Justin Bieber on Oprah’s Next Chapter: Inspiration at its finest

November 27, 2012

The holidays come early for Beliebers, as one of pop icon Justin Bieber’s most personal interviews ever was broadcasted this Sunday. Sitting down with Oprah Winfrey over french fries at one of her favorite restaurants (Ralph Lauren’s RL in Chicago), Justin opened up in a new and emotional way which enabled fans a chance to feel even more connected to their idol. Viewers may think they knew Justin before, but we’ve never quite seen him like this. Addressing everything from the pressures of fame to his transition into adulthood, the interview was unique, inspiring, and highly intimate – an uplifting spectacle that proved just how human Justin really is.

The interview began by Oprah describing the success that has come to be synonymous with Justin’s name – thousands of screaming fans packing the streets just for a glimpse of him, constant comparisons to musical legends the likes of Elvis, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson, and the outright demand that his presence guarantees. This demand was highlighted immediately by the fact that the interview was broadcasted in over 100 countries. Viewers were presented with various other tidbits which echo the downright staggering success that Justin has achieved, including the fact that he’s the most watched person on YouTube and has garnered a sum of over $100 billion in two years. But what made the interview most endearing was not the summary of the star’s phenomenal achievements, but rather what assured audiences that he’s really no different from us at all.

When asked what his favorite food was, Justin replied with a grin, “TGI Friday’s”. Favorite shows? Smallville and Friends. Celebrity crush? Beyonce. Simple interests that belong to an 18-year-old with charm and an overwhelming wealth of talent. What’s not to love?

“I try to be as normal as I can with the abnormal life that I have,” Justin replies when confronted with Oprah’s remarks on the pressures he encounters on a daily basis.

The interview first began its descent into a highly personal realm when Oprah inquired about how he maintains friendships through the demanding and exceedingly exposed nature of the life he lives. He explained that he tries “to keep the people that have been around me since the beginning close” before blatantly admitting, “I really don’t have a lot of friends. I have like, three close friends…but that’s really the truth.”

This led to a discussion concerning loneliness and depression – two normal emotions which celebrities are sometimes mistaken to be immune to. Speaking very solemnly, Justin admitted that he does get lonely, explaining “you just feel sometimes that you need someone to be there with you”. Oprah delved further, inquiring as to why there were days he felt depressed. He replied with the simple words that continued to ring bold through the remainder of the interview: “because I’m human.”

Oprah went on to admire the sheer magnitude of Justin’s success and what he, as an individual, represents. She marveled at the means in which he became a phenomenon, claiming that there has never been a star like him and outright stating that he is “a product of social media”. When inquiring how he plans to maintain the success that he has and not follow the drug-and-alcohol-laden paths which previous teen sensations have succumbed to, Justin admitted to sometimes getting caught up in everything. He went on to acknowledge, however, that the vital thing was “remembering what is important”.

Not surprisingly, Oprah asked about one of the most speculated aspects of Justin’s life: love, something he responded to by saying honestly that “at the end of the day, I have to be happy, I can’t be single my whole life.” A cheeky smile then inched up his lips as he added, “If I could be with everybody, all the fans, I would.”

Though Justin has been plagued from the start by an entourage of negative comments and “Justin Bieber haters”, he continues to hold his head high, refusing to back down or become what the spotlight pressures him to be. “People need to realize I’m not changing, I’m getting older.” He says. “I’m just growing up.”

Near the end of the interview, Oprah addressed the simple message that he evokes as an artist and pop culture icon. The title of his latest album says it all: you can achieve anything, so long as you Believe. What is it exactly that Justin believes, though? Oprah asked the artist this question upfront, curious as to the belief he has that motivates him to spread the positive messages that he does. “Belief in myself,” Justin stated firmly. “that Jesus died for my sins, and he gave me these gifts – I have a responsibility with these gifts to do good things.”

Everything about the interview was sincere, raw, and emotional – all traits which Justin wants people to feel when he’s performing and recording. Like his idol Michael Jackson, he wants the emotion to resonate in his audience’s minds and make an impact. Furthermore, it’s not just about being a teen heartthrob anymore. Says Justin, “I want it to be about my music. I want people to respect my music. This isn’t a gimmick.”

One of the final questions Oprah asked was what dream Justin now held clearest in his heart. He replied with a simple and resounding: “Grammy.”

And as Oprah dubbed him with her official “maturity stamp of approval”, we couldn’t help but do the same. Throughout the interview, Justin succeeded in providing honest and personal insight into his views as an individual – going deeper than just the typical level of what defines his success and proving that his whirlwind experience in the music industry has garnered him wisdom beyond his years. Still, the interview managed to capture the simple charm and allure that we’ve all come to know and love about the 18-year-old phenomenon.

It was insightful and intimate at the same time, and likely left viewers in a state of marvel. The set-up alone combined with the questions and comments directed at him were an obvious attempts at proving that Justin Bieber really is as human and relatable as the rest of us.

In this case, mission accomplished.


-Shelley DeHekker


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