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#CutForBieber trend shows that the fan culture needs to be addressed

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Justin Bieber maybe the poster boy for saccharine pop - but this year things have taken a turn for the sinister.

Recently a paparazzo was killed whilst attempting to get photographs of the singer’s Ferrari. Then pictures surfaced of Bieber smoking what looked weed at a party.

In response to this, internet supertrolls 4Chan decided to launch the hashtag #CutForBieber, urging 'Beliebers' into cutting themselves to stop Justin smoking weed.

Whilst it started as a joke, the hashtag quickly became harrowing with pictures of young girls' bleeding arms.

The blame lies with our society’s cult of celebrity.

Anyone who has Twitter knows the social networking site is a playground for 'Beliebers', 'Directioners', 'Swifties', 'JLSters' and 'Ritabots', superfans of pop’s biggest stars. Say anything bad about one of these artists and you’ll be at the mercy of these groups. Daily trending topics like “we love Zayn” dominate the twittersphere.

Although they may just be annoying expressions of undying pre-teen devotion, what’s worrying is that young teenagers solely base their identity in the realm of their fandom and are willing to do anything for their idols. It’s no secret that our society is celebrity obsessed - from numerous reality TV shows to tabloids’ constant spew of gossip, we are enamoured with the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

This interest can be harmless but when people are willing to hurt themselves or make light of a serious issue, something needs to be said. Bieber has yet to speak on the situation so here’s some advice for all diehard fans:

1.  Get a hobby and spend time away from the internet. We’re in a weird state of affairs where an overwhelming amount of us live our lives online - and not just in terms of how long we spend on it, but how we create entire online personas. Fandoms are like a massive family and you may find yourself meeting people from all over the world due to your common bsession. However there is an entire world outside of your computer waiting for you (yes, really!), and since smartphones are the new laptops getting a hobby to keep your hands busy will prevent you from re-entering the void. 

2. Reality Check. It is unlikely that’ll you ever meet your idol; it is highly unlikely (dare I say it impossible?) that you’ll be their friend, not even to say girlfriend. Enjoy their music and support them all you want but remember to...

3. Cherish your real life relationships. One day, One Direction will split up and it’ll be over. Honestly. So spend time with your friends and family, because not only are they people who actually like you, they’ll be there to console you when the end comes.

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