There are two types of people in the world -- Beliebers and non-Beliebers. I belieb. And, seeing as he has over 72 million Facebook fans, 67.9 million Twitter followers, 29.9 million Instagram followers, I'm certainly not alone.
What it means to be a Belieber has evolved a lot over the past few years. I belieb it has a lot to do with the way he has changed as both an artist and a person. Previously, Beliebers were all under the age of 16, had Twitter usernames along the lines of ~MrS-BiEbEr-2000~ and HATED Directioners. Because you couldn't possibly be a fan of Justin Bieber and One Direction at the same time. Proof below.
I've avoided saying his full name up until this point because Justin Bieber's fan base is assumed knowledge. If you don't love him, you hate him. If you don't hate him, you at least know he's done some pretty douchey shit over the past few years. You heard when he peed in a bucket (true), got arrested and spent a night in jail (true) and egged his neighbour's house (also true). But more recently we learned he can solve a Rubik's cube in less than a minute (true), can skate (true), wears shirt-dresses (questionable, but also true) and is finally ready to use his platform for some good (true?).
Some of you might not agree with labelling him an 'artist', but you certainly can't deny that he's human.
As Bieber told Complex mag earlier this week: "If I would've came [sic] into the industry at a young age and never had any failures, people would've been like, 'Who is this kid? He's not relateable.' Now, I went through my shit, I came out the other side, and I'm going to show you it gets better."
I haven't personally been pulled over in my Ferrari and arrested, but throw enough money, fame and privilege at a 21-year-old and some weird shit is going to happen, not all of it positive.
"I was doing anything," Bieber told Complex. "I was doing so many things that I shouldn't even be on the planet still. I think that it was by the grace of God. The whole time, [Bieber's manager] Scooter [Braun] always made sure I was safe and made sure situations didn't escalate. He'd fix every situation. It almost wasn't good because I'd be like, any time I wanna do something, Scooter is gonna take care of it."
But eventually Bieber decided to take care of it (along with Scooter's help, no doubt). That's when something magic happened. He went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and apologised for being a dick, he took his roast on Comedy Central like an absolute champ, he made us laugh when he carpooled with James Corden and he got a whole new audience hooked thanks to his collaboration with Jack U (Skrillex and Diplo). So when he released his new single 'What Do You Mean?', people listened. Myself included.
While I'm being completely honest, I should probably admit that I've been listening for years. I loved 'Baby' and I sang along to 'Boyfriend', the only difference now is I'm not ashamed to say it.
And, if my Facebook feed and the crowd at Bieber Island yesterday is to be believed, there's a whole new wave of adult Beliebers who aren't ashamed either. I have friends, some of whom are male, who link to his music in their status updates. And the crowd at Bieber Island was equal parts squealing teenagers and grown-up fans, all of which heard Bieber admit that one of his favourite things to do is sing and that the ability to make his fans smile is a gift.
I agree. Whether you belieb or not, you shouldn't be ashamed of your taste in music, especially if it makes you happy. Listening to Bieber makes me happy and non-beliebers aren't going to change that.