22 October 2010

Justin Bieber: Maverick or Make-Believe?

The men's fashion and culture magazine Details compiled a list of 2010's Mavericks, men who have in some way profoundly impacted style and culture. In their inclusion of 16-year-old pop star Justin Bieber, I was skeptical to agree with Details inclusion of him as a "maverick". He was discovered by R&B superstar Usher who got him audition for Island Def Jam in front of L.A. Reid. They agreed to sign him and since then the "Bieber Fever" has been spreading. Now I'm not against the furthering of a 16-year-old boy's dreams of using his prepubescent voice to skyrocket himself into fame. I'm against a magazine that overall does an excellent job of recognizing admirable style and cutting-edge culture actually calling this kid a maverick. Does this mean that guys like Zac Efron, Corbin Bleu, and Soulja Boy are also mavericks? I would think not. What separates this kid from every other white, blond Disney Channel fixture that can act and wants to record an album as well? Can they get on the mavericks list as well? Justin Bieber isn't going against any grain, he isn't redefining any area of culture, he's simply capitalizing on the one that already exists. People like Justin Guarini, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, and Fantasia Barrino were the real mavericks. They were actual Average Joes and Janes and by coming into a serendipitous interaction by the right people found their way into the public eye for their talent. And nobody put them in their Mavericks issue.


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