Justin Bieber fans, like other fandoms that go so far as to name themselves in honor of their idol, are often regarded as passionate at best crazed at worst. Like most generalizations, this may be unfair and some Beliebers can be fantastically cogent.
But every now and again a story comes along that ticks all the stereotype boxes, and then some.
If true, and it’s possible it’s a soon-to-be urban myth, the following is such a story.
Earlier this week, ‘Biggest Belieber Ever’ and Twitter lifer @cantbeliebit tweeted a rather disturbing message to her 190,000-plus followers along with a picture of a culled hair braid.
She wrote: “THIS GIRL IN FRONT OF ME IN MATH CALLED JUSTIN GAY SO I CUT HER HAIR OFF NOW I’M SUSPENDED HAHA IT’S WORTH IT.”
It’s a totally out there tale and no-one seems to know if it’s real or if the student just fancied a bit of Internet notoriety and cut off a doll’s hair, or even her own.
THIS GIRL IN FRONT OF ME IN MATH CALLED JUSTIN GAY SO I CUT HER HAIR OFF NOW IM SUSPENDED HAHA IT’S WORTH IT pic.twitter.com/1woSuqdEYZ
— sandrine (@cantbeliebit) October 8, 2013
Sadly, the story could well be true. Teen girls reside in a world ruled by extreme emotions, endless feuds, raging hormones, and intense desires projected on objects of obsession.
For years Bieber has been adored by an often unruly legion of Beliebers, a clutch of whom were revealed to be nothing if not unconditional in a Jimmy Kimmel Live skit in which fans attending the pop star’s June Staples Center shows were asked bizarre questions.
1: PETA’s upset at Justin Bieber because his new Bentley has tires made out of baby seals? Do you think they should just leave him alone?
Fan: “Yeah! Because he can do whatever he wants. Yeah! He’s like the King of Pop.”
2: Now Justin has said that because of his touring schedule, he doesn’t have time to learn how to read. Do you think he needs to learn how to read?
Fan: “No, he’s perfect the way he is.”
3: Over a game of cribbage Justin punched his grandmother in the stomach so hard that she had to go to the hospital. Is that OK?
Fan: “It depends on circumstances, like what was happening before that… well he’s a boy and boys mess around a lot and I don’t think he meant to hurt her.”
It was a terrifying example of the thrall for Bieber, and undoubtedly part of the reason why he can no longer go outside without a battalion of burly bodyguards.
Discounting the #cutforbieber furor that raged on Twitter after photos allegedly showing the singer smoking a blunt surfaced back in January — later exposed as a particularly repellent 4Chan hoax — it seems there isn’t much we’d put past teenage fandoms.
Directioner madness after Channel 4 aired a documentary depicting the lengths some fans were prepared to go to for the underwhelming boy band, a case in point.
For his part, Bieber goes out of his way to maintain a close connection with his fans, albeit privately he probably has intermittent qualms regarding boundaries.
So, perhaps the moral of the purportedly suspended, braid-cutting Justin Bieber fan story, or any notorious fan groups can be summed up in four words.
Never make them angry.