Pop star Justin Bieber is being roundly criticized for what he wore to accept an award presented by his nation’s prime minister.
On Friday the 19-year-old singer wore blue and white striped overalls over a white T-shirt, paired with a dark-colored baseball cap that sat backwards, to receive a Diamond Jubilee Medal, which honors significant achievements by Canadians.
Bieber, who was born in Stratford, Ontario, finished the outfit with a large silver chain around his neck and bright yellow sneakers.
The “Baby” singer’s choice of clothing sparked a strong reaction — most of it negative — online, with some media outlets dubbing him the “White Trash Prince.”
The Edmonton Journal, a Canadian newspaper, wrote in its headline about the story: ”Justin Bieber accepts Jubilee Medal from Stephen Harper in overalls and cap; Beebz wore tux to meet Obama last year (with photos)”
Bieber himself tweeted about the experience, initially just writing “Overauhls. lol.”
He followed up with this Tweet: “I met the Prime Minister in overalls lol,” and added a link to a photo of himself in the offending outfit, along with the caption: “I hope you hate my style.”
One Instagram user was not amused. “You’re so disrespectful justin,” wrote user ihatejerry.
Twitter user @annemaddox thought Bieber needed to “fire his stylist,” while @itsChristianok expressed a little more outrage: “You were meeting the Prime Minister. Wear a suit, not overalls you little p***k.”
Of course, the heartthrob with 30.6 million Twitter followers had many supporters who rushed to his defense.
The day after the prime minister’s tweet, Bieber defended himself online once again, saying the photo was taken in an arena where he was performing the day he received the award. He also called out Hayley Peterson, a reporter for the UK’s Daily Mail, by name.
“I walked straight from my meet and greet to [the prime minister], if you ‘Hayley’ expect me to have a change of clothes let a loan a suit at that specific time that’s crazy,” he posted on Instagram Sunday.