No One Trusts the Tastes of Teenage Girls But Should: Why Justin Bieber Is the Next Beatles
By Brittany Spanos
At what point did teen girls suddenly just become wrong? "Serious" music fans seem to have universally accepted a critique of quality that befalls any artist who willingly sells to the rabid teen girl market and stigmatized the fans who dare to sometimes be male or at least above the age of 18. It's why we only divulge our love for Justin Bieber with a laugh and overdose of self-awareness that lets the world know we don't feel he or the boys in One Direction are legitimate artists.
With last year's Believe, Justin has grown into an artist who's on his way to Justin Timberlake levels of pop/R&B maturity -- given a few more years and scandals -- pregnancy scares/rumors, pot experiments, breakups, public mea culpas -- that will permanently dissolve that sweet and earnest teen image. For now, Bieber has proved to be an enthralling act to watch live with his versatile talents in both dance and song. One Direction, while not known as the synchronized-dancing type of boy band, contain a full lineup of fairly equally talented singers, which is more than most groups from the late '90s/early millennium pop group flood can say. Plus, they have a knack for choosing some supremely fun '90's ~deep cuts~, in spite of their age. So while everyone bides their time loving them in secret or hating them for the sake of hating something, 1D and the Biebz will never be respected because everyone knows their fans -- teenage girls -- are never to be trusted with matters of taste.
As Jessica Hopper pointed out in her Pazz & Jop piece on Taylor Swift, Grimes, and Lana Del Rey, pop stars who grasp the attention of primarily young girls are seen as all image and no substance. That means Justin Bieber can't be anything more than a boy who used to toss those side-swept bangs of his and make all his Beliebers' hearts swoon, even if his latest release has been heralded as an exciting and soulfully mature turn for the pop star. Many have collectively come to embrace the unwarranted and baseless idea that young girls are unable to engage with "good" music or art of substance which makes praise of these pop acts by anyone feel nearly delusional to them.
With the logic that someone like Justin Bieber can't ever musically mature from "Baby," The Beatles would have never gone from just wanting to hold hands to releasing albums like the now-revered White Album toward the end of their career. In a more recent sense, Justin Timberlake began his career in one of the most successful bubblegum pop groups of the early millennium, *NSYNC, and had fans literally beg him to release a new album.