jessica tholmer
November 17, 2015 7:17 am

I like Justin Bieber. To be honest, I way more than “like” him. I super love Justin Bieber. The first time I was introduced to The Biebs was right after I had graduated college in 2009. My friend showed me his video for the hit song “One Time,” and I thought it was surely a sign of me “getting old.” (I was 21.) I thought that this new pop star was the first sign of me not understanding youthful music—I mean, he looks about 11 years old in the “One Time” video. We watched it, I thought it was catchy, but mostly, we made fun of it.

Until I couldn’t get the song out of my head.

A few months later, I was standing in line at Best Buy with my best friend and I saw the album on the “newly released but still pretty cheap” rack. (Official title, I’m pretty sure.) I ducked under the ropes that maintain the Best Buy lines and grabbed the album. My best friend and I thought it would be funny to get really into Justin Bieber. She kept up the joke, dancing to his songs at weddings and such, but I was immediately not joking. The seven songs on the “My World” album became so important to me. This is the silliest thing in the world, but that album kind of defined my first serious relationship. My ex used to have very specific dance moves to “One Time,” and the video for “One Less Lonely Girl” was kind of the reason we even started to like each other. Ah, to be 22 again.

There is something about me, and there is something about Justin, that really makes this lifelong dedication work. So much so that when his new album dropped this month, you bet it was downloaded on my phone that same day.

The thing about me is that I am incredibly loyal. There are zero people that I have loved that I don’t still super love and I wish I could say that remained true for celebrities only. If I have ever given you a piece of my heart, you will always have a piece of my heart. My favorite television shows have never changed. My favorite actor has always been Leonardo DiCaprio. I loved Ricky Martin, and Bow Wow, and N’Sync when I was young and guess what? Yep, I still do. I used to claim that I just happened to have good taste but the truth is, I just don’t turn my back on the people, places, and things I once loved. Biebs came much later in my life but I loved him so much that I, of course, still love him so much.

And the thing about Justin Bieber? He is incredibly talented. I know that there are some people who disagree with me but hear me out. He is factually talented. He was discovered on YouTube by Usher because his voice is incredible. He was just a little kid, playing guitar (hello talent!), singing acoustically to Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” and he was very good at it. He has a naturally beautiful voice and he happened to have enough going on that he became a superstar. His songs are incredibly catchy and nowadays, they are complex and relatable and still super fun. He dances well, he has a great sense of humor, he is honest, and to be real, he is very openly vulnerable in his time of learning.

This shouldn’t have to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: Bieber got famous when he was very young. He grew up with a young single mother.  He blew up at a super young age and all of a sudden had like a kajillion followers on Twitter and a lot of money and a scary amount of fame. Sure, he has done some things that make us go “…hmm?” and maybe “um, not a great plan.” But you know, if everything everyone did from the age of 11 to 21 was put under intense public scrutiny, I bet we’d all have some moments like that.

I never stopped Beliebing and even if you had, I request that you give him another chance. Don’t pretend like you haven’t gotten down to “What Do You Mean” recently.

Justin Bieber, I have always and will always be on your side.

This kid has places to go. Let him go there, guys. I promise he’s worth it.

[Image via @justinbieber on Instagram]

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