I have no idea why Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are no longer together. I guess it doesn't really matter; judging by a recent interview he gave, he doesn't either--his comment on the matter was literally just, "To even assess that is… doesn't make sense because I have not made any comment." (Which is to say he was about to say something, then he remembered his publicist told him he wasn't allowed to say shit about his breakup, but whatever). Despite his unwavering stance on remaining vague regarding his personal life, Justin Bieber's existence begs for explanation, even when he has nothing to say for himself. Especially when he has nothing to say for himself.
Justin Bieber is important because he is the most famous male human under the age of twenty. He's grown up in public, and as he's undergone the typical adolescent growing pains, the way we've reacted--and how he himself has handled them--says a lot about our actual, modern-day-not-just-the-hyper-enlightened-bubble-that-we-live-in values. When TMZ called him out on playing beer pong in Alabama, people acted like it was the end of the world--How could America's Child be pounding beers? Keystone Light no less! Well first of all, Keystone Light is the shit and you should shut up about that. He was pretty obviously underage and at a frat house or some non-college equivalent, and he was wearing a backpack for some reason. Realistically, Justin Bieber is a male in his late teenage years, and if you've read anything on him in the past few years, it's fairly clear that, more than anything else, he wants to be seen as an adult. He was in Rolling Stone saying dumb things about abortion because being an adult means having Adult Opinions even when they're dumb, and trying to seem older than he actually is explains why he was drinking with some dudes who were pretty clearly older than him. On a base level, what's wrong with trying to act older? That's why some teenagers play golf, and it's why normal teenagers (like Justin Bieber) do normal things like play beer pong.
More scandalous than Justin Bieber drinking is the idea that he might possibly be having sex. This is a pretty fucked-up stance because sex is healthy and natural and alcohol is a poison that slowly destroys your body and your life, but when allegations that Justin Bieber fathered a child with one of his fans, people freaked. The allegations were baldly, obviously false--the young woman who accused him of making a baby with her claimed that he met her after a show, then summarily lost his virginity to her in a bathroom and the whole shebang took thirty seconds. While this is a hilarious story, it blatantly seems like something some shadowy enemy of his manager Scooter Braun decided to spread to emasculate America's favorite extemporaneous onstage vomiter.
So the moral of the Justin Bieber pregnancy-accusation story is basically that we as a society still don't think too much of random sexual encounters--the very fact that someone chose the weapon of sex to make the Biebz look bad is proof of this. Then, there was the whole is-this-his-penis-it's-probably-his-penis-it's-definitely-somebody's-penis penis pics scandal, which involved nude pictures of a Bieberesque young man hitting the web. That one was a total motherfucker, because it proved that Justin Bieber (allegedly) wasn't a human Ken Doll sent from heaven to serenade us with his beautiful voice, but instead a dude who had all of the normal parts that all the other dudes have (unless they don't have dicks, which is fine too).
Which brings us to Selena, who until last week he was dating. Did they have sex? Yes, don't be naive. Of course they had sex. Honestly, it would have been way weirder if they hadn't. But this is fine and America never talked about it, despite myriad pictures of them looking at each other lustily and touching each other's butts in the ocean and stuff. They were in a relationship, and therefore whatever they do between the sheets is Their Business, and not Our Business.
As for the dick picks, whether they're real or not, it doesn't actually matter. If those ones aren't real, there are probably other real dick picks floating around either on Justin's hard drive or Selena's--Bieber's a touring musician and Gomez is a working actress, so it makes sense that they'd occasionally have a dirty Skype session. In a way, shit like having to take pictures of each other naked rather than just being naked in front of each other probably led to their relationship's undoing: why would Selena want to be with a dude who's in a different city every night, especially when she's either filming movies or trying to push her new perfume line. Also, she is older than him and to be honest it seems like Justin Bieber could be a bit of an immature prick from time to time, so the age difference probably got annoying after a while.
The question then becomes, "What the hell are these kids gonna do now?" Well, it seems unlikely that Justin Bieber would be able to do the whole "Groupie" thing. He's just too famous for that at this point--if he zoom-zoomed in a fan's boom-boom, the word would get out quicker than you can say the word "swaggy." So barring he starts slipping his groupies some sort of legally binding non-disclosure agreement (which honestly I wouldn't put past the ultra-famous), he's gonna have to date starlets, and that's just going to get him in the same cycle of shit that he was in when he was with Selena--no actual time for the relationship, just time for public appearances and Skype Sex. For now, he's just gonna play "Cry Me A River" live on his acoustic guitar like he did over the weekend in Boston and he's just gonna have to be happy with that. And masturbating, I guess.
For Selena Gomez, on the other hand, this pretty overtly a blessing--no longer is she shackled by the chains of Justin Bieber, no matter how swaggy those chains might be. Dating someone more famous than you is always kind of a bummer, especially when your boyfriend is a sex object who seems like kind of a self-absorbed dick. I don't know either of them at all, but Selena Gomez actually seems really cool--she's the one who was down to subvert her entire image by starring in a Harmony Korine movie along with Gucci Mane and James Franco playing Riff Raff, after all. Hopefully she just does her own thing now, whatever that may be. Now allowing yourself to be defined in terms of other people is a good thing, so I'm actually pretty excited about what the future holds for Selena. Hopefully if she decides to make another album with her band The Scene it will suck less, though.
The pickle that Justin Bieber is in, however, is he'll always be defined by other people. He is America's Gerbil in many ways, merely our plaything that we subject to the whims of our twelve year-old Hive Mind. He's the perfect pop star for this era, down to be an empty vessel that we can fill with our own values and mix in some unnecessary dubstep drops just for taste. It's the price one pays for deciding they want to be the next Michael Jackson when they're too young to fully understand the implications of heading down such a path. Whether he'll be able to have a successful relationship, sexual or non, with another human being remains to be seen. Until then, we'll always have those dick picks.
2013: The Year Nelly Was Everywhere and Nowhere at the Same Time
No other artist spent as much time so close to the Zeitgeist as Nelly this year without being even remotely close to being the Zeitgeist.
You Don’t Like Childish Gambino's 'Because the Internet' Because of the Internet
Don't allow the narrative surrounding Donald Glover's musical career define the way you think.
The Real Difference Between a Mixtape and an Album
Why do rappers still about sales when they could release a mixtape, gain exposure, and cash in later?
Are the Grammys Irrelevant or Did Yeezus Actually Suck?
Breaking down Yeezy's obsession with the awards.
2013: A Year In Which Some Music Happened
A year’s art starts on Day One of the new year. If we don’t quantify it somehow by December, who are we as a people and what is our worth?
If R. Kelly Makes Us So Uncomfortable, Why Do We Keep Listening?
This is art we're talking about, and it's as real as you allow it to be.
Britney Spears: Capitalism's Last Stand
At last, the Queen has found her domain.
The Real Rick Ross Stands Up
We met with the ex-crack kingpin, who told us stories from his drug dealing days and gave us an exclusive excerpt from his upcoming autobiography.
Sorry, Dudes. The Ladies Won Punk This Year.
These are the women who kicked a particularly large amount of ass in 2013.
2013: The Most OK Year Ever
Kitty Pryde reflects on her sort of shitty, sort of amazing 2013.