Ok guys, I don't post here that often and generally let stuff that's being pushed by the media slide on past. But when I saw this posted on Facebook, I knew I had to send it over here and get some input.
Now, to be perfectly honest, I have had very limited exposure to this kid's music. I've never sat and listened to a song of his and never seen him perform. I'm sure he has some talent or the music execs wouldn't have bothered picking him up. All I know is that every tween & teen this side of Mississippi knows who he is and idolizes him. I personally don't (or didn't) have any beef with him. If he wants to push this candy pop, tiger beat image and make a ton of cash from it, go for it. The boy bands did it back in my teenage years and, hey, I even listened to their stuff at that time in my life because that's what I was exposed to. But I don't remember the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC going this far.
Now, I also want to point out that I have no problem with guys that wanna rock some nail polish. If that's your scene and you can gain the respect of the strong men around you, then so be it. One of the baddest dudes on the planet, Chuck Liddell, has been shown painting his toenails. Did I lose any respect for him because of that? Hell no! That guy is a legend in his sport and is truly one of the greatest competitors of all time. I'm also sure most of us can recall seeing the hair bands of the 80's showing up on stage with eyeliner, painted nails, and the super hair. And ya know what? They still rocked! Hell, KISS made a career on makeup and accessories. Obviously, there are numerous examples of men throwing on color and still maintaining their masculinity.
The problem I have is this: This kid is effecting the lives of the youth he comes in contact with and setting a "soft" example. Is he a good kid? I guess so. That's the image he portrays and he's been successful with it. But, I'm sure most of y'all will agree, the youth of today don't have many strong, masculine images to look up to and emulate that are as prevalent in the media. They have social icons like this kid and it kinda pisses me off because, more and more, I see the media just confusing what masculinity should be. They use kids like this, who are just pawns to what the "powers that be" instruct them to do. Again, I have no problem with this kid directly. What does tick me off is the fact that he, or perhaps his parents, aren't helping to set a strong example for those young boys that look up to him. In turn, most of these boys, without any strong masculine figure to guide them, can become confused socially & mentally. They wear his clothes, style their hair like him, and rock his nail polish. Some of them, I'm sure, pull some tail and stay atop the social ladder in their scene. But for the majority, I'd bet that they are mocked and berated for it, thus becoming more social outcast and having it linger into their adult lives.
I know, I know. Chill out. Not all of the teen population looks up to him and his impact isn't going to be THAT great in the world. This kid's career will last about as long as a fart lingers in the air, but it still gives ya a bad taste in your mouth for that duration of time. I know I've jumped into a serious rant over one little article, but it just got to me. I had to air this out and wanted to get some perspective from some strong minded individuals. Thoughts please.