If the news that today is Justin Bieber's birthday made you groan, join the club. There's a moratorium in my house on the words "Baby, baby, baby, oh" ever coming out of my 5-year-old's lips. The Biebs is just one of those stars who you either love with a white hot flame of passion or you hate with the sort of loathing typically usually reserved for the guy who steals your parking space when he soooo saw you had your blinker on.
With the "dislikes" on his YouTube video of "Baby" outnumbering the likes 2 to 1, the haters have made it pretty clear they're a force to be reckoned with. But come on. It's the kid's birthday. You don't have to come down with a case of Bieber Fever to admit that everyone deserves a happy birthday.
As the Biebs turns 17, here are 17 reasons to dial down the hatred for just a day (don't worry, tomorrow's coming fast).
1. He's just a kid. Millions of dollars notwithstanding, he's only 17. He can't drink or rent a car. Who's got the world by a string now?
2. He cares about hygiene. Aren't ladies always looking for a well-groomed guy? Following the Biebs from one hairstyle to another, teenage boys have been taught that women care about their guy's hair. Now let's hope they heed the advice.
3. It's his fans who are crazy. When they took over Esperanza Spalding's Wikipedia page a few weeks back, they showed just how cuckoo for cocoa puffs they can get. But they're NOT him. Don't shoot the messenger folks.
4. He laughs at himself. And he'll do it on the Daily Show. Where the world gets more Jon Stewart. Squeeee.
5. He loves his mama. The respectful son has said before that he'd never bring home a girl Mom didn't approve of. You hear that kids?
6. He's a sharp-dressed almost-man. Teenage boys, please, can we have a word? The baggy jeans around your hiney crack do nothing but show off your skidmarks on those white boxers. Give Justin's style a whirl. It could do wonders for our gag reflex.
7. He's got a good heart. In 2010, he was listed as one of the most charitable stars for his donations to a children's hospital and his work with Pencils of Promise. Today, instead of gifts, the Biebs wants you to make donations in his name today to a good charity.
8. He's going to college. Oh kids! Success is not having a movie made about you when you're 16 and making buckets of ducats. It's getting your education on.
9. He takes our kids' minds off Twilight.
10. And Miley.
11. And for the younger set, Barney (oh, God, help us).
12. The Glee folks find him worthy. Hard to argue with that track record.
13. He was as grossed out as we were about the idea of his mom posing in Playboy. No creepy Stephanie Seymour-like mother/son relationship here!
14. He's dating Selena Gomez. Gee, a nice, age-appropriate relationship for a star? Way to go Biebs, she's just 18!
15. He cares about his fans. The Biebs will only perform at venues with seats out of concern that the teeming mobs of crazy rabid excited girls would get crushed in a concert hall where kids can stand together in front of the stage.
16. He's confident enough to wear purple. No "that's a girl color" from Bieber. Way to show the other boys what it means to be yourself!
17. He knows what a gift he's been given. Justin says he hasn't studied the stars who made it so much as the ones who didn't, and he promises parents he won't screw up the gift they've given him by letting Bieber fever take hold of their kids.
Happy birthday Biebs! Are you going to be hating on him or loving on him today?
Image via americanistadechiapas/Flickr