In Defense of Justin Bieber Amidst The Anne Frank Debacle
Justin Bieber made headlines today when it was revealed that he had signed a guestbook at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, saying:
Obviously this is a very glib, insensitive, narcissistic statement. In just a few hours, it has caused outrage all over the internet.
But let’s remember a few things about Justin:
1.) In 2011, he spent $25,000 on a custom-made, ruby-encrusted Stewie (from Family Guy) necklace.
2.) He currently has a monkey in quarantine in Germany.
3.) He once rented out the Staples Centre in LA for a date with Selena Gomez. (NOTE: Reportedly he didn’t have to pay for it, but he did feel like this was an appropriate type of date for him to pull off.)
What do these points prove? That this is a teenaged boy with an insanely distorted and enlarged sense of self who has more money than he knows what to do with. And frankly, it’s not really his fault.
Think about it. He’ s been in the public eye since he was about 14 years old. He was discovered by Usher (a musical superstar) from his YouTube videos. Usher saw the videos and immediately met and then signed him. What message does this send to a 12- or 13-year-old boy? Well, in my opinion, it was the beginnings of some very twisted, narcissistic tendencies. At a time in his life when many teenagers are bratty, moody and generally hard to be around in general due to a tsunami of hormones swirling within them, Justin had basically been told that he would be a major superstar. And then? He became a MAJOR SUPERSTAR. He couldn’t go anywhere without paparazzi and fans harassing him, his concerts were filled with screaming, crying, fainting girls and the money just kept rolling in.
Sure, he completed his high school diploma. But it was mostly done using e-courses online. And at the risk of sounding completely jaded, how do we know that he didn’t cheat on his tests online? Especially when he has enough money to be spending $25 000 on a novelty necklace? I mean, here’s no WAY he’d paid someone to do that school work and take those tests for him, is there?
My point is, it’s possible that sadly he just doesn’t fully understand the gravity of the Holocaust because he may not have learned enough about it. And while I don’t excuse his ignorance, I just feel like we’ve done nothing as a society to teach him otherwise. This guy had his own 3D movie before he was even old enough to drink.
I really hope this whole thing inspires Justin to learn more about Anne Frank, the Holocaust and history in general. And while I’m not telling the world to let him off the hook for his comments, I am asking that everyone stop acting so surprised by them. This is the same kid who recently showed up shirtless to an airport.