Justin Bieber needs a new purpose


Courtesy of Instagram

On Oct. 27, Justin Bieber posted this on Instagram, announcing that he’s working on a new album that might be released before Christmas. Here’s the catch: he wants 20 million likes first.

By Sacha Feldberg, Arts Editor

For all the Beliebers out there, there might be a treat coming sometime this Christmas: Justin Bieber is working on a new album. But, as you might suspect, there’s a catch: Bieber asked fans for 20 million likes on one of his latest Instagram posts.

On Oct. 27, Bieber posted an all-pink photo with the words, “If this gets 20 million likes, Justin Bieber will release an album before Christmas,” in large white text. He reports that he’s almost finished, but his fans’ support will make him, “move faster.” Talk about dramatic. The real question is, why is there so much hype? Why are fans so excited?

Part of the hype might be related to the fact that Bieber hasn’t released an album since his 2015 release, “Purpose.” It’s been four long years. Bieber married Hailey Baldwin last year,  released a remix of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” this summer and revealed his heavy drug use in an emotional post on Instagram on Sept. 3. He’s stayed out of the music scene for a while, so fans are eager at the prospect of new music.

Of course it’s not unusual for Bieber to be in the spotlight. For most of his life, he’s been famous. It’s the only life he’s ever known. The truth is, he’s not a thirteen-year old kid anymore, just figuring out the music industry. He’s twenty-five and ought to do something bigger with his life, rather than asking the world to give him more attention. 

There are several issues facing the world right now, like climate change, wars, and inequality, and it would be great if famous artists like Bieber could draw more attention to these causes. Some musicians, like Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes and Lizzo, have been using their fame on their social media platforms to talk about climate change. According to a Post Magazine article on Jan. 19, 2019, we only have twelve years to slow down the effects of air pollution and greenhouse gases.

He’s not the only musician who doesn’t act like a good role model for our generation—Miley Cyrus and Kanye West are similarly negative role models for kids. There seems to be a generational divide in our society between politically active people like Greta Thunberg, and self-centered people like Justin Bieber. 

The problem is that leaders need to guide our generation, and the most popular musicians of today aren’t using their power to create positive change in our society. 

According to a Nov. 3, 2015 Washington Post article, teens spend nearly nine hours of their days on online videos and music. Students listen to their favorite artists all of the time with AirPods in their ears, following their favorite singers on Instagram and clicking through their social media posts. This is the generation that is supposed to save the planet— but what happens when teens cannot look to popular culture for guidance? 

Back in the 1970s, teens could look up to artists like Bruce Springsteen and Band Aid. Springsteen emphasized blue collar cultural anxiety in society. Band Aid— known primarily for their song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”— performed at concerts, aiming to raise emergency relief money, and also to raise awareness and put the issue of poverty on the political agenda. 

The odds are also against Bieber to get 20 million likes— very few people have accomplished this feat. The account @world_record_egg currently has 53.8 million likes of a picture of an egg. Since Bieber is currently only at 11.5 million, it doesn’t seem likely that he will reach his goal.

If Justin Bieber could focus his efforts on making the world a better place in some way, it would be better for everyone. He could support political candidates, like Taylor Swift; or he could stand up for the LGBTQ+ community, like Hayley Kiyoko. It doesn’t matter what exactly he does. He just has to show that he cares about something bigger than himself, whether it’s poverty, climate change, or equal rights.

Once Bieber does something like this, many will be fine with liking his Instagram post.