Justin Bieber's "Belieber" Baloney
A lot has been made of Justin Bieber’s weekend visit to the Anne Frank House and Museum. The teen sensation is known for making headlines, but it’s not often (or ever) that he makes headlines here at the Jewish Women’s Archive. However, try as we might, we couldn’t ignore the Bieb’s belieber baloney.
Known for his catchy tunes and not for his wisdom, Justin Bieber spent an hour taking in the Anne Frank House and Museum. Upon leaving, he signed the museum’s guestbook:
“Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
The backlash against the singer has been intense. After all Anne Frank is one of the most celebrated and well known symbols of the Holocaust— and she’s been reduced to a Canadian pop singer’s marketing ploy. It's more than a little degrading. Bieber’s hope that Anne Frank could have survived the Holocaust in order to become a fan of his music isn’t sitting so well with us— or with the public. The last time we checked there were over 1,300 comments on the museum’s facebook page calling the singer out for his insensitivity.
"She would've been a WHAT? That little idiot is way too full of himself. She's an important historical figure so show some respect."
"Way to turn an inspiring moment into something about yourself."
"Glad he went, but the last sentence is VERY self-serving. He missed the lessons of Anne totally."
There’s no doubt in our mind that Bieber’s remarks weren’t in the best of taste. However, our friends over at Heeb pointed out the hidden shrewdness in his faux paus.
Think about it— had Anne Frank been a normal 13 year old girl living in the year 2013, she almost certainly would have been a dyed-in-the-wool, head-over-heels, fanatical Belieber. Why? Because, that’s what normal teenie-bopper girls in the 21st century are. That the Holocaust robbed her of her ability to do real-teenage-girl things like adore idiotic pop-stars is what makes her story all the more poignant. Now, there’s no way Bieber had such nuance in mind when he signed the guestbook, but hell, “broken clocks” and all that.
Justin Bieber might have made it onto Anne Frank’s wall of celebrities had he been a singer in the era of WWII. Frank’s story remains relatable because she was a typical girl with regular teenage girl hopes and dreams in a very scary situation. Bieber seemed to have missed the point with his visit, but we give him credit for trying. We just wish he'd been a little less self serving— and a little bit more aware.