To the girl at a Justin Bieber concert with her mom,
I saw you guys in the row in front of me at the Schottenstein Center Thursday night for Justin Bieber’s Purpose World Tour. I smiled when she sang “What Do You Mean?” millimeters from your face. I blushed as she filmed you in the pitch black arena with a blindingly bright flash. I envied the delightfully tacky Bieber merch she bought for you.
You two reminded me of my mom and I. My mom surprised me with tickets to Fall Out Boy for my 12th birthday and took me to countless concerts following. My mom didn’t sing along like yours did. But I sense both were very generous people.
I hope you never forget your mom’s generosity.
I also hope, as you get older, that you don’t feel the need to put down others to feel better about yourself. Don’t loudly whisper “I would never wear high heels to a concert” in front of girls wearing high heels to a concert. You’re all there for the same reason: to enjoy the music of a barely-not-a-teenage heartthrob.
I hope you always scream when the lights go down at an arena, even if it’s just for the opener and even if the decibel level is already deafening.
I hope when you’re a grown woman, you don’t call your haters “doody heads” like opening act Post Malone did. I hope you find more accurate, adult language. I also hope paparazzi don’t catch you choking the headliner.
I hope you don’t listen to overly simplistic and redundant music such as Malone’s forever.
I hope you recognize that Bieber is a mega pop supernova largely, if not entirely, thanks to the team behind him. Endless hours of writing, from an entire team beyond Bieber, went into “Where Are Ü Now” — and honestly the song would be nothing without Skrillex’s dolphin squeal effects. Painstaking choreography went into the flawless, synchronized routines of Bieber’s backup dancers. Producers knew exactly the right time to break up the dance-beat-heavy set and break out the acoustic guitar instead for “Love Yourself.” A talented stage designer came up with the idea of having Bieber enter in a glass box a la David Blaine and sing a number in a steel cage a la Conor McGregor. Yes, Bieber is the talent and the million dollar name on the marquee, but he’s successful because of others. And so are you.
I hope you don’t ever think you’re too old for a cliché pep talk from Bieber about hungrily pursuing your purpose. Or at least I hope you think about it for a minute after rolling your eyes and getting over yourself. As mentioned earlier, you’re in this crowd too, a crowd that cheered increasingly loud as Bieber called out ages from 11 to 26.
Lastly, I hope you know it’s never too late to thank your mom.