Not a day after I moved into my room in Playacar, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, my landlady conspiringly told us that Justin Bieber was living ‘just around the corner’ and had moved out the day before. This would be my second close encounter with the Biebs. The first being in Bogotá, Colombia (remember the graffiti incident? At least it turned out well in the end). In fact this time around my close encounter was even uhm… ‘closer’. Turns out a local friend, a spa owner was summoned to his mansion to give him a massage just before he left.
Why am I even bothered to write about this? Because amidst all the backlash on the sheer seemingly stupidity of Justin Bieber, there is still a young, talented kid who just happens to be acting like your annoying kid brother – except on a much larger scale, with millions of people watching. Collectively we are divided. There is one group that is annoyed at his antics but unable to do anything about it. Then there is the other group that is envious of everything that he is and represents and needs to bring him down to feel better.
In case you are wondering, I am not a Belieber. I don’t find him ‘hot’. And I don’t listen to his music.
I just want to humanize the kid. Just as I would like to humanize Miley Cyrus and all the other famous young kids acting stupid out there. Justin was in Playa for three days, during which he couldn’t leave his house. He couldn’t get a place on the beach, or walk around or basically do any of the things that a normal person does because of the press and fans that hound him.
Yeah, yeah, boo-fuckin’-hoo. The boy is a mega star, makes more a minute that most people do in a year and all that. I get it. But let’s not forget that this was also a kid whose mum uploaded videos of him singing to YouTube, and who was then discovered by marketing executive Scooter Braun, packaged, marketed and basically bastardized in a span of five years or so. Sure he’s making millions. But everyone hates him; he can’t leave his house and basically has a Truman-show like life. We should probably scrutinize politicians the way we scrutinize Justin Bieber (one can dream).
I can’t imagine waking up everyday knowing that the world collectively hates me because I sing. And mind you, the world started hating Bieber way before he started doing stupid shit. When he started doing stupid shit, that just added fuel to the fire. This is the same kid whose YouTube video we would share on our Facebook pages and coo, “Awww what a talented kid!” And as soon as he became famous (in the real world, because his videos already had millions of hits before he got signed. Probably the reason he got signed in the first place) we turned our collective backs on him and called him everything from ‘a piece of shit’ to ‘talentless hack’.
Now, I don’t know Justin Bieber (other than my close encounters – ahem), but I feel for the kid. Even though the stupid things he does annoy me. Cuz I want to smack him on his head and say, “Straighten up! And pull up your stupid pants!” but also because I’ve had cousins, brothers and other boys in my life who pulled the same shit he does now. And that is not enough cause to hate a kid. I’ve never heard his music, and don’t think I will start (although I probably should after writing this piece) but I’m pretty sure he isn’t that bad. Especially if he was a 14-year old kid who could play the piano, guitar, trumpet and write his own songs (and obviously still does, albeit a lot more produced now). That’s a whole more talent than I have. Live and let live!