Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why Channing likes Justin....

My niece, Channing, is nine years old, and she is in the clutches of Justin Bieber fever. In fact, she counts herself as a "Belieber," one of the teen singer's legions of fans...many of whom, I don't doubt, are as young as Channing.

Channing knows I have a blog, and reads it regularly. The other day I got an e-mail from her, suggesting that I blog about Justin Bieber...and Channing. Who knows? Maybe Justin Bieber would somehow stumble on my blog and be virtually introduced to Channing!

I broke the news to her that that probably won't happen, but because I love Channing so much, I DID promise to blog about Justin Bieber.

A YouTube phenomenon

Justin Bieber's story really is pretty remarkable. Just a few years ago, when Justin was 12 years old, his mom posted a video on YouTube of him singing at a local talent competition. (He placed second in the competition.)

Mom continued to upload videos of Justin's songs until he became sort of a YouTube phenomenon. He ended up being noticed there by a music producer, was signed to Island Records, and went on to become the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

So why do little girls love Justin Bieber?

Do I get the appeal? No, but then again I'm a grown woman. Channing says she likes him because he's cute and she likes the way he sings.

I don't know if anyone's ever done a psychological analysis into what makes people become avid fans of anybody or anything. If you are around my age, you might well have had a huge crush on David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, or even Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees fame.

Why? Probably because they were cute, and you liked the way they sang.

And I suspect whenever fan-girl-ness is present, there's the very faint, very distant hope that maybe someday, somehow, the object of your fan-girl-ness will notice YOU.

Channing won't be nine years old forever, and all too soon, her crushes will be on real boys she knows rather than on teen pop stars with thick bangs.

But because she won't be nine years old forever, and because I love her very, very much, I'm glad I granted her wish that I blog about Justin Bieber.

Here you go, Channing! :)

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