Justin Bieber was evidently just as impressed with Selena Gomez’s We Day Vancouver speech on social media “haters” and forgiveness as the 20,000 that packed out the youth empowerment event earlier this month.
And it looks like the Biebs has been doing some self-reflection after their recent split.
In addition to recent church visits — at one of which the Canadian was reportedly spotted crying — it seems the 20-year-old was inspired by his ex-girlfriend, when she told the teen audience they were not defined by “haters” on social media or in their personal lives.
Late Monday night, Justin posted an Instagram statement in bold type that read, “Don’t let Instagram define your self-worth.”
In the caption he added:
“For those who look at someone else’s Instagram and say I wish my life was like that.”
“Know that often Instagram is not who people really are but who they want people to think they are. I’m choosing to not let other people define me.”
“I want to say; you are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a ‘Like,’ by a comment. That does not define you. At all,” Gomez previously told the Vancouver crowd.
“I want you guys to know that the trick is, is to focus on the love. And what I want you guys to do with every rude comment you get, every person that tries to hurt you — personally or through the internet — I want you to forgive them.”
She added, “When it’s over, nothing defines you but what you leave behind, and what lives you touch on the way.”
Right from the start, after Justin’s breakout from YouTube to the charts with 2009 hit “One Time,” the then child star attracted the attentions of cyber-bullies. They called him “f****t” and mocked his height and small build. Even before the now widespread, fashionable anti-Bieber hate, he was booed at a 2011 basketball in reaction to his “everywhereness.”
These days, members of the public (via the blogosphere) and most media outlets happily attack a 20-year-old without a jot of compassion for his lack of education, over-scrutinized life, and a likely warped sense of self due to early exposure to fame and crazy adulation.
At The Good Men Project, author Ciaran Callam urges understanding instead of the mass jeering of Bieber that’s now taking place, and writes:
“In addition to the hordes of screaming fans who mob him [Bieber] every time he leaves his house, he also has scores of suck-ups and hangers-on in his orbit. These people offer no guidance. They tell him everything he wants to hear, so he’ll keep them around to leach off his fame and status.”
“He also has to deal with the millions of negative, nasty, and downright disgusting comments that people make about him across the western world. Those contrasting experiences mean his brain is probably caught in the middle of an epic tug of war.”
“If I thought you were criticising me at his age, I’d make a point to be even more boisterous just to give you a definitive ‘go f*** yourself.’ Something tells me that Justin is the same way.”
While over at TV Guide, Sadie Gennis wrote,
“People mock Bieber because it’s easy. Not because it’s right… What matters is that society has deemed it acceptable for thousands of people to publicly harass someone.”
So, Justin and Selena know more than a little something about bullying. Perhaps that’s another connection that pulls them back together time and time again?
The couple reportedly split after arguments before and during Paris Fashion Week.
It prompted Selena’s unfollowing Justin on Instagram after she posted tweets suggesting their reunion was over.
Last week, the “Come & Get It” songstress was seen at LAX airport with Bieber’s Miranda Kerr-related nemesis, Orlando Bloom, when the pair jetted to We Day. Gomez hosted the conference and Bloom was a guest speaker.
Fun and games aside, at the very least Justin’s latest Instagram suggests he wanted to let Selena know she inspired him.
Ironically, his vow of “I’m choosing to not let other people define me” came hours after the actor Laurence Fishburne told The View that Bieber could be defined as “Black-ish.”
Rise above it, Biebs.