Saturday, 9 March 2013

We Need to Talk About Justin

Courtesy of The Superficial

I've always been a little bit indifferent to the phenomenon that is Justin Bieber.  He's a bit too young for me to find attractive and his voice is a little whiny.  Yet, at the same time, I've never been particularly offended by his music.  In fact, I have been known to turn up that one that he did with Nicki Minaj (I'm a fan of her, you understand).

However, with the current swell of young and impressionable fans on social networking sites like Twitter, this 'boy wonder' has become something of a destructive force of nature.  

When you read through Justin's Twitter, it's almost like reading that of a precocious fourteen year old girl, rather than one of a nineteen year old with the World at his feet.  He seems to use this medium as a way of excusing what is, at times, completely irresponsible behaviour.  He is, of course, just a nineteen year old and is doing the things that other nineteen year olds do, but he has to remember that he has legions of young fans looking up to him.

By taking to Twitter to lay blame on others and to make excuses for his behaviour is careless at best.  At worst, it's damaging for those reading.

I'm sure you all heard about the #cutforbieber lunacy that happened a few months back.  From what I could gather, Justin had been photographed smoking weed and fans decided that self harm was the best way to show him their love and support.  The mind boggles.  Yet, at no point it seems, did Justin's management step in to try and limit the damage.

Recently he had his birthday ruined by the press, and simply tweeted 'Worst birthday ever'. Within minutes, there were replies from young girls who were 'crying so hard' that they 'couldn't breathe' because his day had been ruined.  Rational responses aren't at the forefront of a teenagers mind.

Now we have the pop sensation turning up two hours late (although he says forty minutes, I wasn't there so cannot say for sure) for gigs in London, collapsing on stage and attacking members of the paparazzi.  Immediately, Bieber took to Twitter to complain about how hard his life is.  His fans were incensed, the rage palpable.  I have read death threats aimed at the media in general from thirteen year old girls.  That's not right, surely?

I'm sure it is difficult to be in the spotlight in the way that he is, but should we feel too sorry for a man - because he is an adult - that has millions in his bank and everything that his heart could desire?  Added to that, he has an army of devoted fans willing to attack anyone that criticises him and who will consistently defend his increasingly erratic behaviour.

I know we've had hysterical hero worship in the past (who can forget the girls passing out at Michael Jackson concerts?) but with the addition of social media, it's beginning to take a slightly sinister turn.  The love that Bieber's fans already feel is heightened by the glimpses they get into his private life.  They feel that they know him and, as a result, are hell bent on protecting him.

I know he's only human, and that he has every right to express his feelings, but I think that a little self awareness ought to be exercised when watched so obsessively by so many.

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