Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Oedipal Eye

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on July 22, 2013

A Psychoanalysis of Justin Bieber and His New Tattoo

http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/07/justin-bieber-new-tattoo

In light of my review of “The Way, Way Back” I am drawn to this article about Justin Bieber. His mother’s eye is tattooed on the inside of his elbow, leaving me to speculate as to the meaning of this drawing. I imagine a boy who wanted to please his mother, along with a boy with musical talent and showmanship, leading him to a life with great public success, but perhaps with deep ambivalence towards his mother who led him down this road. The eye represents his attachment to his mother. He has externalized his internal experience of keeping her in the forefront of his mind. He can bend his arm and pretend she is gone, but then, inevitably, he is confronted with her, yet again. The symbolism and the poetry of this artistic creation is moving, and perhaps sad. He cares what his mother thinks, or so I assume, but is this at the expense of what he thinks? The challenge of both attaching and then separating comes to my mind. This is the Oedipal struggle, the struggle of life,  that all attachments are temporary.  Yet, the internal connection remains as long as one can keep the significant other alive in the internal world. Perhaps Justin Bieber wanted some insurance for this attachment, in the form of a reminder memo. Wild speculation-that is what this is! Mental fun!

4 Responses to “Oedipal Eye”

  1. One can only wonder, right? What an outward sign of the conflict…

  2. Jon said

    There is another aspect of the tattoo that might be discussed. The tattoo from the crease of the elbow to below reads “ ‘eye’ believe.” The “eye” has much symbolism in literature. It can be the “I”, the soul, omniscience, or many other things. There is the old concept that the “eye” sees the “I” in the mirror. That’s the fun digression.

    As for this instance, given that the subject is Justin Bieber, I really don’t care what he does.

    • Oh, Jon, I was enjoying your comments until the last moment. I understand you do not have a major interest in Justin Bieber, but as a substrate for oedipal discussion, you gotta love it. Thanks.

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