Justin Bieber is no stranger to headlines, and the internet misreporting and misinterpreting every move he makes. The latest example is the reaction by some to the pop star’s use of the word “weird” in his caption to an Instagram video, in which he refers to himself and the humorous voice he uses during the clip.
While jetting from Antigua to St. Louis, Missouri, for his Purpose World Tour concert on Tuesday, the Biebs shared a video of himself doing a lightly comical skit about the disapproval over his recent much-talked-about dreadlocks hairstyle.
Shortly after posting the clip, Justin added a self-deprecating caption, writing, “Being weird is fun’ if u r not weird I don’t like you.”
In the clip, the 22-year-old hammed it up, drawling, “Dude, are you gonna do anything with your hair? Are you just gonna leave it like that, dude?”
The singer also recalled a critical remark a fan made about his dreadlocks, saying, “Yeah, some girl came up to me, she was like ‘I love you Justin but, like, that’s like my least favorite hair style of yours.'”
So, why is the video funny? Well, the Biebs delivered his bit in a slacker-teen style reminiscent of the actor Keanu Reeves, circa his late 80’s Bill & Ted movies.
In fact, that is exactly who Bieber was mimicking, according to his longtime stylist, Karla Welch. Within seconds of the heartthrob sharing his video yesterday, Welch tweeted, “@justinbieber doing his best #keanuinbillandted in @bajaeast supplied by me @TheWallGroup #hessocute.”
— Karla Welch Stylist (@karla_welch) April 19, 2016
So far, so harmless. Yet, despite the apparent obviousness that the Biebs’ video caption is an observation about himself and his Keanu Reeves impression, some social media users chose to think otherwise thanks to misleading media outlet headlines.
— The Cut (@TheCut) April 19, 2016
@TheCut so he associates Black hairstyles with "being weird"? He can kiss my ass with them ugly ass grinch fingertips he calls dreads.
— Kiaira ♡ (@BlvckConscious) April 19, 2016
@TheCut how can he think it's ok for a white boy to wear a style that poc are harassed & even fired for wearing. You're white, act like it
— anja (@anjaklikovac) April 20, 2016
@TheCut dreads… Are a culture not something weird
— black panther AndREW (@tvchalla) April 20, 2016
Stop twisting his words around y'all are so annoying. https://t.co/xvYBp9LsYN
— asia. (@DazzlingAsia) April 20, 2016
— asia. (@DazzlingAsia) April 20, 2016
This is NOT in ANY WAY what he said in the video, this is the caption he used in reference to the voice he spoke in https://t.co/Og5C5fMjaY
— #1 Augstin stan (@SoulCompanyx) April 20, 2016
— ㅤ (@trustrecall) April 20, 2016
— Nabil (@BBBiebervelli) April 20, 2016
— Amanda (@_MandaaaS) April 20, 2016
— Helena (@bieberofgrande) April 20, 2016
@TheCut yall are so delusional, he was referring to the voice he was using. Watch the actual video before writing stupid articles over it.
— angela (@avonscharts) April 20, 2016
@TheCut if you actually watched the video you would know he was talking about his voice
— ash (@biebsaakidrauhl) April 20, 2016
And so on. Interestingly, the majority of historical and anthropological texts on the subject of dreadlocks reveal they were worn by ancient Greeks, European Celts, Vikings and other Norse tribes, Irish Picts, the Nazarite Jews, Ethiopians, Kenyans, Egyptians, Indian Sadhus, Caribbeans, Islamic Dervishes, Tibetans, Aborigines, Aztec priests, and possibly other cultures. They are still worn by some in those cultures which still exist today.
For Justin Bieber”>Justin Bieber, it’s probably best if he accepts (if he hasn’t already), that whatever he says or does will always be seen negatively by those invested in doing so. As history continues to show, that is the typical price the “weird” pay in our social-media-accelerated judgmental times.
[Image via Instagram]