Until today, I could not have picked teen phenomenon Justin Bieber out of a crowd. His photo would have stumped me in a “guess who it is” contest and I usually recognise “celebs”. The enormous crowd of young women around him would have made his identity obvious.
As with Beatlemania and Michael Jackson obsessives, I don’t get the phenomenon. As I have said too often before, this is SO not aimed at me.
Justin turns 17 tomorrow (born March 1st 1994) so it seems appropriate that I joined a squeal of teenage girls to see his new 3D movie on his birthday eve. If you guessed that I saw this on a dare, you’d be right. These dares provide me with excellent moments I would normally sneer at. Frankly, Justin is amazing and I am considering giving up everything to follow him around the world. Okay, maybe I won’t go that far.
But he is an astonishingly mature performer with real style and ability.
In this movie, you learn more about him than you might have wished to know. He is Canadian. “Never Say Never” tries to suggest that he is a small town Canadian boy. As Stratford, Ontario is the centre of a vibrant theatre and music community, that’s disingenuous. If it’s a typical small town, I am a pineapple.
The career stuff is fascinating. Justin made it on YouTube and got noticed by important people. He is not shy. After getting a management contract, he plugged his way to every radio station in America to promote his rather engaging self. Within a year, he was a star.
He has a style that I would describe as rapdorable. Or rap lite. The moves are yo, from the ‘hood. The clothes are urban street smart and styled to be clean and carefully chosen.
I am inevitably reminded of another Canadian icon, Celine Dion, who was also discovered young and managed by others to stardom, but changed her identity and reclaimed her life. The music credits show that Justin co-writes a lot of his songs and makes very good choices in those he collaborates with.
The thousands of girls who profess their love for him truly puzzle me. There is very little overt sexuality about Justin. Maybe that’s it. There’s a kind of asexual quality to him – even when he touches the women, you go “aw” – that allows a non-threatening way to grow up. The girls rave about his hair, eyes and clothes and all those are perfect in that carefully-groomed Canadian way. We Canadians are careful people.
His family is rather wonderful and I do wish they would adopt me as it would make for a fun Christmas. The whole team of stylists, arrangers and supporters around Justin seem to have a terrific focus on him and all are devoted to the boy.
Stars like Usher, Miley Cyrus and others give support and love.
I think the correct word to use is “awesome”. This is a kid who decided what he wanted, had talent and went for it, unrelentingly and with the support of a grand family and the whole YouTube community behind him.
The Stratford Picturehouse gang of girls sang along and swooned in the right places. I felt quite left out, having never heard any of these songs before. The third time the songs came around, I was able to sing along. Gosh, these songs are catchy.
There is quite a lot of nonsense around Justin’s achy throat and a will he or won’t he be able to perform at Madison Square Garden plot. I guess this is what substitutes for gritty realism in teen films. Yup, he manages to give a great performance.
By the end, I am mad about the boy. Maybe I will just give up everything and devote my life to Justin Bieber devotion. I have done much worse and it would be a fun ride. Hey, Justin, Happy Birthday. Tonight, you made a fan of me and, in Spice Girl terms, I am Old Spice.