P.T. Barnum noted that ‘there’s a sucker born every minute’ and that clearly applies to fans of teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. And, no, we’re not talking about his asexual persona and unctuous music. A Twitter hoax making the rounds over the past few days implied that the Beebs had been stricken with cancer and urged his fans to shave their heads in support.
So far no Bieber fans have surfaced that have actually shaved their heads in response to the hoax, but then again if you had been suckered into doing so would *you* go public with it? There’s a good chance that if anyone had been hoodwinked into going bald for Beaver (as the #baldforbeaver Twitter hashtag suggested) they’d try to save face by suggesting that they’d shaved their locks in solidarity with cancer survivors in general. Nothing wrong with that and it would spare the freshly shorn of a double dose of ignominy–the fact that they were suckered by an Internet hoax and the fact that they’re such big fans of Justin Beiber that the’d shave their head for him.
The hoax started earlier this week and has spread via a number of different social media channels. The origin may have been a YouTube video that was posted with the title “Justin Bieber has cancer, support him! #baldforbieber”. The video featured a montage of bald girls with one holding up a sign saying “I went bald for Justin will you??? #FORJUSTIN.” Another video featured a ‘report’ about the Beebs’ cancer diagnosis complete with a fake Beiber Twitter status and a fake report from Entertainment Tonight and other news sources.
Some fans on Twitter had a more ‘intimate’ response to the ‘Bald for Bieber’ movement suggesting that girls “Shave your beaver for Bieber.” This would clearly take fandom to a new level but has the upside of being more discreet and less embarrassing once the hoax was revealed.
Alas, the truth was revealed on Friday when Justin’s bodyguard, Kenny Hamilton, flatly denied that his boss has cancer. This exposed the hoax and hopefully this will end things so no more teen girls will shave their heads (or other body parts) in support of Mr. Bieber.