On Monday night, May 2nd, I had the pleasure of meeting and greeting Justin Bieber in Melbourne before the start of his My World Tour show. The meeting itself was faster than a sparrow on speed.
The meet and greet, albeit short, was just the icing on the cake for what has been three years of watching, listening and following of Justin’s every more. At times I have not agreed with some of his statements — his views on abortion and homosexuality were slightly misconstrued — but at 17, he is still a kid, one who is most likely uninformed and uneducated on the matters.
“I am 25 years old and even I look to him for inspiration.”
While waiting to enter the meet and greet, I noticed a familiar face. There, shadowed by a news crew, was Casey Heynes. You might remember, Casey rose to Internet and international prominence after a video of him standing up to bullying emerged on YouTube.
At 17, Justin has more pressure on him than any other teen in the world. In the opening minutes of his Never Say Never biopic, which I recommend you all see, you can see the responsibility he feels to his fans, family and those who rely on him for an income. At 17 years old, he has made more money than most will make in a lifetime.
To many, Justin Bieber does not represent a lot besides infectious music, teen spirit, and really, really great hair. To many others however, he represents so much more.
Never Say Never is Justin’s mantra, and through that mantra Justin encourages other kids, like him, to go after their dreams.
About halfway through the Melbourne show, Justin stopped his performance to make an announcement: “I want everybody to be quiet for a second, because I want to touch on a serious subject, I want to ask if anybody in here has been bullied before, (crowd screams). Okay, how many people here have seen people get bullied, (crowd screams). All right, well, there was a story online, a kid was getting bullied, at then end of the video he stood up for himself because he was getting punched.”
At this point, Justin brings Casey out onto the stage (crowd screams).
“I just wanted to say that he is very inspirational, he shows other people to stand up for what they believe in,” Bieber said. Justin then turned to Casey and asks, “What else?” At that point Casey then screams into the microphone “Never Say Never!”
Seventeen years old! Just 17 years old and he’s using his profile and concerts to deliver a message to his fans. What can you say to that?
It’s a pretty impressive accomplishment for anyone to achieve what he has, especially at the age of 17. It’s certainly debatable whether he is a product of the music industry machine or not, but the kid is the one putting in the work. It’s his face, his name, and his future on the line.
It takes one thing to be a celebrity, but to use that profile to inspire and encourage those most like you is another. I got to meet him, I went to his concert and I watched his movie. I am 25 years old and even I look to him for inspiration. He represents a part of my youth that I was not able to enjoy. He represents what you can achieve, if you work hard and believe in yourself.
His concert, unfortunately, was purely focused on his female fan base and was at times rather cringe-worthy and over-rehearsed. The opening few songs were lip-synced, and it appeared as if he was not enjoying himself. Over time he warmed up and appeared to be having more fun and started to sing live.
During the 15 seconds I got to meet with him he was polite and all smiles. We were shuffled into groups of four and were about the 20th group to meet with him. He shook my hand on entrance and seemed genuinely happy to be meeting with yet another group of fans.
He is a kid doing what he loves, something that is denied to millions across the world, many of whom who need the inspiration to just get out of bed in the morning. Justin Bieber is an inspiration. Say what you like, Justin Bieber is making good. Through his music and person, he is inspiring millions the world over to reach for a greater tomorrow, and that is something no one can discredit in anyway shape or form.
By Blake Skjellerup (far right on top picture) via HyperVocal.com