|(This is what Justin Bieber posted on Instagram in response to criticism. I wish I could do that...)|
yesterday, as I was searching for updates on the Boston Marathon bombings, I saw a headline on Google News claiming that Justin Bieber was in hot water for a remark he had made about Annie Frank. And as a person of Jewish persuasion, I felt obligated to read more about this supposed faux pas.
It turns out Bieber went to the Anne Frank House the other day, which is dedicated to the brave Jewish girl who documented the last days of her life as she hid from Nazis during World War II. Now, there are many things the young, incredibly-popular Bieber could have written about the deceased Anne Frank that wouldn't have caused much of a stir. But... this is what Bieber wrote about Anne Frank in the museum's guestbook: "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."
A "belieber," in case you don't know, is what Justin Bieber's devoted fans are called.
Essentially, Bieber went to Anne Frank's museum and publicly declared her worthy of hypothetically being a fan of his music. So... yeah. Kind of a douchey move. I mean, it would have been one thing if he had written that he, personally, would have been honored to have her like his music. But instead he crammed the world "hopefully" in there, which comes off as conceited since the only well-wishing hope he had for her was that she would have liked him. Hopefully, in an alternate universe where Nazis didn't murder you and your family, you would have lived long enough to buy my CD's and be one of my devoted fans.
How sweet of him!
Now, that snaffu alone does not a douche make. Most of these celebrity controversies are just bait for people to either pile on them as shameful disgraces of humanity or to defend them for being overly scrutinized, bait I normally stay away from. I would be completely neutral on Bieber if that guestbook comment was all he did, since it's totally possible that that was just a tiny little mistake he made during the course of his busy day. I mean, one seemingly-narcissistic sentence shouldn't immediately qualify someone as an egomaniac, right?
Then I saw this headline: "Justin Bieber posts shirtless photos - instead of an apology - after Anne Frank comments." And then I saw the photo that he posted to Instagram, which you can see at the top of the screen. And then I saw the caption that accompanied the photo:
"Breaking news worldwide @justinbieber just posted 2 shirtless pictures he must be going crazy" -funny people #forthefansanyways #dontbecreepin :p"And I realized rather quickly that yeah, this guy is kind of a douchey egomaniac. You guys in the media think I'm self-centered? Well, here's a photo of me with my underwear sticking out, and my muscles and tattoos exposed. That'll show you. Also, let's admire the #dontbecreepin hashtag. Please don't creep on the very private picture of myself in my underwear that I'm sending out publicly to my eight million Instagram followers. Observe my partial nudity with respect.
When you think about it though, it's not surprising that the 19-year-old pop idol would be a tad conceited since he happens to have the weirdest, most devoted collection of fans on earth. Seriously. His teeny fanbase is so freakishly obsessive that they're constantly spamming Twitter with hashtags about how amazing he is. One of the ones that popped up recently was "#OperationMakeBieberSmile," which emerged after Bieber tweeted he had the "worst birthday" ever. Here's an example of a tweet with that hashtag from a user with the now ironic name "Israeli Belieber:"
Smile Bieber, beliebers are currently taking over twitter trying to show you that we're here for you...we care! and we love you so much.Weird, right? It's a level of devotion that I think is unrivaled in pop culture. For instance, I know that a lot of people like Leonard Nimoy, but I just can't see Leonard Nimoy fans posting something as treacly as "When you smile Leonard, I smile. When you're sad, I'm sad. We love you." I can't even see fans of Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly writing something like that. But that's the fanbase Beiber has. It's rather preposterous that he has it, but he has it, and when you have sooooooo many people literally foaming at the mouth just to make you smile, you're bound to think highly of yourself after a while. And thinking highly of yourself can lead to douchey behavior like taking half-naked photos of yourself.
By the way, it should be noted that Justin Bieber's 19th birthday was not actually the "worst birthday" ever. Anne Frank's 19th birthday was much worse... BECAUSE SHE WAS DEAD! DEAD... and unable to listen to Justin Bieber music. What a sad life indeed.