Every Tween’s Twinkling Star?

by - Friday, April 30, 2010

It was the performance girls everywhere had been waiting for. On March 23rd 2010, Justin Bieber appeared live on David Letterman’s show and brought the house down. Igniting an outbreak of tweeting among viewers at home, the boy star’s nice’n’simple dance moves and unaffected vocal style were just the ticket for his ever-growing fan base. The most-quoted adjective to appear in Bieber-related threads on the internet is ‘cute’.

Could his resemblance to a fair-haired Donny Osmond have anything to do with his emergence from obscurity (talent-spotted from thousands of YouTube amateur performances by the man who became his manager)? Clearly, the singer had made a full recovery from the broken foot he sustained when performing live at the Wembley Arena in London back in November 2009.With a line-up of backing singers giving the performance a boys’ band feel, and wearing a dinky leather jerkin, denims and white-soled gym shoes, Justin’s on-screen appearance, singing Baby, screamed boy-next-door candourand humility. This of course is the origin of the appeal he holds among female under-twelves.

While Justin himself seems to parade understated fashion that refreshingly lacks ‘attitude’ – and harks back to the 1970s Osmond look but with fewer check shirts in evidence – his girl fans are less easily classified. Girls under twelve are confronted by perplexing choices – to give in to the pull to make them grow up too fast and dress like underdeveloped mini vamps, or risk seeming dorky and ‘too young’ by wearing the pretty girly outfits. Luckily, there are still kids clothes [for example, at http://www.teacollection.com/] manufacturers and retailers who are devoted to producing clothing ranges that appeal to mums and dads as well as their offspring and that aren’t ‘square’ and old-fashioned. Justin, with his boyish sandy mop and catalogue-style dress sense, has been allowed to continue to be a kid, and so should his fans.

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