Justin Bieber Deserves Kudos for Making Squeaky Clean Living Seem So Cool

I can't lie, it's kind of tempting to make fun of Justin Bieber. His high-pitched voice, his cultural ubiquitousness, his grinning face plastered on a recent Groupon email advertising two "Brush Buddies" Justin Bieber singing toothbrushes, etc.

Truth is, I don't have anything against the kid. I don't enjoy his music, but I can appreciate the talent and hard work he puts into doing what he does. He's always seemed like a uniquely squeaky clean young dude who's managed, so far, to escape the pitfalls of being a child star.

Now that he's almost 18, you'd think he might start acting out a bit to "prove his maturity" (or whatever Miley Cyrus calls the crap she does). No worries on that front, though: in a recent interview with V Magazine, Bieber revealed that he's not gunning for an R rating any time soon.


Unlike almost every other teen singer that has ever landed on the Billboard Hot 100, Bieber plans to maintain his impressively family-friendly image for as long as possible:

I'm not going to try to conform to what people want me to be or go out there and start partying, have people see me with alcohol. I want to do it at my own pace. I don't want to start singing about things like sex, drugs and swearing. I'm into love, and maybe I'll get more into making love when I'm older. But I want to be someone who is respected by everybody.

Maybe I'll get more into making love when I'm older. Oh my gosh I can't even decide if that's the most adorable thing I ever heard a teenager say or if I just feel kind of uncomfortable now or if it's a little from column A, a little from column B.

He also said that his number one influence is Michael Jackson, and that he'd love to have a similar career with multigenerational appeal:

There’re some artists that [parents won’t] let their kids go and see because they think they’re a bad influence. I want to be able to do what Michael did—he always sang clean lyrics—and it was always that little kids loved Michael and grandparents loved Michael.

Aw, that's really sweet. I mean, hopefully he'll avoid the whole plastic surgery, drug abuse, and molestation scandal business as he gets older, but otherwise: solid plan.

Bieber isn't entirely without a bit of an eccentric side, what with the big old tattoo of Jesus on his calf and his claims that God's “prophetic words” said he was going to be the voice of the new generation (um), but he's also sort of heartbreakingly self-aware:

When I was coming up, trying to get to where I am now, people were so happy for me. They were rooting for me. Now that I'm on top, everyone wants to bring me down. Everyone's trying to tug at me and take my spot. A lot of people say they hate Justin Bieber who haven't even listened to my music. They just hate the idea of me.

Yeah, that's the downside of being one of the most famous people in the entire world, unfortunately. Once your face appears on a toothbrush, you're going to start getting some major shit from the peanut galleries.

Overall, I like the way he comes off in this interview, and I think it's pretty amazing that so many millions of fans are in love with a young celebrity who doesn't rely on sex appeal or controversy to sell records. Whether or not he can maintain his fame over time remains to be seen, but it seems like he's got the right idea for his own long term success.

Do you think Justin Bieber will continue to be uber-popular as he gets older?

Image via V Magazine

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