Justin Bieber is a frequent target of jokes on Twitter, blogs and late-night television by folks — usually 25+ — who I bet know as much about him as I did: Nothing. His hairdo, his insane female and teen following, him being a perennial trending topic on Twitter, his pre-pubescent voice are all low hanging fruits for mocking. Everyone gladly takes them.

He appeared on Jay Leno a couple of nights ago. The video is worth watching if you want to know why he is a phenomenon. He is a down to earth fellow and no different than any teen his age. He seems to have strong family and religious values, and he has earned every one of his over 6 million followers on Twitter (and many more beyond). As someone who started by performing on streets, that deserves respect. Unlike other pop sensations, he has had no public embarrassments and no drug/violence incidents till date. Atleast his fans love and admire him for the right reasons. To put it in another way, I don’t see why teens shouldn’t admire him.

I still don’t like his music — that’s largely a matter of taste — but I have immense respect for the guy.