The promotional tag-line for Justin Bieber’s new film probably shouldn’t disturb me as much as it does, but you know, neither should Speedos. By which I mean, they shouldn’t disturb me“relative to world events”. Yet they do.
Back to the tagline: “Find Out What’s Possible If You Never Give Up.”
The thing is, I am DOWN with the message. Really.
Never give up.
I love it.
I believe it.
I try my utmost to live it.
And…I want my kids (at least one of which is very much in the Bieber demographic) to embrace it too.
My concern then, is not the message, it’s the MEDIUM. Because really…Justin Bieber? A kid? Of how many years on this earth? Fourteen? Is the whole moral of his rise to success really one of “never giving up?”
What, cos he had to wait a whole twenty months before Justin Timberlake stumbled across his stuff on youtube?
I’m not denying that the kid has talent. He can sing. He can dance. He can induce palpitations in tween-aged aortic valves around the globe.
But…did he get to where is he through sheer tenacity?
Did he get there by holding on even when every other part of his being was telling him to just bite the bullet and go do something ‘sensible’?
Did he get there by overcoming insurmountable odds, when it felt like the entire world had conspired against him?
Er no. He got there by a combination of luck, and having the package to back it up once it struck.
If we’re gonna talk inspiring role models in terms of “never giving up”, I can think of a few others I’d prefer to look to…
After almost 25 years in the theatre, he finally won international acclaim (and became the first Australian born actor to win his subsequent Oscar) at age 45.
Slugged it out in Hollywood for almost 10 years (ten YEARS!!!! I can get frustrated if my career stalls for ten days!) only to become an “overnight” success when she finally scored the lead in Mullholand Drive. And the rest is history…
And just because I’m apparently on an “Aussie actors make good” tangent…
At the beautifully ripe age of 64, Ms Weaver scored her first Oscar nomination this year for “Animal Kingdom.” One of my favourite moments of the entire awards was seeing her on the red carpet, telling one reporter: “It almost feels like too much, too late.”
As for the Biebs, may he have a long and happy career. But if and when he does so, it will not be due to never giving up. It will be due to a collison of good timing, good fortune and a highly marketable package.
And as for that tag-line, might I most humbly offer this as an alternative?