Compelling Issues

Justin Bieber’s Casting Asian Women In ‘YUMMY’ Video Sparks Debate On Fetishization v. Representation

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Justin Bieber's Casting Asian Women In YUMMY Video Sparks Debate On Fetishization v. Representation

Def Jam / Tik Tok

Where Justin Bieber goes, controversy follows. The 25-year-old pop star made his long-awaited return to music by dropping the new single “YUMMY,” but his promotion for it has fans and haters divided.
The video opens showing two women from behind, but they eventually turn and begin speaking in Japanese. Ultimately, the two women begin arguing about who is cuter before one dismisses the other with a “Girl, bye!” The camera pans down to show one of their butts with a thong sticking out of her sweats. You can watch below:

The comments of the tweet were quickly flooded with Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift stans telling the world to stream Rare (out next week) or “The Man.” But elsewhere, conversation erupted about whether Justin Bieber’s use of asian women in the video was fetishization or representation.

One Asian Selena fan wrote, “We get barely any representation in media and the time we do, its to show us wearing a f*cking thong to promote his music and fight over a man?? it’s appalling. [sic]”

A Taylor stan wrote directly to a Bieber supporter saying, “go worry abt ur fav using and sexualizing asian women, and pitting them against eachother for white male benefit [sic].”

Another account, who doesn’t even seem to be a stan account, wrote, “Asian women playing sexualized caricatures of black women to sell this pasty white mans music. [sic]”

However, some clapped back at haters saying that because Justin could’ve cast two white girls in the role and instead decided to cast Asian women, it was a win for diversity. “justin bieber is annoying but you seeing asian women and assuming the only reason someone would want them in a video is bc of their bodies says a lot more about you than him [sic],” a fan wrote.

No one is really right or wrong here… except maybe Justin Bieber. After all, he is sexualizing two women and using a common trope about women fighting over men in order to promote his music. No matter what their race is, isn’t that a little messed up?

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