home

connect

contact

learn something new every day:

Feb
11

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like chocolate. Check out my interview with Deborah Reinhardt, author of Delectable Destinations: A Chocolate Lover’s Guide to Missouri, on Huffington Post. And the photos? Oh, the photos!

Read All Entries

get the latest from Lois

Stay connected to the Oasis!


omg, i’ve got bieber fever!

Frampton sign

It’s Blog Hop time again! This month it’s all about celebrity crushes, past and present, so I’m re-posting my piece inspired by my experience at the screening of the Justin Bieber movie. Don’t be embarrassed to share your own crush in the Comments below! I’d love to know who graced the walls of your teenage bedroom!

Let me first assure – ASSURE – you, I do not have a crush on Justin Bieber. He is younger than my youngest child, for one thing. Ewwww. And, sorry, but I just don’t think he’s a very talented singer. Or dancer. Or musician.

I do, however, think I’ve developed a slight case of Bieber fever after seeing Never Say Never, which may be one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. (Please put that in perspective. It’s February, people! These are the months that try film critics’ souls.) The reason it resonated so strongly with me is because the real star of this documentary isn’t Justin Bieber – it’s the fans. The movie is an ode to the millions of loyal little girls who turn a cute young boy into a pop idol. And haven’t all of us been those little girls at some point? I know I was, as my friends who remember me proclaiming, “Frampton is God,” will attest. (Sorry, Eric Clapton. And, sorry, Rabbi Moshowitz.)

At the advance screening of Never Say Never, which I only attended because I was reviewing the movie for NickJr.com, thank you very much, I was the oldest one in the audience by, oh, a good 20 years or so – and that was just compared to the moms, who had accompanied their daughters in the roles of drivers and popcorn buyers. The excitement was palpable from the minute I stepped into the theater, where the audience was happily – and loudly – responding “BIEBER!” to every “JUSTIN!” screamed by two tiny girls who semi-confidently held court in front of the screen. Each round was accompanied by wild giggling, which is a truly precious sound that we unfortunately grow out of as we grow up.

By the time the movie actually started, my ears were ringing but the audience’s enthusiasm was infectious and I might’ve joined in with a “BIEBER!” or two myself but I was already getting odd looks for being there by myself rather than with my BFFs.

I got caught up in the movie immediately, “ooh”-ing and “ah”-ing along with the crowd as Justin’s baby pictures and home movies filled the screen. I, of course, was thinking of my own kids at that age, but the rest of the audience apparently had other things on their mind. As Justin grew up – well, relatively – in front of us, the decibel level in the theater rose painfully every time he shook his head or took off his shirt.

This was totally an “aha!” moment for me, revealing the importance of hair in pop stardom. You can not be a boy toy unless you have great hair on your head and none on your chest.  Justin Bieber is easily as famous for his hair as he is for his voice. The Beatles were known as the Mop Tops. And my beloved Peter Frampton? Well, does the Frampton Comes Alive album cover not say it all?

Frampton Comes Alive

Conversely, a hairless chest is key. Body hair means “man,” not “boy” – and that’s scary. And real. That’s why almost every girl interviewed in Never Say Never waxes poetic about how “cute” Justin is! Pop idols are cute! Like babies! And puppies! They’re sweet and innocent, and they’re the safest first loves. It’s why my sister and I had posters of Donny Osmond and Davy Jones and Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy all over our bedroom walls. Real rock stars, like Mick Jagger, were too “dangerous,” and we couldn’t deal with an offer like “Let’s Spend the Night Together” until we had gone through our cute boy stage during which the only place that anything really happened was in our imagination, where it was all about kissing and hugging and holding hands.

Having a crush on a pop idol is a female rite of passage, and what comes across so touchingly in this film is the fact that the young fans are not simply smitten with the star – they’re equally in love with the idea of love itself. The Disney fairy tale version of love. The kind that still makes old Frampton fans like me sigh when I’m bathing the dog or loading the dishwasher and catch the eye of the real love of my life. When Justin actually calls upon a fan to sit onstage while he sings to her, she has no idea what to do with herself – or him. On your wall, a pop idol is still a fantasy to mold however you want. In real life, he’s a real person with a mind of his own, though, and he’s not always going to be crooning, “Baby, baby, oh,” to you. So, really, your teenage crushes are supposed to stay on your wall (are you listening, Katie Holmes?).

Hey, Justin Bieber seems like a nice enough kid. He loves his mom, dad and Usher. He’s hard-working, he cares deeply about his fans and he empowers his young audience by personally proving that dreams do come true. He’s a good role model.

So, to this latest generation of little girls, I say go ahead and scream. We former fans of Davy, Bobby and Donny hear you. We may never buy Justin’s CDs but, then again, never say never.

Comments

  1. hey lois,

    i remember crying when i saw donny sing “sweet & inocent” @ the garden. I was 13!!!

    lois
    new hyde park, ny

    • I think I cried when I saw Frampton, too — from the front row at Madison Square Garden!! I hate to admit I was more like 17 or 18 by then …

  2. forgot to mention the year…..1971!!!

    lois
    nhp, ny

  3. So brave of you, Lois to venture where only pre-teeny boppers are screaming for their idol. Now I can relate to how my mother must have felt when I had my crush on the Beatles. How true, beautiful hair is a big part of the attraction.

  4. Great review, Lois! Now I have to go get my Frampton fix — although he was more my sisters’ crush. I liked (shame, shame) Leif Garrison, Shaun Cassidy, and Rick Springfield.

  5. I went to see the Monkees when I was 12 and I screamed throughout the concert. I was in LOVE with Davy Jones. Every girl gets her time to be a teeny bopper, it is a right of passage

  6. not to date myself, but I was madly “smitten” with Frankie Avalon. I saw him locally 3 times when he was performing here…many, many, many years ago.
    I am going to watch Justin’s movie when it comes out on pay/view, or movies on demand. In the comfort, and privacy, of my own home!

  7. Very well written Lois! It brought back so many memories – like the Beatles bubble gum cards that covered the walls of my bedroom… Thanks for the trip down memory lane~

  8. Since this is true confession time, dare I say that Frank was my idol? Every generation has their stars and followers – great article, Lois.

  9. Love this review and will pass it along to my daughter and my granddaughter, possibly Justin’s youngest fan at two.

    My first concert ever was The Osmond Brothers at the San Diego Sports Arena. I was 10 and head over heals with Donny. I also remember being a little traumatized a couple of years later when I realized he had hair under his arms (thank you, Tiger Beat magazine).

    There really is nothing better than a bubble gum crush…at least whe you’re a tweenie bopper 🙂

  10. This was so insightful and well written. And unexpectedly so, since I made a quick (an erroneous) judgment based on the title of your piece. It’s been so easy to dismiss everything Bieber. This was a wonderful reminder that one of the keys to overcoming the generation gap in any era is to remember being there yourself once.

  11. I can see the appeal of Bieber, he looks like a girl. That’s what works for teeny-boppers. The youngest I’ll go is Phillip Phillips – and I think I’d rather be his mother-in-law than paramour.

  12. If I were a tween I’d be swooning for Bieber too. Thankfully, I’m not!

  13. You are so right about the hair. It’s not just the boys, either. Hollywood careers have been made on good hair. Case in point: Andie McDowell.

  14. Excellent points about the element of “cute.” It’s almost like teen idols are almost androgynous, teetering on the edge of “male, or female?” It doesn’t matter, because they’re pretty and sweet. I loved your perspective on this piece. Thank you!

  15. Wow. Haven’t thought about Frampton in a long time!

    Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy, Davy Jones… Just thinking back makes me smile. So clean cut! So innocent… At least, we were. Them? Who knows!

  16. Definitely cute like puppies and safe. Even when I got old enough to like hair on chests and faces, a good head of hair is still attractive. Which may explain why my husband’s hair is better than mine!

  17. Hair is so important. My daughter made me watch High School Musical and we both developed major crushes on Zac Ephron!

  18. I was shocked a couple of months ago when I saw Peter Frampton perform on television…. The hair is gone! Another sign we are ALL getting older.

  19. Excellent and insiteful post.

  20. Yes, I agree that first crushes have to be really “safe.” No overtly masculine traits. Too scary. Boyish (androgynous, really) and tame. Bieber does fit that bill! I just saw him in a clip from SNL, and when the comic doing the skit with JB put his hand on JB’s chest, I was amazed that his man’s hands spanned the width of JB’s chest. Bieber is tiny! Safe. No animal magnatism except maybe puppy cuteness. My daughter is 11, and I haven’t caught her crushing on anyone…yet. Her day will come. Love the pics of crushes I remember populating the pages of Teen Beat magazine when I was an adolescent. Fun!

  21. I agree with you about the hair, and his is fascinating. Great post!

Speak Your Mind

*