I'm bipolar. I blog about it. I also blog about sex, theology and atheology, funny shit and sad shit, books, music, feminism, and love. Mostly love.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Justin Bieber Overrated and Exploited

I have plenty of problems with popular music. It's fine for dance music, I think, but I cannot take it seriously. There are musicians who know how to read music and don't need complicated equipment to cover their inability to carry a tune. Those musicians can't get ahead because our music industry is shallow. It's unfair, and that's what bothers me.

So I'm not a Bieber fan. He's not as horrible as some say. But he's certainly not worth his popularity level either. I just watched a special on Justin and his mom on television (another reason this shit is terrible for us). He was serenading her (dripping with cheese), and he got so sharp he changed key. Jesus Christ. How do people like this get famous for their "talent?" *sex, cough cough* He's an attractive kid. Girls freak out (in utterly irrational and creepy ways) about him. They're selling his sex appeal, whether or not people realize they're buying into it.

So, on this show, they were focusing on the trials his mother had faced in her childhood. When I still watched TV (took it seriously, at least) I would have found it a very moving program. She was molested, she was an addict, she attempted suicide, she became pregnant with Justin when she was a teenager, yadda yadda. First issue: They turned it into an issue of pro-life/pro-choice. She was encouraged to abort Justin and chose not to, and now he's such a big deal. I think it's pretty clear that I'm pro-choice (just look at the rest of this blog). I was offended that they used her heartache as a conservative promo.

I'm sure this woman was encouraged to give all this up. At one point in my life, I would have said she was an advocate. She was telling young people that you can come out of addiction, and to get help after sexual abuse... but now I know better. Justin Bieber's mom isn't going to make our youth feel better about their own heartaches. Justin's music is becoming more serious as his PR people are trying to convince the public he isn't still 14 (even if he looks it), because songs like Baby are already getting old. His fans are growing up. And just as his music is attempting a more mature feel, they're trying to do the same with his personal life. They're going to do anything to push that new image, including exploiting his mother's past (or lying about it).

Justin didn't do such a good job on the program. His singing was only the beginning. He was clearly uncomfortable being present for his mother discussing her history of sexual abuse, and the thought of aborting the child that now sat next to her. When the subject of her suicide attempt arose, he said, "everyone makes mistakes." Is there not a more politically correct response? How about, "I'm so happy she's here now. She means the world to me." or "I know my mom had a lot going on, and I'm so inspired by her ability to turn her life around." Not... it was a mistake. I guess we all do that. What the hell, bro? Aren't you coached better than this? Or perhaps they shouldn't have subjected the poor kid to that horribly uncomfortable situation in the first place.

I don't read magazines for the same reason. I don't care what anyone says about someone famous. I don't know them personally, so I don't care if they broke up with their boyfriend, or if they're pregnant, or anything really. Not unless someone endorses something I believe in or has a performance that speaks to me will I be interested in that person as an individual. And I sure as hell won't use television or magazines to gather the information I'm seeking.

The exploitation of our big "stars," is disgusting. It's unfair to them. That environment cannot be healthy, which is why we end up with girls like Lindsay Lohan--she is a product of our sick fascination. I won't be surprised when Bieber comes out the same way. We've created this world in which we admire images of famous people who have been edited to look a specific way, and have resources to trainers and dietitians that most of us don't have. We want to be them... and then we make jokes of the people we once admired--the ones who have broken. And we take pleasure from it. Because when someone we're jealous of fails, it feels good. We celebrate their successes, just as we make comedy of their downfalls. Check yourself, people.

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