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Who The Fuck Is Jessi J?

April 9, 2014

Is the question I’ve been asking myself since my social media feed blew up about her yesterday.

Because I guess I’m old and not a fan of exploitative music…so yeah. I had no idea.

But I do now.

As an aside, my long dark night of the seasonally affect depression is possibly sort of over. Or not. fun with brain chemistry!

Anyway, in case you are like me and had never heard of her go read this. For those of you who don’t want to do that, here are the basics.

Jessi J is a singer who ha spent a good deal of her public life both talking about the fact that she strives to be a “positive role model for young people.” And that’s, you know, nice, I guess. Apparently one of her other favorite quotes is “I always say that I’m half-artist, half-therapist.” And she’s bi, which will become important in a minute.

Wen she was first starting out and was singing songs like “Do It Like a Dude,” (no seriously that’s what it’s called. Don’t look at me, I didn’t name it.) She used the fact that she was an out bisexual. Basically, she did things that a male singer would do, showing off other scantily clad females in her videos. And he talked about her sexuality all the time. Now, in part that happened because when you talk about something like that one time it becomes a part of your headline. I’m a writer who is an out bisexual so everything I do is as a bisexual writer. She’s a singer who talked about being bi so of course, in the press she was a bi singer. That’s not her fault but it’s something that she knew about going in. Everyone who lives in the world knows how this works. Vanilla Ice was a white rapper and this chick is a bi singer.

Except she isn’t anymore, apparently.

And that announcement just so happens to coincide with the release of some new music.

Gee, I wonder if those two things are in any way connected.

A lot of people are angry about this but I think they’re angry for the wrong reasons.

The issue isn’t that Jessi J said she was bi and has now decided that she isn’t. The issue is that Jessi J is clearly someone who is willing to trade on her sexuality for attention in a way that rips the role models away from her fans a not small portion of whom are Gender and secual Minorities.

Who are the primary consumers of pop music? Teens. And GSM teens who lack role models in their lives often look for them in entertainment. That’s true of all teens, no matter their sexuality. Ripping away a kid’s role models? Not good. Especially not good for the group of teens overwhelmingly likely to already be facing a lack of role models and positive messages about themselves and their sexuality.

You know, I think that people should be honest about who they are. I do. So if this is what is true for Jessi J right now, then fine. Do that and be happy. it’s just distasteful to me that she would use this aspect of her life as a publicity stunt.

If she wants to keep her sexuality private then I respect her right to do so. but talking about it in the media, no matter what her sexuality is, is the opposite of keeping it private. It’s trading on it to gain press and ultimately to make money.

That’s just tacky.




One Comment leave one →
  1. disconcerted72 permalink
    April 9, 2014 9:52 AM

    I have to admit, I had no idea who she was until I saw the blow-up on social media, as well. But I really like how you articulated the issue with her chaging her mind. I suppose, in some way, pop-culture icons have to consider their influence on others in a way many of us “private” people do not. Originally, my thought was, “Well, I know I’ve struggled with my orientation at times in life, maybe this is exactly what she’s dealing with…” But seeing your explanation, has certainly given me more to consider.

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