COURTESY OF JUSTIN BIEBER/INSTAGRAM
When it comes to encouraging us to embrace our more mature selves, young pop star Justin Bieber can only do so much.
Earlier this month, he provided a visual on Instagram: Graphic and black, more ballpoint pen on paper than rose on bicep, it's a words-only tattoo that says “Better at 70.” Naturally, he included instructions to get it inked right above your left knee, where everyone can see it when you’re wearing basketball (or golf) shorts this summer.
As for wording, the Biebz, as many of his fans call him, went inclusive. His phrase speaks to endless possibilities for members of any generation. You might be able to relate as a wayward but forward-looking 20-something just as easily as a proud septuagenarian would. Who’s to say if “Better at 70” should permit you, well, decades to get your act together — or if it should reflect exactly where you are at this moment? (Are you seeing the beauty?)
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But in case you hunger for a little more insight, Bieber, 23, who has had his share of tabloid headlines, added some in a caption: “I look back at a lot of things in my life, mistakes, insecurities, and although I have felt I've wasted a lot of time it also makes me want to be better faster! For me personally, I want to work everyday to be BETTER AT 70.”
But he didn’t stop there. Several days later, the fan-focused pop star Instagrammed the used stencil paper, in case, as he put it, “anyone wants to copy this tattoo.”
To our mind, if ever there were a Justin Bieber-inspired tattoo worth imitating (and yes, we’re aware of the grizzly bear head tat he has on his chest and the bald eagle soaring north of his navel), this is surely the one to get puncture wounds over. So far, only a handful of Beliebers are showing off imitations — if party pics from Instagram are any indication.
But the message itself has proven to have legs (beyond his). As a hashtag, the phrase is spreading faster than you can say “gramp stamp." Does #Betterat70 always make actual sense as it’s used online? Definitely not. Do we appreciate Bieber’s age-positive stance anyway? Absolutely. More power — and ink — to him.