Questions I Have About Justin Bieber’s ‘Teen Vogue’ Cover Shoot

As if the, erm, questionable headlines and double-dose of SMIZE weren’t enough to have me talking about Justin Bieber’s two Teen Vogue covers for weeks (between status updates on his recently quarantined pet monkey OG Mally Bieber, that is), the teen arm of the Vogue editorial juggernaut also released the rest of Biebsy’s feature photos. That’s right, Beliebers. On top of two smoldering cover options, Teen Vogue has bestowed unto the world 10, nay, 11 more photos from Justin’s shoot with the magazine.

The new images show Bieber from all angles—frontways, sideways, fully-clothed, fully shirtless (though, we suspect he considers his left side his “good side” since over half of the snaps feature it)—and yet, somehow I’m still unsatisfied. Perhaps my expectations are unrealistic. Perhaps it’ll take actually purchasing the issue and thereby reading the full interview, rather than this excerpt, for all that to subside, for me to feel like I’ve really seen Justin in a new light, but MAN, do I still have a ton of lingering questions. I’d hate to bore you, but I also refuse to keep this ish bottled up. Thus, I whittled them down into five catch-all inquires, and well, here they are!


Justin Bieber tastes his chain in this “Teen Vogue” cover shoot.
Photo: Teen Vogue

Three of the Teen Vogue photos picture J.Biebs with the diamond cross pendant of his chain hanging out of his mouth. It raises so many questions. Does Justin have an oral fixation? Was he directed to do this or was this his own idea? Is this a habit he’s always had that I’m only just now becoming aware of? But the most important question is: what does Justin’s chain taste like? It’s gotta be at least kinda good if he keeps coming back to it, right?


Justin Bieber’s hair is particularly unreal in his “Teen Vogue” cover shoot.
Photo: Teen Vogue

Bieber’s hair has been flawless from the get-go. It’s even mind-boggling when he wakes up! But something about the way it looks in this magazine spread feels particularly unreal. Is it million-dollar hair product? Photoshop magic? Touch-ups between every frame? I need to know the secret. Also, unrelated to hair, how does Justin go from earrings in one picture to absolutely NO sign of a piercing in the next? Does he wear clip-ons? Or is this just more computer wizardry?


Justin Bieber wears white tank tops for a lot of this “Teen Vogue” cover shoot.
Photo: Teen Vogue

I know Justin’s steez at the moment is all tank tops and drop-crotch pants, but the beauty of editorial photo shoots is being afforded the chance to try something new. Or so I thought. The styling for Bieber’s Teen Vogue shoot is strikingly reminiscent of his 2012 AND 2011 Rolling Stone covers. And, like, nearly every public performance from the past year. He wears two Melet Mercantile vintage pieces and a BLK DNM leather jacket intermittently throughout the shoot, but for the most part, he sticks to a pair of A.P.C. jeans and one white Hanes tank top. I have a hard time believing that a pair of jeans and a five-pack of Hanes undershirts was all Teen Vogue brought to dress Bieber (on what looks to me like the set of Smallville), but I guess crazier things have happened.


Justin Bieber’s pants are sagged very low in his “Teen Vogue” cover shoot.
Photo: Teen Vogue

Listen, I’m well-aware that Justin will defend sagging his pants to no end. And if you’re keeping track, I’ve given Biebs a year-long pass to sow his wild fashion oats. But at the risk of sounding like a total grandma, this is just egregious. Do and wear what you want. You want to go shirtless at a Polish airport? Why not? Sport a bare chest for your birthday? Go nuts! But pairing it with pants slung so low they reveal more than half of your—as Chrissy describes it—butt curvature ventures deep into “IDK about you, but this makes me uncomfortable” territory. Also, something about the way his lower back is twisted and legs are positioned is reeeeeally forcing us to dig up our side-eye and wonder whether Justin’s crack needed to be Photoshopped out. More importantly, we wonder who had the job of removing it.


Justin Bieber wrinkles his forehead a lot in this “Teen Vogue” cover shoot.
Photo: Teen Vogue

And then, there’s those wrinkles. In literally every picture from this Teen Vogue photoshoot, Justin is furrowing his brow up, working up shar-pei status folds into his forehead. Where does this come from? Is it stress-induced? Is he constantly worrying? Or maybe just confused? Is it part of his smizing technique? Is that even Tyra-approved? Or is it perhaps an early warning sign that J.Biebs might need glasses? #squintcity Is he using anti-wrinkle cream to ward off permanent forehead creases? Or does he feel like he has to keep furrowing his brow to hide the wrinkles that are already there and growing? We may never know.

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