What It's Like To Be An Adult Belieber

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/Rex Shutterstock.
Hear the term "Belieber" and you'll no doubt picture a group of tweens and teens furiously tweeting and tagging while "Baby" coos in the background on repeat. Up until a few months ago, that depiction might have been accurate. Now Purpose is out, and suddenly grown men and women are finding themselves doing the unthinkable: digging Justin Bieber, sans irony.

With the Biebs turning 22 today, a batch of adult Beliebers are coming out of the woodwork to express their unapologetic devotion for the Canadian crooner. Some have been fans since the "Never Say Never" bowl cut era. Some have been lured by "What Do You Mean?" and "Sorry." All of them identify as Beliebers, and you'll see them screaming their heads off at concerts, downloading the latest singles, and debating about Selena and Hailey. Deal with it.

Here, they reveal how they got into the Biebs, and why they love him so much. Let he who has not rocked out to "Where Are Ü Now" cast the first stone.

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Photo: Courtesy of subject.
Theresa, 25

"Not only have I been an avid and loyal fan since the beginning of Justin's career (back when he was sharing videos on his YouTube channel), I have also been there for him through his many down times.

"Though I am a huge fan of his new work and versatility into the EDM space with Skrillex and Diplo, I also love his R&B, pop, and the emotional side to his music. He is truly such a versatile and talented musician and a loving person.

"Back when Twitter first came out and I was in college, I experienced one of the best moments of my life: Justin Bieber started following me! The best part about it is that he still follows me. I check my account every single day to make sure that he is following me and it is a constant reminder that makes me feel super-special."
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Photo: Courtesy of subject.
Samantha, 29

"I’m truly an adult Belieber and I’m not going to apologize! I've always been a major teeny-bopper. From Disney stars to teen sensations, I love them all, and it doesn’t matter how old I get. When 'Baby' was first released, I became a fan for life. I’ve continued to follow Justin over the years, through ups and downs. I always believed he was a star. He's handsome, goofy, genuine, passionate, incredibly talented, etc. — the list goes on and on. With his recent 'comeback,' my obsession has finally been vindicated and become appropriate.

"His new album was what I had been waiting for — it's incredible. While I used to think he was just adorable and super-talented, now he’s grown into a sexy man. Purpose is always playing in my house — full-on Bieber Fever here — and my 2-year-old daughter loves to dance along with me to 'Sorry.' For my 30th birthday, my one wish was to see Bieber live. Luckily my husband supports my crazy obsession and has pulled through with some tickets to the show. It's probably the best gift I’ve ever received!"
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Kelsey, 23

"My co-worker and I LOVE Bieber. We even have a wall of his pictures behind us. (Have you seen his new Calvin Klein ad? Straight sex.)

"I first got into him this past year, when he collaborated with Diplo. Things definitely became full-blown when his album was released. My friends question my fandom for obvious reasons, but once they know enough about him, they convert. Plus, he’s hot."
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Photo: Courtesy of subject.
Erica, 44

"I’m a little embarrassed to admit I'm a 44-year-old Belieber, and have been since his teenage days.

"I LOVED his French version of 'One Less Lonely Girl.' And 'Baby'? Especially the yeah yeah yeah times 4 part at the end? That. Is. My. Jam. It works for all occasions. Cooking? Play it. Cleaning? Play it. Working out? Play it. Driving on a long road trip and need to stay awake? Play the shit out of it. And the recent stuff is SOLID. 'Boyfriend'? Perfection. 'Sorry'? Not sorry... I love it.

"I've seen his episode of 'Carpool Karaoke' on YouTube so much my husband sighs and silently walks out of the room when I queue it up on our SmartTV. I mean, I'm not going to lie, Bieber has a great capacity for douchiness. I am aware of this. But who doesn't have douchiness inside of them? Let he who is without a slight touch of douche cast the first stone, I say."
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Photo: Courtesy of subject.
Meredith, 28 (pictured, far right)

"Ever since 'Where Are Ü Now' dropped, everyone seems to be a Belieber. 'Oh, I’ve always loved him,' people will say. False. Remember that lull he had with his music, the run-ins with police, the darker times? A Belieber like myself loved him through it all. We Beliebed.

"I’ve been there since I first heard 'One Time' on the radio after I had graduated college (full disclosure: I thought he was a girl at first). The obsession grew rapidly after that and has lived on ever since. Sure there were disappointing times, but when you’re a true fan, you know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and now, we’re living it. I would say his 'Baby' phase really revved up my obsession, and the minute he partnered with Skrillex (my other obsession), my worlds collided and it’s been beautiful music ever since.

"Here’s why I’m the ultimate Belieber. I’ve bought every album since 'One Time' — the Christmas album, the acoustic stuff, the random singles, you name it. I’ve watched every movie and documentary and bought the Justin Bieber board game (yes, it exists; no, I’ve never opened it). I attended a private charity concert he put on. My two friends and I were legit the only people there not babysitting, not parents, and not under 16 years old — and it still ranks as one of the best concerts I’ve been to. I did the PR for Justin’s app, Shots, for a year and talked to him on the phone. Yes, he knows who I am. I still have notes from our convo saved in my phone today. Finally, 'What Do You Mean?' changed my life and is his best.song.ever. It’s my most listened to song on iTunes and Spotify, is my ringtone, and acts as my instant quick-fix for any bad day."