mama mondays: bieber fever (where love begins)

Remember this face?

Shaun Cassidy, heartthrob 1977


A huge Shaun Cassidy poster hung on my sister’s bedroom wall back in 1977. Even though I thought he was cute, my sister had claimed Shaun before me, so my adoration necessarily had to be suppressed. The job of a younger sister, after all, is make a separate, unique mark from her older siblings. So my crush was kept at bay. I’d also listened to the boys at school relentlessly tease girls who openly claimed an affinity for Shaun. It seemed safer just to keep quiet about my true feelings.

KC from KC and the Sunshine Band

Around the same time, KC emerged on the scene. When my sister’s friend Susie went on vacation with us one summer, she bought the newest KC and the Sunshine band album, and to show our love for KC, Susie and I spent one evening taking turns kissing his album cover.

Justin Bieber, heartthrob 2011

These days, it’s Justin who makes the teen girls go wild. The sad thing about becoming wildly famous so early is that you’re sort of immortalized at that young age. My heart still goes pitter-patter when I see an old picture of Shaun Cassidy, but when I see a current-day picture of him, not so much. It’s the young Shaun whose image has been imprinted onto my brain.

O and M ready to leave for the Justin Bieber movie!

This weekend, my daughter and her friends were fixated on Justin Bieber. Yes, it seems to be the beginning of love, though I’m not sure how they will divide him. Here, two of the girls (my daughter and her tall friend who is trying to even things out in this pose) were about ready to hop into a vehicle, driven by Daddy Troy, that would transport them to the theater to take in the newest Justin Bieber movie.

I asked my daughter in a text the next day what she thought of the movie. “Best two hours of my life!!!!!” she texted back, still expressing awe over the time she spent gazing at the big screen at the boy she most admires.

Recently, one of her teachers and I were talking about Bieber Fever. She brought something to my attention that I hadn’t considered before, noting that she views these teen crushes as “safe.” The girls get to express their adoration for a boy, but it’s a boy who is inaccessible. He’s real, but their chances of ever dating him are…well…fantasy.

Nevertheless, and despite the light teasing I’ve done with my daughter about her crush, I get it. Of course I do. I was 13 once, too. Besides, I see everything in its true light.

“Glad you had fun, but you’re more awesome than Justin Bieber any day,” I texted back.

“Impossible,” she texted back.

It’s true. Sure, he’s cute and famous and has a nice voice, but she’s my daughter, a precious jewel.

“There’s a Justin out there for you somewhere, waiting to meet you someday,” I wrote in another text. “Wait for him — it will be worth it.”

And I mean it. I really believe that if Justin Bieber were to meet my daughter, HE would be the lucky one.

So, I’m hoping someday her Justin will come into her life, at the right time. And not anytime too soon. For now, I suppose if dreaming about the real Justin Bieber keeps her distracted from looking for the wrong Justin too early, then there’s nothing wrong with a little innocent teen dreaming.

Q4U: What famous person made your heart go pitter-patter as a teen? What was it about him or her that made you melt?

2 thoughts on “mama mondays: bieber fever (where love begins)”

  1. Great post! Of course, for me it was Shaun. I had a t-shirts, posters, etc. I saw him on Oprah a couple of months ago and it was nice to see that he’s still a nice, normal guy.

    1. Tracy, didn’t you write a post or column about this once, too? I’m not completely done exploring the topic of the teen heartthrob, now that I’m in the middle of it with my daughter. Fun to see your name here — I hope you are doing well!

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