Justin Bieber tells Selena Gomez “Love the way you look at me” in a brand new Instagram, and ‘Jelenators’ – as fans of the two refer to themselves – have snapped back into vicarious position with mildly disturbing ease.
So, if it’s on, and it really looks like it is, are the pop royalty pair doing the right thing?
The Canadian teen shared a photo of himself and the Latina lovely early Saturday, fueling already soaring speculation the ex-sweethearts are an item again after they were seen riding Segways around his Calabasas, Calif., neighborhood two days ago.
In the black and white picture Justin looks to-camera with an unreadable expression, while Selena embraces from behind looking as if everything she’s ever wanted can be found right there, in that moment.
It’s an undeniably sweet and romantic shot.
But lets face it, as two seasoned, massive stars, they know it will accelerate reunion chatter. So, either both are courting the spotlight — or, more likely — the Instagram is their age-appropriate way of saying: “Yup, we’re together.”
Some commentators have offered reasons why a Bieber-Gomez version 2014 wouldn’t work. Chief among that consensus is his dramatic, and possibly traumatic, 2013. Exactly one year ago today, photos allegedly showing him smoking pot hit the Internet. Molten headlines hit in March during the London leg of his Believe tour after a delayed first London show, fainting, and an expletive-filled spat with a British paparazzo.
Hysteria over an innocent but badly articulated guestbook note at the Anne Frank museum, an eye-popping Latin American leg, during which he was charged with vandalism for graffiti, unwittingly starred in a viral video filmed by a Brazilian woman of dubious occupation, before incurring Argentina’s wrath after he mishandled national flags thrown (oh, the irony) onstage during a show. The pile-up continued.
But, equally, the kid is taking a break this year. So, there should be opportunity to process his experience and also enjoy intimacy with someone who knows firsthand the pressures of growing up in public, if that’s on the table.
Some cite Selena’s female friends as the deal breaker. Recalling that immortal GIF of Taylor Swift’s less-than-enraptured eyeing of her best friend hugging her ex-boyfriend at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, followed by loaded press room comments when she was asked to share what she and Gomez said to each other while Bieber was booed during his Milestone Award acceptance moment; it’s a fair point.
But if every couple’s relationship was dependant on being approved of by friends, or family, what if those externals are flawed or aren’t supportive? At some point a partnership has to be able to self-validate and survive on its own terms.
Give or take a few tracks, Bieber’s 10-song Music Mondays run can be seen as a musical mea culpa to Gomez that just so happened to make its way onto iTunes. The titles alone — “Heartbreaker,” “All That Matters, “Hold Tight,” “Recovery,” “Change Me,” to name a few — are a visceral mapping of their on-off, roller coaster ride together.
Less than three weeks ago, Bieber admitted in a guest spot with Los Angeles’ Power 106 radio, that he still loves his former girlfriend.
“It affected us, especially when we are in front of so many people,” he told host Big Boy, referring to their breakups. “It’s such a public thing. It’s just hard for the both of us. But you know, she’s a great woman. I love her till this day. I think we’re going to be the greatest of friends.”
At the time, Justin added, “Right now we’re taking a little time and not talking.”
Clearly, things have changed.
From a stormy love story — that began in 2010, went public in February 2011, saw an initial breakup in November 2012, and a 2013 filled with ambiguous Instagrams, Gomez’s April visit to see Bieber in Europe during his Believe tour, subsequent sightings, Journals, her tearful breakdown performing the Bieber-inspired “Love Will Remember“ in Brooklyn last October (notwithstanding later explanations), and social media shade after Cailin Russo’s appearance on the scene — all the signs of unfinished business were there.
Now, it appears to be in black and white.
[Images via Instagram and Twitter]