Justin Bieber Apologizes For Being Justin Bieber, But Should His Fans Really Let Him Off So Easily?
Well, it's about time. Although, to be perfectly honest with you, my eyes kind of glaze over in boredom whenever I hear that Justin Bieber has apologized for anything. I mean, at this point, his apologies are about as numerous as his crimes. The "Baby" singer has come a long way from the shaggy-haired, baby-faced crooner he used to be, and that long way is mostly negative. We've already suggested ways the Biebs can rehabilitate his image, but, when Orlando Bloom tries to punch you in the face and gets worldwide acclaim for it, that's when you know you're not most people's favorite person. However, on Wednesday, after his appearance on The Ellen Show, Bieber posted an apology video to Instagram in which he sincerely apologized for such crimes as, well, being Justin Bieber. All right, so that's not what he said. But that's what I heard.
In a darkly-lit video that was surprisingly serious and somber from a boy who has done everything from (allegedly) try to steal a woman's cellphone because she tried to take pictures of him to drive past Drake Bell's album release party allegedly to prove his fans will scream louder, and even abandon the party, to follow Bieber's car — all right, all right, the more we recount Bieber's past behavior here, the harder it becomes to take his apology seriously. However, he does sound sincere when he says:
"I’m not who I was pretending to be. Why I say I was ‘pretending’ is often we pretend to be something we’re not as a cover up of what we’re truly feeling inside. And there were a lot of feelings going on in there. Just being young and growing up in this business is hard. Just growing up in general is hard."
He apologizes for his arrogance and reveals that he's not as uncaring about what people think of him as he may have seemed before. While he doesn't go in-depth into his reasons for posting this video now, or why he's choosing to post it, or make any promises about his future behavior, he has at least acknowledged what the rest of us have already known for quite a few years now: his behavior is out of line and, at this point, only shocking in how long he can keep it going without any attempts at learning his lesson or reforming. I appreciate a good apology, however, and this is a definitely good one from the pop star. It's just that, at this stage, what we need from Bieber is more than an apology. What we need is action.
As I started before, Bieber ends up having to apologize a lot. From the videos of him making racist remarks when he was a teenager to his controversial shrine visit, Bieber has made a lot of mistakes and apologized for about half of them. However, his apologies never changed the fact that more bad behavior from the "One Time" singer was forthcoming — it was just a matter of waiting. Unless this apology video, and his excitement about the Comedy Central Roast, are indicative of a complete reformation of his image in the future, then there's no point in paying it any attention. Unless, of course, you are already a Belieber. The singer's fan base have been trending #WeDontJudgeYouJustin on Twitter all Thursday morning, showing their solidarity.
In some ways, the Beliebers have a point. This was a mature and thoughtful move from the controversial singer, and certainly one that will turn the opinions of many around with regards to him. I'm 99 percent sure most people weren't expecting to wake up to the Biebs apologizing for all of the things we've just come to consider part of his "bad boy image." And even those who were expecting another rote, insincere apology from the singer might be touched by the heartfelt and lengthy speech he made that showed a self-awareness and empathy we were kind of starting to doubt he possessed.
However, until his words are backed up by actions then they shouldn't be applauded. They are a good start, but the Biebs still has a long way to go before we should accept his attempts at change. It's alright to be proud of him for taking the first step, which is always the hardest, but praising him too much for his apology might lead him to believe that was all he had to do. He has a loyal fanbase that has supported him no matter what, and he'll find his American audience probably completely bored of hating on him by this point. This, 2015, is the perfect time for him to pull a Taylor Swift-level overhaul of public perception of him. Let's hope he takes the chance.