Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I can't believe I'm defending Justin Bieber

I can't believe I'm about to defend Justin Bieber.

Yesterday, when I was logging out of my email, the usual Yahoo screen full of nonsensical celebrity stories popped up. As someone old enough to remember the days when Yahoo news were actual news, I generally shut the screen down because, frankly, Yahoo news nowadays is pretty much the equivalent of a gossip tabloid with stories that appear to be written by second graders who neither know how to spell, nor proofread their articles. Nevertheless, I made the mistake of clicking the preview on the 'news' about Mr. Bieber and his words to a fan.

The story outlines an encounter in Australia, I believe, where, supposedly, Mr. Bieber 'insulted' his fan by asking her where is her respect, and telling her that she makes him sick. Well, the world knows who Mr. Bieber is, and how he acts, so this really is a non-story. However . . .

The article mentions that the fan was a young girl, but then goes on to say that she is twenty years old. Let me be clear, at twenty, she is a young woman, and not a young girl. She is an adult. To further discredit this story, it later mentions the words of her mother, who said she had to comfort her, and that the daughter would never see another concert of Mr. Bieber. I find it odd that a twenty year old woman needed the comfort of her mother when offended. But alas, this seems to reflect upon the world we live in, so I shall restrain myself, and not comment on the childishness of young adults today. When I was twenty years old, I had a job, responsibilities, and I had lived on my own. Some celebrity's words would certainly not harm me to the point where I needed to be comforted.

The larger concern for me, however, is the fact that the media outlets miss the big issue with this encounter. The issue being that the fan did not respect Mr. Bieber's wishes. As the article states, the fan wanted to take a picture, a 'selfie' (which in my opinion, is the lowest of all forms of pictures)  with the singer. The singer refused, yet the fan insisted, several times it seems, until Mr. Bieber asked her "Where is your respect", and stated "You make me sick."

I have no opinion of Mr. Bieber. I do not listen to his music, I d not support his 'art' in any way. What I see on the news is largely negative, and I have no interest in being up to date on his deeds and misdeeds. One thing I know, however, is that growing up in the spotlight must be hard. The entitlements, riches, and popularity aside, every tabloid, new outlet, and sue-happy kind is out there to get him in some way. That cannot be easy.

As an author, I do the occasional book signing, or public reading. If a fan came up to me and asked for a picture, should I refuse, I would have every expectation for the fan to respect my wishes. Should the fan insist, I would reiterate my wishes, and should those not be respected, I would have likely walked away or taken the fan's camera away if walking away was not possible.

As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Bieber has the same right to privacy as the rest of us. If he feels like an "animal in the zoo" because people constantly photograph him, as was stated in the article, then his fans should respect that he does not want to take a picture. If he says "No," then the fans should respect it.

If we turned the tables around, and the fan in question was in a changing room, and someone came out and asked to take her picture, she would likely reject and scream for security to barge in. Granted, Mr. Bieber was not in the dressing room. The point of my story is that a 'No' means 'No'. Period.

We teach our girls and women that "No means No". If a 'NO' has this power (and it should) , then it should apply across the board. The minute a person, no matter whether they are a celebrity or not, says, No." we lose all right to insist. Perhaps the fans of Mr. Bieber should consider the rights (and moods) or the object of their admiration rather than insisting and, subsequently, complaining about the treatment they received.

That's my rant for the day. 

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