Justin Bieber hugged me.
Now, for those of us who are old enough to have watched the Brady Bunch in primetime, that statement would elicit an “awww” or an “isn’t that sweet” at best, and a “who is he” at worst. But utter that phrase to any tween on the street and they’ll stare at you like you’re Willy Wonka holding the last golden ticket.
I was a tad too young for Beatlemania, and a tad too old for the 1980s mall rat scene, ala Tiffany and New Kids on the Block. My daughters have outgrown the Tiger Beat phase, and I can’t say I’m in the target demo for the Disney channel.
In other words, Justin wasn’t on my radar.
That changed after I read an article in The New York Times style section about this kid who was a Youtube phenomenon. More than 100 million people have clicked on his videos, he sang for President Obama, and three thousand screaming tweens and teens nearly shut down a Long Island mall at the promise of his arrival.
I thought to myself, “Who is this little guy?”
We are witnessing teen idol 2.0. Biebermania.