Music & Culture
Justin Bieber’s Song and Video “As Long As You Love Me” Send Harmful Messages to Young Girls
Written by T.M. Gaouette | August 9, 2012
Justin Bieber just launched the music video for his song “As Long As You Love Me.” Have you seen it yet?
The theme of this song and video are cliché. Girl falls in love with rebellious young boy, boy talks girl into going behind her parents’ backs to see him. Girl eventually runs away from home.
Although it portrays a common tale for young romance, I feel this song and its video send a lot of bad messages.
First, the lyrics include the words, “We could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke, as long as you love me.” This gives the false message that couples can survive on love alone.
Unfortunately, many young girls believe this to be true, and some have gone so far as to run away from home with the boy they’ve fallen deeply in love with. But no matter how romantic the notion, it’s entirely unrealistic. Being homeless and hungry on the streets is a struggle that takes romance out of most any relationship. It’s also a very dangerous situation to be in.
And let’s be honest. From the video, it’s apparent that love has been confused with lust. If this boy truly loved this girl, he’d have her stay safe in her home where she’s sheltered and fed while he makes something of himself. He’d want the best for her. And, if he was a decent boy, he’d get her father’s blessing to court her.
Second, the story makes the protective father into the mean guy. Granted, he looks like a mobster–probably because the actor has played a mobster in the past–but the message that it’s okay to go against your father so you can see your boyfriend is terrible. One of the commandments states that we must honor our father and our mother. This man is protecting his child, not abusing her, and he wants the best for her. But this story takes the protective father and turns him into the bad guy, complete with him beating the boyfriend to a pulp.
Third, the video is filled with sexual encounters. Bieber writes “You r so sexy” on her neck, as if that’s what makes her so special, and then they roll around half naked. As Christians, we’re taught:
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:18-19)
The relationship goes against Christ’s teachings in every way.
When a young girl falls in love for the first time, she’s often consumed with many emotions. Love and joy is mixed with fear of the unknown. But when her first love is not approved of by a parent, then sadness, depression, anger and fear of losing that boy come into play. This video encourages a girl to rebel against her father’s wishes and to follow her man. And where is this man leading her? To homelessness, hunger and poverty?
Bieber has a huge young fan base, and I’m pretty sure that since he began his career with more of a Christian twist, he attracted young Christian fans. But now, like many young stars, he’s turning away from Christ’s teachings and following the ways of the world. My fear is that his many fans will listen to the messages in the song and look at the video, and they will be encouraged to behave in the same way.
This may just be a song and a video, and it may be all fantasy for Bieber, but I’m pretty sure there are millions of girls around the world dealing with this exact scenario. And they may look at this video and listen to these words, and be encouraged to follow suit.
I don’t think a girl choosing her boyfriend over God and her parents is the right message to send in a music video. I think it’s harmful and I wish Bieber would reconsider promoting negative and irresponsible messages in his songs and videos.
PI ladies, do you think Bieber’s song and video send the wrong message to young girls? Can you relate to the story line?