Recently, COED Magazine has released a list of the 50 most popular women on the web according to Google search. Coming in at #7? Justin Bieber.
I personally have not been infected by “Bieber Fever”, but I do think international entertainment phenomena, especially ones based on sex appeal, are interesting to watch unfold. When I watched Bieber on YouTube in 2008, he was loved and adored by all who came upon him. Justin Bieber USED to be one of the Greyson Chance or Alex Goot types until he actually made it big. Stardom aside, since his rise to fame, Bieber has continually been at the pit of a war of fanatical teenagers vs. everyone else. Petty issues aside, one of the things that I cannot help but notice is the constant attacks on Justin Bieber’s gender and sexuality in the media. You can find one example for each below (and a whole lot more with a few minutes on Google).
But why? Because Bieber has feminine physical features? Because he doesn’t sing songs that equate women to fast food?
Possibly, but let’s dig a little deeper. Bieber is the perfect illustration of 2 things: firstly, social attempts to control who are allowed to be, and secondly, social discomfort with pushing gender/sex boundaries. Mix the two together, and it’s no wonder sexuality and gender identity are a popular way to control behavior. By attacking someone’s sexuality, we can shame them back into the only 2 boxes that we believe are allowed: masculine or feminine, boy and girl. When somebody blurs the line between tough boy and sweet girl, especially somebody who is famous or supposed to be “straight”, shit hits the fan and everybody rushes to put them back in their place.
Grow up, COED editors. Grow up, 2nd source media outlets, America, and the rest of the world too, for that matter. I may not be into his music, but for goodness sake, LEAVE JUSTIN BIEBER’S SEXUALITY ALONE!