It seems like only yesterday that Justin Bieber erupted onto the scene, rocking his signature mop cut and the grey zip-up hoodie with a purple snapback.

It was the same time that I was in my room trying to learn the choreography to “Aye, aye, aye, aye, me, plus you, ima tell you one time.” And also the same time that anyone who wasn’t a Belieber was saying “he sounds like a girl”.

Despite the haters, Bieber would soon release ‘Baby’ and and truly nothing would be the same. Those singles would help formulate Bieber’s debut album, My World and geez, what a different world it was.

He was about to rabbit hole into world domination and I was about to have myself a severe case of Bieber Fever – which would take over the early years of my adolescence.

My quiet infatuation soon (and inevitably) become pretty public. Buying his CDs, magazines he fronted, watching interviews and performances and basically getting up in anything his face was involved in.

Then in 2011, he announced that he would be bringing his My World Tour to Australia. I had never been so excited in my life. I remember being so ecstatic that I religiously counted down the days from months in advance. I remember when game day finally came and my friend and I were fully prepared. We had custom t-shirts made and even wore matching purple sunglasses.

I don’t think either of us had ever screamed so loud in our lives. And of course, there were tears… mainly when it came to the ‘One Less Lonely Girl’ segment and it appeared that neither one of us was chosen. A feeling of devastation took over, but that obviously didn’t stop us from being completely infatuated with him and having the greatest night of our lives.

Over the years as I grew up and as I began to focus more on what was happening in the real world (and my JB obsession less), my attachment seemed to simmer down and at this point I definitely don’t think I had a case of Bieber Fever anymore.

I stopped keeping up with Justin in the news and I never even really got into Journals (whether that was because it was only released digitally or not), but don’t worry, I definitely got around ‘All That Matters’ and ‘Confident’ featuring Chance The Rapper – and I still love both of those songs endlessly today.

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But then it got to a point where I began hearing about Justin in the news whether I wanted to or not. It was the era of Justin going off the rails and spiralling out of control and naturally my inner Belieber was concerned. The following years are somewhat of a blur and I just remember Justin coming out of it somewhat on top and with a new girlfriend.

Fast forward a few years and Justin’s now a happily married man and I now also have a boyfriend who I love dearly.

And no, when they posted wedding photos in 2018 I wasn’t hysterically crying and screaming like that 16 year old version of myself. But rather I feel about the situation in a whole different way, a way that sixteen year old me never knew was possible. Today I’m obsessed with Jailey – they’re my style icons and their cuteness makes me smile.

For anyone who’s wondering, I have no regrets about my Belieber years, in fact I often look back at them fondly and love the fact that I lived the Bieber zeitgeist of the 2010 era so unapologetically. But… I’m still gonna tell my kids they picked me to be One Less Lonely Girl at Rod Laver Arena in 2011.

Watch the music video for ‘One Time’ by Justin Bieber.

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