I love Justin Bieber and I don’t care who knows it. This is my story.
I grew up on the kind of boy band fare supplied by the likes of The Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC (legit, some of my besties in high school would take over a classroom and throw a completely earnest lunchtime birthday party for each BSB member without an ounce of irony—AND I STILL LIVE FOR THIS) and when a young, mop-topped, tweenage Justin Bieber burst onto the scene in 2009, I was utterly unaffected. As a worldly, sophisticated, woman of 26, his 15-year-old cuteness was lost on me, especially since he looked about 10, max. His music was annoying and he was light years younger than me so I disregarded him as an unimportant little turd who was nowhere near my extremely sophisticated demographic. Plus, I never enjoyed a purple hoodie, young Biebs’s fashion item of choice.
Fast forward about six years (and more than 50 mostly questionable tattoos later) and something strange happened. I fell for Justin Bieber, then 21, as an adult human woman. He was still way too young for me but somehow, some way, we found our way to one another. Was it his absolute bangers “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean?” that changed by mind? I’ll never know… But two years later, the love is still going strong. I’ve stuck by him through thick and thin. Exaggerated floppy man bangs and leather tank tops. And now, I won’t turn my back over The Cowboy Hat.
A giant cowboy hat is not something most would think to pair with white basketball shorts atop white running tights from his own Bieber merch, two pairs of Yeezys (one on his feet as traditional shoes and one in his hands as a nouveau clutch, inspired by Jaden Smith carrying his hair at the Met Gala, of course), a yellow metallic vintage varsity pullover and, the pièce de résistance, a green toothbrush in one’s mouth but, alas, Bieber is not most people. And for anyone who has ever gazed longingly at the 10-gallon Stetson hat you bought on a trip to Dallas and wondered where the heck you’ll actually wear it IRL—well, Justin Bieber is here as your cowboy outfit inspo.
And this buck wild athleisure-meets-Western ensemble wasn’t his first rodeo. There was the enormous fur coat and savagely ripped jeans he wore out in December 2016 in LOS ANGELES. There was the time he tried to make gas masks happen. And how could anyone forget his drop-crotch pant phase?
Don’t ever change, Biebs. And even if you do, I’ll love you anyway.
This post is part of The Canada Project, a representative survey of Canadians from across the country. You can find out more right here.