In case you've been living under a rock (Or haven't signed onto Twitter in three months. Or have an, you know, actual life), Justin Bieber is taking over the world. Over the past eight months, the floppy-haired Canadian teen has gone from YouTube sensation to overnight tween mega idol. His meteoric success has come quickly. I remember checking out tween magazines such as Bop and Tiger Beat back in October or so and saw the usual Miley and Jonas cover stories. One month later, every damn magazine had this Bieber kid's face plastered dead center on the cover. I had no idea who or what he was, but as soon as I found about his fans, I knew he wasn't going away anytime soon. My God, those 12 year old girls who are obsessed with him are quite literally INSANE. Remember, I'm a child of the late 90s/early 2000s. I lived through Backstreet Mania and NSYNC Mania during the TRL Era. Those bitches were crazy, crying every time they appeared on TV, camping overnight for their new CD, getting into petty arguments over which group was better (very similar to the Team Edward/Jacob debate raging today). Those girls were amateurs next to these Bieber Heads. With Twitter becoming the new Mecca of social networking, the site's "trending topics" have come a big clue into what every day people are talking about on a given day. His fans are every bit as crazy as those in the BSB/NSYNC days, but they take it to a new extreme with Twitter. Every single day, Bieber's name is on that list of popular topics. He doesn't even have to do anything special; if his biggest plan for the day is to take a shit, these fans would still be talking about him.
I realize this all probably makes me sound like a hater, but here's the truth: I actually like Justin Bieber. Given my expressed admiration for many a tween Disney star, this probably comes as no surprise, but I think he's a cool cat. First of all, unlike many of the Disney/Nickelodeon manufactured pop stars, he can actually sing. Yes, he sings teen pop and, yes, it's inherently cheesy. But it's excellent teen pop, very reminiscent of the days when Britney and Christina ruled the airwaves. Songs such as 'Somebody to Love,' 'Baby' and especially 'One Time' (I'm eagerly anticipating an acoustic cover of this song from either Kris Allen, Darin or Nadine Coyle at some point) even transcend this slightly negative label and become true pop gems. Say what you want about him (and his lesbianic haircut), but this kid has the stuff to be a "legitimate" artist someday. It will be interesting, however, to see if his young fan base will allow him to grow up and mature with his music. I can totally see him going down the JT/Jesse McCartney path in a couple of years, but who knows if he'll stick around. Tween girls are a notoriously fickle group.
I leave you now with a couple Bieber videos. The first is his latest single 'Baby' (hopefully you can just ignore Ludacris' lazy rap). The second is the moment I truly fell for him: the SNL sketch from a week ago where Tina Fey, as a very Liz Lemon-y high school teacher, falls in love with Bieber. He's obviously not the most natural actor on the planet, but those songs were hilarious. "Hey girl, I wanna watch you do pilates. And skip the hard parts," spoken like those horrible interludes in any typical boy band ballad, makes me laugh every time. And, at one point, Tina Fey pushes Justin in a baby carriage. Yeah, enough said.