Arts & Entertainment, Pop Rhetoric

Justin Bieber: Canada’s wrongfully maligned hero

When we think of famous Canadians named Justin, one particular name comes to mind—and no, it’s not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Instead, it’s pop sensation and heartthrob Justin Drew Bieber. Though the young man’s initial rise to stardom was met with admiration and praise back in 2009, the musician has recently been reduced to somewhat of a running joke in Canadian pop culture. But why exactly did this sudden drop in Bieber Fever occur?

While his arrest in 2014 for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and Xanax may have lost him some points with parents, it’s difficult to fathom how the same genius that wrote “Yeah, you got that Yummy-yum” could become so tragically irrelevant among the youth. After all, a bad boy is every teen’s dream come true, and nothing screams rebellion like a side-swept fringe and a purple hoodie. His destruction of an Icelandic canyon thanks to the filming of his “I’ll Show You” music video shows that he is more than willing to stick it to the man. This incident is not his only anti-establishment action disrupting the incredibly corrupt systems of government—he was also forced to abandon his pet monkey Mally in Germany back in 2013. 

Bieber’s rise to fame can be owed to the combined efforts of his own talent and access to YouTube. After all, it was his cover of “So Sick” by Ne-Yo that garnered the attention of record producer Scooter Braun, in turn landing him R&B singer Usher as a mentor. Despite Usher’s helping hand, Bieber came up with “Like, baby, baby, baby, oh / I thought you’d always be mine, mine”—something Shakespeare could only dream of writing—all on his own. But do not take these lighthearted, whimsical lyrics for granted—he can also be clever. “I get my weed from California” is clearly a joke, seeing as the Ontario-born star knows all too well that Canada is home to legal marijuana of the highest caliber. 

All of his other accomplishments aside, one revolutionary, national contribution truly makes Justin Bieber stand out—Timbiebs. The legend himself collaborated with Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain boasting North America’s finest dining, to create a medley of delicious Timbits and stylish merch that took the nation by storm. With the rate at which toques and fanny packs are flying off the shelves, the boxes alone sell online for a handsome sum of $950,000. In fact, the Timbiebs taste so incredible that customers are afraid of developing an addiction, which is the only logical explanation for why the flavours are growing stale behind glass display cases. Fellow Canadian pop star Drake vouched for the quality of these treats, demanding that Bieber and Tim Hortons “right this wrong” after their temporary discontinuation. 

And not only has Bieber won the hearts of young girls around the world, but he has also managed to catch the eye of numerous famous actresses. Every hero has a bit of arm candy—Theseus and Ariadne, Shakira and Piqué—and Bieber is no exception. For instance, the musician’s on-again-off-again relationship with Selena Gomez has entertained the tabloids for years, going so far as to manufacture a love triangle involving Bieber’s current wife Hailey Bieber (formerly Baldwin). The fact that he can romance the two gorgeous gals proves that he deserves our endless adoration. If he can win both Gomez and Baldwin back, then why not Canada? The Great White North has been home to many heroes—Terry Fox, Tommy Douglas, Wayne Gretzky—why should Justin Bieber be hailed any differently? His achievements rival, and arguably even surpass, those of his predecessors. He is a perfect representation of the Canadian dream: He can solve a Rubik’s cube, has his own clothing line, and wrote a song with Ed Sheeran. But will Canada ever see Bieber for the gem that he undeniably is? Never say never.

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