Race and Diversity in Justin Bieber Music Videos

Race and Diversity in Justin Bieber Music Videos

Bieber Fever meets Microsoft Excel and race/ethnicity demographics

18 Comments on “Race and Diversity in Justin Bieber Music Videos”

  1. RichardR #

    I don’t know anything about Justin Bieber and I’ve never heard this song, but it ought to be “One FEWER Lonely Girl.” That is all.


    • stokes OTI Staff #

      Naw, he’s saying “one girl that is less lonely than she was previously,” that’s all.

      And if it was going to be fewer, shouldn’t it be one fewer lonely girls?


      • RichardR #

        Ha. If he is actually talking about decreasing the overall loneliness of one particular girl without eliminating it entirely – rather than reducing the total number of lonely girls by one – then I have to give him credit for humility, at least.

        “Girl, if you, uh, let me inside of your world…I’m gonna be honest here, you’re still going to be lonely, but perhaps slightly less so!”


        • Frosc #

          This ‘Lonely girl’ is interested in Justing Bieber, surely she deserves to be lonely therefore.


  2. jfxgillis #


    I’d have coded the “Never Let You Go” girl as Black.


    • lee OTI Staff #

      Interesting. If I had to choose, I’d go with South Asian (Indian or Pakistani).


      • jfxgillis #


        The nose is too perfect.

        Granted the hair supports your contention, but that can be straigtened pretty easily.

        On your semi-serious question, I think you’re right. I have a lot of contact with older teens/young adults on my job and it BLOWS my FREAKING mind how easily they live in a racially/ethnically/cultural diverse world. Barely a generation ago people were being murdered in the USA for cross-ethnic/racial romance. Nowadays kids literally don’t even notice.


    • Ann #

      I remember seeing her on Everybody Hates Chris.


  3. LB #

    Intersting that Justin has taken this a step further and is now dating someone from that Ambiguous/Unknown pie – Selena Gomez. So, have his tastes in women been shaped by his handlers choices in his leading ladies, or have his choices in his leading ladies been shaped by his tastes? What came first, the chicken or the egg?


  4. Tulse #

    As a Canadian, I feel obligated to note that Bieber is a fellow Canuck, and that issues of race and ethnicity are generally not as fraught as they are in the US. (Although I doubt that Bieber himself has a lot of say over the casting, or even content, of his videos.)


  5. Gab #

    “Beliebers.” I didn’t realize that was an actual word until I Googled it. It’s fitting, though.


  6. Jim #

    I’m sure you could have hit the ‘Mute’ button on the Bieber, and listened to some Creedence instead. Might have made sitting through those videos easier.


  7. Rosa #

    I’m glad to have been inspirational, though sorry that it mean you had to repeatedly watch Bieber videos. I was going to suggest a contrast with Taylor Swift’s videos, but that’s too easy/boring. I do believe she’s pretty exclusively paired with white dudes.

    In other Bieber news, Time just pointed out that it’s acceptable for Beiber to be sexualized in Vanity Fair because he’s a dude, whereas Miley got all uproared over. But that may be more a topic for Shna. I like how in the behind-the-scenes video, you can see that they cast a gaggle of multiracial girls that fits your findings.


  8. Ann #

    “One Less Lonely Girl” and “Never Let You Go” are half black/half white. And “Baby” is Jasmine V and Latina.

    You know what, I really hate this argument of casting ethnically ambiguous women in order to maximize the video’s appeal to a racially diverse audience. Most Hip Hop/RnB videos or any show with black people tend cast ambiguously brown women to play the love interest of the black rapper/singer.

    However, according to TvTropes, she (doesn’t apply to men) can’t be TOO brown. While white women may be limited in Justin Beiber’s music videos, black women are being replaced in all mediums by these “ambiguously brown” women.


  9. Archie #

    I always find it very interesting how Americans tend to use the blanket term ‘Asian’. I’d even understand perhaps lumping all East and South-East Asians together, or all Middle-Easterners together, or whatever for the sake of convenience, but surely the differences between, for instance, Chinese, Indians, and Arabs are so huge to make calling them all just ‘Asian’ very strange. The difference between a Chinese person and an Indian is surely every bit as large as that between a European and an African, and certainly much greater than between Europeans and ‘Hispanics’.

    I do understand that you don’t have very many Asians over there, but even so I find it a bizarre categorisation o__O


    • George #

      I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. I would say that Americans tend to lump East and Southeast Asians together as “Asian,” Middle Easterners as “Arabic”, and Indians as “dots, not feathers.”

      In fact, isn’t it a British convention to call Indians Asian?


      • Timothy J Swann #

        Far more often than East Asians, yes, because we have stronger links/more immigration/more integration. I make a point of saying East Asian and South Asian because misidentifying someone who is Pakistani as Indian or Korean as Chinese, which should be avoidable anyhow, is pretty bad.

        There’s a certain amount of South Asians using the word ‘brown’ but I’ve not heard any white people doing that yet. And probably with good reason.


  10. Byranthomas #

    Justin Bieber baby ooh and one less lonely girl,is ok for teens,but as I turn 23 I find that I started to gravitate to more songs by grown up singers like Arden bright alter ego or Ed Sheeran shape of you. Those kinds of songs start to do it for me.


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