Harriet Walker: You can keep your sanitised poppets – give us some real pop stars


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We'd all have been deafened by the sound of a billion preteen hearts breaking this week, were it not at a pitch heard only by dogs and the demographic in question.

Tiny musical poppet Justin Bieber – whose singing voice is so high we oldies can barely hear that either – has fathered a child, claims US gossip mag Star.

Although denied by his people (and by Bieber himself on Twitter), the scandal will cling to Bieber's "boy next door" image like a spurned adolescent does to their lonely crush, especially given the singer's supposed words during this immaculate conception. Less the "I skip a beat when I see her on the playground" lyrics of his hit "Baby", and something altogether more direct, if the mother is to be beliebed, sorry, believed.

Oh, Justin. What a rude awakening for us, and for him. Of course, Bieber wants to work his way round that army of screaming fans he has – he's a teenage boy. The way he has been held up as a sexless, animatronic role model is absurd, given the amount of hormones being hurled at him by stadium audiences as well as by his own incubating lust drive. His own manager announced recently that Bieber's "balls have dropped"; you have to pity the little pet for having his puberty played out on every screen in Christendom.

But he's not the first to have fallen prey to the crazed purity and too-much-information drive of pop music. Disney idol Miley Cyrus has been accused of dressing provocatively, while Britney Spears was forced to lie about her virginity for years. Bieber told Rolling Stone in February, "I don't think you should have sex with anybody unless you love them."

How the ghosts of Elvis and Jimi Hendrix must be chortling. Imagine the guffaws from John Lennon's bed protest in the sky. When did pop stars become so weirdly sanitised? When did we become privy to their every ablution and bowel movement? There must be some middle ground. If young pop stars are forced to collude in the falsification of their private lives, then scandals like this become ever more prevalent. Even though this latest slur seems largely fabricated, the Justin Bieber model is broken. Give us real pop stars please – and preferably ones whose voices don't break on the world's stage.