A Reluctant Defence of Justin Bieber

justin-bieber-300Let me say something right away.  I’ve probably heard one of his songs somewhere once on the radio when I was half paying attention.  I’m not a teenage hormonal girl, so I didn’t go through the Bieber craze.  But I do have to listen to people rag on him all the time.  I mean ‘all’ the time.  People at work reading celebrity news, coming over to ask if I’ve seen his latest screw up.  They tell me why he’s an idiot.  I stare blankly at them.  Facebook and Twitter are full of people mentioning him negatively.  As a social media person, I see the headlines, but I told stop to read them.

Why do we spend so much time ragging on him?  Yes, he’s a bit of a twit.  Yes, he made too much money too fast, and now he thinks he can do whatever he wants.  But what does it matter?

I spend exactly zero percent of my time thinking about him when he’s not being mentioned to me.  But I do have the same reaction every time.  I say ‘he’s worth like a billion dollars, so I doubt your disappointment matters all that much to him.’  This sounds a little passive aggressive and snooty, but my reasoning behind it is very different.  What we’re doing to him, talking behind his back, saying awful things about him on the internet… it’s bullying.

Now he’s probably too busy counting his money to care.  But imagine for a second your son, or little brother, went to school every day and his fellow students said the things about him that they say about Justin Bieber.  I bet that 100% of you would be outraged.  Now fire back at me the argument that he deserves it.  Really?  Deserves?  Is he Hitler?  What has he done that deserves this kind of treatment?  Is it because you think he looked a little feminine while he was going through puberty?  Maybe because he rebelled during his teen years?  What?

There is a song that came out a few years ago called ‘Sticks and Stone’ By Nicola Roberts.  If you haven’t heard it, here’s the link.  I mention it here, because it has the message I feel pertains to this.

Basically the message of the song is that a young girl, at the prime of her career, felt every single mean thing that was said about her and it nearly destroyed her.  It’s sad, heart-wrenching, and hopefully makes you consider what that type of bullying can do.

I don’t care about Justin Bieber.  Not really.  But I certainly don’t go out of my way to say mean things about him.  The way I see it, he has nothing to do with me, I don’t listen to his music and he and I are probably never going to meet, so why would I go out of my way to bully him?

Here’s another way to look at it.  What makes you better than his fans?

The number of people that listen to his music is massive.  I mean seriously, massive.  Yes, they’re mostly teenage girls, but teenage girls are allowed to like whatever music they want.  Do you remember being a teenager?  Did everyone agree with your music choice?  How about any taste you might have had?

When I first went to film school, I was super excited.  I went in ready to talk movies, and figure out how to make them.  At the time, one of my all time favourite directors was Baz Lurhmann, who is the mastermind behind movies such as ‘Strictly Ballroom’ and ‘Moulin Rouge’.  I wished I could be as creative as him.  I couldn’t even conceive of coming up with the things he came up with.  One of my first classes, we were allowed to bring up movies and directors, so I brought up him.  For the next half hour, I had to listen to why he was the worst director ever, and how ‘Moulin Rouge’ was a complete failure.  Basically, I was told that I was wrong by teacher and students alike.

Why?  Why was the movie I liked wrong?  Why is the music someone listens to wrong?  If you don’t like Justin Bieber, then don’t support him, don’t listen to him and don’t buy his albums.  If someone likes a movie you hated, why try and tell them they’re wrong?  When you’re bullying Justin Bieber, you’re also bullying his fans, telling them that something they love is wrong or stupid.  In a society that is striving for acceptance and diversity, doesn’t belittling people seem wrong?

This blog post isn’t meant to be preachy.  You can hate Justin Bieber if you want.  I certainly am not a fan.  But maybe consider why your being ‘not a fan’ has pushed you into a hatred so strong that you’re willing to bully him mercilessly.  Is it because he’s kind of annoying but he’s made a lot of money that you wish you had?  Are you a singer and you think you’re more talented?  Is it a ‘why him?’ moment, and ‘why not me?’ with how he was discovered?

I’m going to go about my life now, and hope that no one else makes me sit and listen to them go on and on about him.  And I’m sorry if you feel attacked by this post.  Bullying is one of those things that makes me furious with rage, no matter who’s being bullied.  My brother was bullied when we were very young, and I used to feel just awful for him.  He was a good kid, and didn’t deserve it.  Justin Bieber may act like an idiot most of the time, but what hormonal boy doesn’t?  The only difference is he’s in the spotlight.  If you worry that your child will see him is a role model, maybe teach them why the things he does shouldn’t be admired instead of attacking him.

 

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