A Non-Belieber’s Take on Celebrity Bullying


Sabrina Abesamis, Editor-in-Chief

“What’s the difference between a Justin Bieber CD and a mosquito? If you slap a mosquito, it will stop sucking. Why is Justin Bieber so pale? Because there’s no light in the closet. I really hope it’s the end of the world tomorrow. Sure everybody will be dead, but look on the bright side, so will Justin Bieber.”

Despite the charming wit behind these jokes, if the name Justin Bieber were replaced with any average high school boy’s, the reaction would not be a simple chuckle. If publicized in the right light, a harassment lawsuit could be swiftly won as the news media laments the pervasive threat of bullies and the grave need to stop them.

Yet with all the care and sensitivity being put into bullying awareness, society seems perpetually forgiving of individuals­­­¾ celebrities and normal people alike¾ who insult other celebrities. Though such criticism will undeniably remain a constant fixture of pop culture, there is a sense of unabashed cruelty when such malice is directed at young, aspiring actors and singers.

Regardless of talent level, these adolescents¾though famous¾are still young, impressionable, and deserving of reasonably similar¾ if not the same¾degrees of privacy and respect as their peers. If we can enjoy watching sitcoms and listening to songs that discuss the injustices of bullying, we should have the decency to extend that consideration towards the young celebrities who star in those shows and sing those hit ballads.

All the insults in the world cannot absolve Justin Bieber’s crimes of drunk driving, doing drugs or egging houses. However, the fact remains that a certain degree of fault¾however small­¾lies in the individuals, media and society that decides it is morally okay to shame a young, sixteen-year-old boy for having a high voice and long hair the minute he was thrown into the limelight.

I have absolutely no outlandish intentions of proclaiming that society should ban insults or of arguing that individuals should never post snarky tweets about celebrities because, in addition to that being a hopeless cause, these jabs can be funny. I simply believe that there is a lack of self-awareness when people crack the same ‘Justin Bieber is gay jokes’ again and again and then later criticize him for failing to handle the scrutiny and pressure placed on him.

I am hardly qualified to tell anyone what is morally right or wrong, but if someone called me a slur-that-rhymes-with-hag I would be hurt; if thousands did, to the enjoyment of millions, I would feel worse. So even if a Justin Bieber CD sucks, bullying sucks worse.


All “jokes” directly taken from http://www.jokes4us.com/celebrityjokes/justinbieberjokes.html .