I found this blog topic surprisingly thought provoking! Not only did I have to find out who Justin Bieber is, I was surprised by his resemblance to my own pre-teen crush (which happens to still melt my butter)--Parker Stevenson.
Parker, along with another teen heartthrob Shaun Cassidy, made up the adorable brother detective duo, The Hardy Boys, which aired in the late 1970's. I never missed an episode to watch Parker aka Frank Hardy, solve simple "mysteries" while he strode around in tight white jeans or corduroys. On the days I got my allowance, I blew it on the most recent issue of Tiger Beat or Teen Beat magazine that promised the secrets to "Win Parkers Heart". I fell for it all- hook, line and sinker.
When I subscribed to Netflix last year, I decided to rent The Hardy Boys DVDs to enjoy a little eye candy and reminisce. After barely making it thru 2 episodes, I had to ask myself "what was I thinking?" Let's just say, they weren't winning any awards. Now I know exactly what I was thinking, "that guy is super cute" and that was all that mattered.
Back in the days before 24/7 media saturation and aggressive Paparazzi, Parker Stevenson was still everywhere. Magazine covers, pillowcases, t-shirts, lockets and the list goes on. I think he even competed on Battle of the Network Stars. He was incredibly popular and marketable, simply for being a heartthrob with feathered hair and tight jeans. Clearly, being famous does not always have a direct correlation with talent or success. Each generation seems to have has own group of heartthrobs and bombshells, which possess a demographic, until they are replaced with someone new. My older sister was over the moon about another feathered hair cutie- Bobby Sherman and my mother thought the sun rose and set with Roy Rogers!
It just seems so much easier now to manufacture these "entertainers" and market them to a public hungry to consume them. The line between success and fame is so fine and blurred; I think it's truly hard to define. Isn't Justin Beiber, like Parker before him, successful at being famous? After all, we all need our distractions and as soon as puberty gets a hold of him; there will be another waiting in the wings.