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Hashtag Pop: Justin Bieber – “Beauty and a Beat”

on February 27, 2013, 12:00am

 Hashtag Pop: Justin Bieber   Beauty and a Beat

Hashtag Pop is a new column that explores the relationship of Top 40 hits and their presence in culture and the internet. Last time we talked about Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”. Today, we are all just trying to Beliebe in something.

bieber 161x260 Hashtag Pop: Justin Bieber   Beauty and a Beat

This is Justin Bieber’s butt crack. You’re welcome.

Justin Bieber’s butt crack has nothing to do with “Beauty and a Beat”, the not-so-cleverly titled Biebs track that currently sits at number 24 on Billboard’s Top 40. Justin Bieber’s butt crack has nothing to do with any of his songs.

In some ways, Bieber himself doesn’t have anything to do with his songs. At least, not their popularity as individual entities. While people debate the merits of various Taylor Swift songs, and those opinions change how the songs are viewed, every Bieber song is just The Next Bieber song. It’s Bieber and his butt crack that influence people to listen, not the other way around.

This makes sense for “Beauty and a Beat”, as it’s a song that relies entirely on the personalities of its stars. Bieber is doing all of those boy-band coos and generally playing fan service the entire time, but to keep things — I don’t know, edgy? — Nicki Minaj’s verse claims she is going to douse the young pop star with ether, pull out his genitals, and keep an eye out for JB’s on-again-off-again girlfriend.

bieber2 260x235 Hashtag Pop: Justin Bieber   Beauty and a Beat

Let’s talk about this video. It opens by saying it was “stolen” from Bieber and uploaded by an “anonymous blogger.” Of course, in a few seconds, it retracts this saying the entire thing was written, directed, and shot by Bieber.

Those two facts imply that a.) Bieber’s quick on the “j/k” draw and b.) this is what Bieber wants the public to think his life is like. A quick rundown of that life? Sexy synchronized swimmers, frequent fight dancing, constant killer choreography, a camera that floats into the air and can survive underwater, and canopies of stripper poles. I don’t know what’s crazier, the self-projected appearance of Bieber’s affluence or the fact that I might actually believe he has all these things.

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The above videos are on some The Fan-level shit, but that is Justin Bieber’s life at this point. Remember that Dave Chappelle joke about the president being so famous that performing fellatio on him made you famous? Bieber is at another level. As evidenced by that Ellen bit, the swaggy adult is so famous that just being a big enough fan of his makes you famous.

Aside from the obvious– attractive young man who can sing, dance, and play instruments– that sort of fame by association is what has to inspire the kind of obsessive behavior associated with Beliebers, right? The idea that if you could just touch him once then you could maybe talk to him once, if you could talk to him once, you could be his friend, if he would just respond to your tweet, and so on and so on until you’re Paris Hilton. Or Perez Hilton.

Of course, Twitter has turned this against itself with both the #BaldForBieber and #CutForBieber hashtags, where the dark corners of the Internet convinced impressionable young Bieber fans that Bieber had cancer in the first case, and that cutting themselves would inspire Bieber to stop smoking marijuana in the latter. What the viciousness of that reaction hides, however, is that these Internet trolls are reacting to Bieber in exactly the same way as his fans: to the extreme. Instead of hoping for fame-by-association, these people are looking infamy-by-proxy. It’s the power of Beliebing that any reaction to Bieber himself has to be that intense. “Beauty and a Beat” is not the only example of this, it’s just Bieber’s most recent one.

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