In case you haven’t heard, Justin Bieber did some regurgitational therapy onstage this past weekend. According to him, this wasn’t due to binge drinking or mixing uppers & downers or popping experimental diet pills; it was because of milk. So if any of you were hoping the 18-year-old was gradually morphing into Courtney Love, tough luck.
The concert, performed at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, AZ, went on despite Bieber having to throw up twice and temporarily leave the stage. He asked the crowd, “Will you love me even if I’m throwing up onstage?” I imagine there were roars of confirmation here, so he continued with the show. I also imagine most of us would not be receiving confirmations were we to vomit in front of thousands of people. If you want to see the video, here it is (though I recommend just watching this quick informative GIF instead):
As much as I’m not really concerned with the Biebs or his magical preteen cult following known as Beliebers (hey,at least they’re better than Chris Brown fans, right?), I do feel quite sorry for him. Even when you’re a celebrity, embarrassment is still possible and, in fact, much more painful because it will likely be spread on every gossip site from here to the South Pole — seriously, penguins will talk shit about your wardrobe malfunctions. But all of us can certainly relate to how it feels to be publicly embarrassed in some way, even if it’s not quite as widespread as most celebrities (and, to be fair, they get a lot of free shit at awards shows so I don’t feel that bad for them).
For example, when I was a freshman, I was an opera major and thus had to take this 9 a.m. music theory class every other day. Since I have acid reflux and gastritis, my stomach tends to get upset a lot easier than most, so it growls and basically sounds like I’m throwing up on the inside. While this is normally a source of comedy amongst my friends, it’s less comedic when you’re in class and people are singing or talking and suddenly there’s this remarkable, “ERRRRRRRRRRUPHH” sound emanating from some girl’s stomach.
While I may have been able to brush it off as a significantly more confident and apathetic senior and make a joke, as a self-conscious 18-year-old, it was extremely uncomfortable. Finally, during an important test which required total silence, my stomach decided to perform its own composition (and not this kind) for literally half an hour. And of course, I had sat in the middle of the (very, very small) room. I know it sounds silly and minimal, but I distinctly remember feeling so awkward even returning to class, let alone daring to take a test — seriously, I took the rest of mine in an office. Embarrassment got the best o’ me.
But, as you get older, you learn to deal with embarrassment better. Like when I was talking to my entire dad’s side of my family who all speak Spanish and, after tripping over something, I said, “¡Estoy embarazada!” This does not mean what it sounds like, which I somehow had forgotten; it means “I’m pregnant.” But instead of turning bright red, I just laughed about it and so did everybody else because it was funny and clearly an accident.
And then there’s the whole “public humiliation by vomiting” thing. Yes, it is never fun to hear you were that person the next day. Anybody who has never been “that girl/guy” will likely look down on you, tsk tsking at your uncontrollably drunk nature. Without too much gross elaboration, I had plenty of drunkenly embarrassing nights during my first couple years of college and every day afterward, I would feel incredibly upset, even if I hadn’t been on the radar of “drunkest people” that night.
But as I get older, I’ve realized that being embarrassed in public will inevitably happen. At some point, we will all burp, sneeze, throw up, fall down and fuck up our words in front of hot people. Nobody else will actually remember you tripping on your way up the steps this morning. If you sweat a lot and get watermarks on your clothes, I strongly doubt anybody will even absorb it in their short-term thinking. And there are very, very few people who will recall what “that drunk girl” looked like the next day unless you breffed all over their shoes. And even if you did, give it a few weeks and they’re unlikely to think of it as anything other than a gross/funny story.
Luckily, most of us aren’t remotely famous and nobody will find it interesting enough to put up on YouTube.