Let me say this upfront: I was always a JC Chasez girl. Maybe that’s where the root of my problem with Justin Timberlake comes from, that I felt like he was overshadowing the most beautiful, perfect brunette in *NSYNC (and my true eighth-grade love) with his ramen-y hair.
But no, it’s more than that, because my uneasy feelings about this man have been developing for a few years, even though I seriously loved his first two solo albums. I think Justin Timberlake kindasorta really sucks. And is a dick. And gets adulated by popular media to an extent that is in no way deserved.
Today is JT’s birthday. I know it’s mean to rip on someone on their birthday, but I posted about how much I love Oprah on her birthday earlier this week, so, you know, everything in balance. Also, celebrities are public people with public personas and, as a member of the public, I am wholly entitled to dissect someone’s public image, so just remember that before you rush to JT’s defense in the comments, sexybackers.
So ok, let me make my argument here. Remember that whole “homeless people saying HAPPY WEDDING DAY to Justin and Jessica” thing? That sucked. Yeah, JT apologized for it and all and yeah, he wasn’t technically responsible, but he still screened a video of Los Angeles street people at his wedding. In Italy. If that isn’t a ridiculous display of white privilege, as Anne Helen Petersen asserts, I don’t know what is.
That leads me to the People magazine cover story that featured JT’s wedding to Jessica Biel. Let’s take a look:
Some people might see this photo and think, “Aww, a newlywed man who is so happy that he’s married that he’s jumping for joy!” I see it and think, “A bigheaded idiot who is making what is supposed to be a celebration of his couplehood be all about him.”
That’s the crux of my dislike for Justin, really. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IS HERE FOR JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND NO ONE ELSE. Not even his wife! Not even a couple who want to get engaged at his concert! Need more proof?
The VMAs. The goddamn VMAs. He got the Vanguard Award (whatever the hell that is) and, as you’ll recall the entire world was FLIPPING THEIR SHIT over the possibility of an *NSYNC reunion during his performance. And we got it, although it was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen, considering *NSYNC sang for a grand total of 30 seconds before Justin launched into his languid, fifteen-minute-long performance celebrating the fact that he’s been a solo singer for just over ten years.
Yeah, I know the award was for Justin himself and not the boy band he was in during the 90s. But would it have killed him to let his former bandmates have more than 30 seconds of stage time? My SO EXCITED SO HAPPY SO NOSTALGIC tween heart was basically raised up on a platform of joy and then rudely crushed under the weight of JT’s enormous ego. Can you tell I’m just a little bitter and disappointed about this?
Then, in his speech accepting the award, he couldn’t even name JC, Lance, Joey and Chris by name. He just called them “guys.” So disrespectful, so rude, so makes me lose any admiration I had for this dude.
Justin rubs me the wrong way because it’s evident that he has the biggest head in show business (and if you think I’m alone in this opinion, a quick scroll through the JT archives of our sister site Crushable will help you see the light). You just know that JT thinks JT is the man. Maybe you find that sexy and alluring, but I find it grating, annoying, and a huge turn-off. There’s nothing wrong with being self-confident and proud of your talents and accomplishments, but Justin’s existence just feel like one big giant selfie-in-a-mirror in a-selfie-in-a-mirror while wearing an expensive suit and tie. Call me old-fashioned, but I like my celebrities with at least a modicum of self-awareness and humility, something that seems to be sorely missing from Justin’s public life.
“Sexy Back” will always be the summer jam of 2006. “Cry Me a River” will always give me amazing (depressing?) memories of driving around smoking cigarettes and crying about boys during my senior of high school. *NSYNC will live in my heart forever.
But a man whose head is so far up the ass of his own perceived genius that his self and staff couldn’t even do a simple Google search to learn that the name of the single “Take Back The Night” was also the name of a hugely important women’s movement? Nope. I’ll never call myself a Justin Timberlake fan.
Photos: FilmMagic via Getty Images