Never Let You Go. NEVARRRRRR!!!

[Trigger warning.]

[Lyrics available here; description of video within post.

Above is the new video from teen bangs sensation, Justin Bieber, for his single, "Never Let You Go," which is a totes perfect song for a 16-year-old-who-looks-like-an-11-year-old to be singing, you guys, because, as everyone knows, the best age for finding your eternal soul mate is about 13 and a half.

I mean, this song is just great: Not only does it pay homage to super-creepy romantic songs about stalking love like "Every Breath You Take," but it punctuates the repeatedly uttered promise to never let an adolescent girl go with lines like "It's like an angel came by and took me to heaven" and "Don't be scared, girl; I'm here; if you didn't know, this is love," which manages to effectively combine the romance of cheesy pick-up lines used by insecure boys in shitty bars with the overbearing paternalism of aging virgin-chasers who sit too close while offering their instruction in the Ways of Love.

And, ZOMG, howsabout that awesome video, in which Bieber (a white boy) and his love interest (played by Paige Hurd, a young woman of color) fall in love while frolicking "in the catacombs of Bahamian aquariums … sharing near-kisses, touching and nuzzling…. Shots of the pair in silhouette holding hands play into the video's plot of two young teens falling in love in a very exotic locale."

You know what the best place to shoot a video of a white boy and a brown girl falling in love is…? An exotic locale.

I also appreciate how the video never really lingers on the girl's face, or gives us a glimpse of her emotional spectrum beyond "gazing admiringly and/or mysteriously" at her new white boyfriend. The denial of her autonomy and personhood really lets me reimagine colonialist rape as a romance picture myself in a sexual situation with someone below the age of consent in many states as a teen again, being stalked never let go by Justin Bieber.

If Bieber Fever means repeatedly vomiting until you get an urge to hit yourself in the head with a tack hammer, I've got it! BIG TIME.

[Commenting Guidelines: Please note that the critique in this post does not include condemnation of Bieber as a person or an artist. Comments that present an argument based on an erroneous assertion that the post is criticizing Bieber personally, or his talent, will be considered off-topic. Comments that do criticize Bieber personally, or his talent, will also be considered off-topic. Also unwelcome is apologia that seeks to dismiss concerns about the problematic elements in this video by pointing out Bieber is not the only artist whose videos use these elements, or by ignoring that videos in which a female singer has a genericized love interest who's male, or a singer of color has a genericized love interest who's white, don't play into the same narratives that this video does.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus