieber, 18, has taken a cue from his mentor Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg, and dared to bare his abs (and the briefs peeking out from his jeans) during a concert at NYC's Madison Square Garden on Thursday. The difference, of course, is that Wahlberg was 20, and just seemed like more of a man when he came on the scene with his 1991 song "Good Vibrations" and those memorable Calvin Klein ads. Bieber became famous when he was just 15, so it's more jarring to see him showing off his chest, however muscular it may be. Even more disturbing is the New York Times' review of Bieber's Wednesday night concert at the same venue, which noted that Selena Gomez's on-again, off-again boyfriend was "unfazed" when a pair of bras were thrown onstage during the encore. They grow up so fast, don't they?
Bieber goes shirtless again. (Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
It's clear that Bieber is trying to project a more mature image. Could this be Wahlberg's influence? After all, it's well known that the two are involved in a serious bromance. Wahlberg, who is now 41 and is usually spotted wearing a shirt, has come a long ways since his Funky Bunch days. He's gone on to star in and produce many well-received films and TV shows, and has four children who are big fans of Bieber. In 2010 he even told Time magazine that Bieber was the only person who could make him rap again. "If Justin Bieber asked me, I'd do that for my daughter," he said.
Last August, Bieber revealed to E! that Wahlberg has tapped him to star in an upcoming film. The duo will play roles similar to those of Tom Cruise and Paul Newman in the 1986 pool shark movie "Color of Money" about basketball. Between Wahlberg and Bieber, how many shirtless scenes do you think will make it into the flick?
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