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Is Justin Bieber a “bro”?
There are any number of other pressing issues worthy of a nation’s divided attention during summer’s waning days: a certain hurricane making landfall, Prince Harry’s nude photo scandal, Pussy Riot. But in a troubling development, new evidence suggests that Canada’s Pied Piper of Pop has finally and irreversibly morphed from the cherub-cheeked heartthrob who bewitched millions of Beliebers to become something more sinister: a full-blown bro. A bro, of course, being what the Urban Dictionary terms an “alpha male idiot.” “This is the derogatory sense of the word (common usage in the western US): white, 16–25 years old, inarticulate, belligerent,” the dictionary entry for “Bro” explains. “Bros actually chose this name for themselves as they often refer to each other as ‘bro’ even though they are not related.”
Other child pop stars have certainly established their “dude” bona fides (Jaden Smith, Taylor Lautner), and there is no shortage of regular “guys” scattered across the cultural spectrum (Michael Cera, Two and a Half Men costar Angus T. Jones, the guy from those Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies). But none has matched Bieber’s embrace of the bro-lifestyle, bro-ing down with other bros in outsize displays of frat-boyish folly and carrying on the linguistic tradition that distinguishes bros from all other American males, with Bieber’s ebonic rallying cry ringing out loudest: “Swag, swag, swag.”
(Kevin Mazur, WireImage / Getty Images)
Tears. Lil’ Bieb has officially completed his transition from puppy boy-next-door to a full-blown BRO.