My Beef with Bieber

I’ve got to start by saying that I know Justin Bieber isn’t the first to do this, it’s just that I’ve come back from school camp.  3 hours there and 3 hours back with a whole lot of short trips in between with the constant nag… “put on Justin Bieber”, and “no this music is stupid, I want Justin Bieber”.

This kid is only 16.  I know that he probably doesn’t write his own songs, but I find it weird that EVERY song on his album is about girls.  Half of them about how he is jealous that his ex girlfriend is seeing someone else now. In “Baby”, Ludacris’ rap starts with… ‘when I was 13, I had my first love…” don’t ask me to quote the rest… I’m ashamed to admit I actually could though…

So, here’s my beef… the kids in my car that were into this “artist” (?!?!?!?) range between 8 and 10 years old.  Almost every 10 year old wants to be 13, probably older.  Many readily take on these messages as cues as to how they should behave.  We’ve got kids this age in “relationships” that mock 13 year olds that mock 18 year olds… the copy the dance moves, wear the clothes and make up, use the language… they’re just growing up so fast, they have such a small window of being a kid.  Add to that the fact that they are not as emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually developed as the adults they are trying to be.

The thing that I care about the most though is the words and how they effect their hearts and minds.  Words are powerful.  Words in songs are very powerful, especially when sung over and over and over and over… the songs that kids listen to, even though the messages can be subtle effect the way they think and feel about what happens around them and to them.  Do we REALLY want our kids hearts and minds to be impacted these sorts of words of a grown up sung through a kid?

Justin Bieber isn’t the first I know.  When I was a kid we were also listening to the same sorts of messages, but the difference was that adults were singing them.  This is not kids listening to adults singing about adult things, but KIDS singing about adults things.

So… how do we approach this?  Half of me just wants to run…


2 Responses to My Beef with Bieber

  1. Hi Sarah, I appreciate where you’re coming from. Isaiah took his MP3 with him to camp in Queenstown recently, and sat beside another girl who was listening to Justin Bieber all the time. She thought his music (which was almost entirely Christian contemporary) was clearly “country boy’s” and so not cool. He likes it though and was also sharing it with his other friends.
    I deal with the music thing by not playing anything now but LifeFM, and christian music. I’ve tried to be a bit of an expert and got hold of quite a good range via CD purchase and/or purchase online. I’ve talked to the kids about listening to the words and they have picked up on this. There is so much good christian contemporary music around now which is really big in the states, but also some really good NZ artists. I think we need to be proud of this and make sure our kids can find some artists they really like.

  2. Sarah says:

    thats great! yea there is loads of good Christian music around. It really is important to talk with kids about what they are listening to so they never take it for granted. One of the biggest challenges is for kids when their friends are really into it, some find this harder to resist then others. what about when a group of girls come to church and want to do a dance to “Party in the USA” (Mily Cyrus)? Do shut that down? Or do we have a bit more grace since not all the kids come from a background where they have the understanding that others do.

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