Why I can’t stand why you can’t stand Justin Timberlake

Jackie doesn’t like Justin Timberlake. That statement in and of itself would be okay if her reasoning was solid. But I don’t think it is. She lays out her feelings in a five part blog post series, and here I shall lay out why, while I respect her right not only to hold that opinion, but also to express it for everyone to see on the internet, I also must respectfully refute some of her justifications (no pun intended) for her Justin hatred.

Let’s start at the beginning, where Jackie opens her first post with this statement:

i cannot stand justin timberlake.

Okay, like I said, her opinion, her right to free speech. But (on a semi-unrelated note): first and foremost, it is my firm belief—and I am aware that this is just an opinion, but it seems to be the opinion of most of the blogging world—that if you’re going to blog for purposes other than airing teenage angst on LiveJournal (or whatever its 2014 equivalent is), you should use proper capitalization.

justin timberlake may be a perfectly nice human being. a person i know has actually met him and was a part of the prayer circle at one of his shows and said he’s a totally cool dude. so, lest all the people who love JT because he’s funny on SNL come out of the woodwork with pitchforks to impale me, let me be clear: what i cannot stand may just be justin timberlake’s celebrity image. or justin timberlake’s inability to employ people who will manage his celebrity image. or it may be justin timberlake, because the two may or may not be one in the same.

To this I say that Jackie may also be a perfectly nice human being. I don’t know her and only became aware of her when her blog showed up in my JT Google Alert email a few days ago. I have no intentions of impaling her on a pitchfork—which actually happened to a character on Y&R when I was a child; I know this because my mother watches that soap and that particular scene has stuck with me throughout the years for some reason.

Like Jackie, I also know people who have met Justin and have agreed with her acquaintance’s assessment that “he’s a totally cool dude.” That this seems to be the consensus among both industry professionals and everyday people who happen to encounter Mr. Timberlake in the real world may or may not be a coincidence. I honestly have no idea, having never met the man myself.

But even though Jackie gives this person’s claim about JT’s character credence, she still goes on in part 2 to say that Justin “makes [her] soul retract in loathing.”

Those seem like pretty harsh words. I don’t know about anyone else, but I reserve those sorts of sentiments for people who have done abominable things—war criminals, for instance.

people justin jessica wedding oct 2012

So Jackie’s first issue with JT has to do with his wedding. She shows us the cover of People that he and Jessica did and comments:

way to have fun at your wedding, man. but, also, way to totally hijack the cover from your wife.

Yes, I also think this picture puts the spotlight clearly on Justin. But—and this is just conjecture on my part—I think that there are two reasons that the photographer and the magazine’s editorial team, not Justin, might be to blame for this:

1) Usually more than one picture is taken for a magazine photo shoot. The celebrity/model may or may not get a say in which picture ends up as the one that makes the cover. So Justin may not have deliberately chosen this photo because he is an attention whore. (Also, wouldn’t that imply that Jessica is too meek to speak up and say “I want a different picture that spotlights both of us equally”?)

2) It doesn’t take a photography expert to see that the choice of background for this particular shot washes out Jessica’s features. Justin’s black tux stands out in stark contrast to the pale pink background. Was this Justin’s choice? I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think Jackie does either.

one of the components of why i cannot stand timberlake is precisely this. there is about his public image, in general, and this cover, in particular, a decided element of LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!

timberlake hijacked the cover of people from his wife. so he hijacked golden globes weekend. so he hijacked oscar weekend with the announcement of his album. so he tried to hijack cannes from oscar isaac. he is a man who cannot share the limelight. he must be the star.

Okay, so this would seem like solid evidence to support Jackie’s claim. However, all of the above linked articles come from Lainey. Lainey holds an open yet inexplicable grudge against Justin. In the JT fandom, she is a known hater whose “stories” have very little credibility compared to, say, People. Citing her in a post about why you hate Justin is like citing the Communist Manifesto about why you hate capitalism: it simply toes the party line and validates your beliefs in the same circular way as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

but that’s not all! not by half.

Of course it’s not. But alas, the rest of my rebuttal to Jackie’s anti-Timberlake sentiments shall have to wait until next time…


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