If I could go back in time and tell me from 2014 that I would soon become a Belieber and join the crowds of screaming girls that I so thoroughly loathed, I imagine 2014 me would respond with an angry and confused, "What do you mean?"
A year ago, I was completely anti-Bieber. Little did I know, I was unwittingly trying to tear down the growing music phenomenon like a peasant throwing pebbles at the high walls of Biebertopia, where sat Emperor Biebs, ruling his kingdom of pre-teen girls and a handful of reluctant, born-again Beliebers like myself.
That's right. I admit it. To me, 2015 will forever be the year that Bieber won me over. Born just two years after me, I practically grew up alongside his Bieberness. And over the years, both he and my opinions of him have evolved in tandem. In his breakout years, I couldn't stand him. I used to think he was just another snot-nosed child star that would inevitably be a flash in the pan and serve primarily as an unfortunate nickname for anyone that had a similar haircut to him.
Justin, I hope it's not too late for me to say sorry.
'Cause dude, you've got it all figured out. Your name is arguably one of the most recognizable names on the planet, and only a few short months ago you had to cross the border to your native land of Canada to legally enjoy a drink at a bar. Meanwhile, I'm two years your senior and still refuse to do the dishes until I'm out of things to eat cereal out of. You've even managed to stay in the good graces of the general public after brushes with the law concerning your drag racing exploits in Miami Beach, an alleged encounter with prostitutes in Brazil, and even accusations of drug use. I was fully expecting a Britney Spears style meltdown from you, Biebs. But no, you just kept right on topping the charts, making your way across the world from one sold out show to the next, and doing it all with a religious, cult-like following fit for the history books at your back.
And for that, Justin, I applaud you. Not many celebrities can bounce back from that kind of flak and still be the dominant force in the music industry that you currently are.
Don't agree with me? Ask the next 100 people you see if they can recite a lyric from one of Bieber's new songs. If you find anyone who can't do it, I would first check their pulse. If this unlikely hermit is actually alive and breathing and still can't give you a soulful "What do you mean?" I'll renounce my allegiance to Bieberdom and kiss your feet.
So if you're an embarrassed convert from radical anti-Bieberism like me, don't be afraid. You don't have to wait for your roommates to leave before you throw on Justin's new album. Don't be afraid to roll the windows down and work up head-and-shoulder bob to the absurdly catchy "What Do You Mean?" while you drive. You don't have to fight it. Let the symptoms of Bieber fever run their course and take you over. As long as you Belieb, you will always be in a safe place.