Is Justin Bieber's New Wings Tattoo A Response To Selena Gomez's Bizarrely Petty Shade?

Page Mackinley

Justin Bieber has a brand new tattoo. But his romantic life seems to be focused on an old love. More on that below.

Yes. The Biebs' never-ever-sated ink love has found its latest expression in a massive pair of wings on the back of his neck. Think David Beckham meets Rihanna -- and now, Justin Bieber.

The pop icon unveiled his 52nd inking by sharing two selfies on his Instagram account on Thursday.

In one, Justin is seen standing in front of a dressing room mirror wearing a Saint Laurent black tuxedo and white shirt with his back to the unseen photographer.

The 21-year-old captioned the snap, "New tattoo )." It racked up over 915,000 "Likes" in two hours.

A wider view in a second image shows the pop prince staring at his reflection in a full-length mirror and offers a closer look at the wings. The non-captioned shot racked up 1 million "Likes" in two hours. It has now exceeded 2 million.

Justin's latest design was inked by the Miami-based tattooist Dan Price, who posted a hint of what was to come on his Instagram on Thursday, initially without revealing the identity of his mega-famous client.

Next to a photo of his open laptop and a photograph of the design, Price recalled, "I received a call last night informing me I would need to arrive at the Versace mansion at 4am this morning to tattoo a quite sought after individual... When you receive calls like this you follow directions, keep calm, and realize --- "if this is really what I want out of life, I won't ever be sleeping much."

He later shared a picture of the finished inking, writing, "Thank you and your team for showing love... See you next time around... Suited up, flyin out."

On Friday, Price posted a retro shot of the work in progress, which he captioned, "Talent is God given, be humble. Fame is Man given, be grateful. Conceit is Self given, be careful. Thank you Again @justinbieber for this opportunity and thank everyone I have not mentioned for making this happen you guys all know who you are!"

As per TMZ, the Biebs initially "wanted a globe in the middle of the angel wings, but ended up just going with the wings." The session reportedly took two and half hours, Entertainment Tonight confirmed.

Later Thursday, fans got a chance to see Justin and his new wings tattoo in motion when he "crashed" The Late Late Show with host James Corden and delivered a funny monologue, before hamming it up with the British comic.

So, why the wings Biebs? The heartthrob has previously said in interviews that all his ink has a personal meaning.

According to Vanishing Tattoo, "the wing design is often infused with inspirational or spiritual significance --- the angel motif for instance, a symbol of guidance and protection."

It continues, "For those who dream of soaring the skies like a bird, the wing symbol takes on the feathery aspect of a bird. As a tattoo design it can reflect the power of the eagle or the lightness of the butterfly."

Bearing in mind that Bieber had reportedly wanted a globe to be part of the inking, is the weight of global superstardom getting him down? Is he calling on his faith for help? Are the wings a reflection of his desire to get away from the spotlight at times? The hitmaker's career reignited following his two-year hiatus and comeback, after dropping consecutive bangers and a critically acclaimed Purpose album.

But, is there more to it? Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that Selena Gomez recently fuelled those weirdly fake-sounding Niall Horan dating rumors, which were first reported by E! News and Us Weekly this week when she chose One Direction's new album Made In The A.M. over her ex's Purpose in comments on Instagram.

Instagram user @disneylandgomez, a Gomez fan, posed the question, "My friend likes jb and 1d but idk which one to get him? Purpose or Made in the AM?" To which, the actress-singer backed 1D's album.

"Made in the AM," Gomez snarked late Tuesday. Twice. The second time in capitals. The Latina also left other messages.

— Shady Music Facts (@musicnews_shade) December 9, 2015

— Shady Music Facts (@musicnews_shade) December 9, 2015

Fast forward to Friday (December 11), after letting fans and media outlets' speculation about her Bieber-shade escalate to fever pitch, Gomez shut down Horan dating rumors during an on-the-red-carpet spot with Entertainment Tonight! at Billboard's Women In Music 2015 event in New York City.

"Oh my god! No," Selena said of Horan to ET. "No. I love him, I always have. He's amazing." There was no explanation about her Biebs-shade, but she did address the "Yes I f-----g sing live" clapback she fired off during her now infamous Instagram spree.

— Selena Gomez Source (@GomezSource) December 11, 2015

— Selena Gomez Source (@GomezSource) December 11, 2015

Over the week, some media outlets floated rumors that Selena was angry at Justin for allegedly "fooling around" with girls after his U.K. Jingle Bell Ball concert in London. If so, that's odd as he is single. Further, Bieber's rep denied that aspect of the original tabloid's claim as "totally false." Other outlets allege SelGo blames Justin for not "committing" to her, and took up with Horan for that reason. But, ET's latest report seems to blow that theory to pieces.

Others mused that Gomez's shade is intended to cool down the Biebs' seeming continuing interest in her. However, it is worth noting that in addition to other occasions, Selena took to Instagram in November to "Like" numerous Jelena photos on fan accounts on the same dates as Justin's interviews about their on-off romance.

In other words: the flame-stoking isn't one-sided.

The video above shows the mutual affection expressed by Justin and Selena on November 20, when they were seen hugging and hanging out at the Beverly Hills Montage Hotel bar, where he serenaded her with his hit "Sorry" and the Temptations' classic "My Girl."

Is the Biebs' wings tattoo a self-reminder to rise above the fray (and/or shade) and seek out guidance in spiritual things? Or, is he perhaps letting Gomez know he wants to be as free as a bird? As of now, it's all just guesswork for those on the outside.

Or is it? On Friday evening, just hours after Gomez declared she isn't dating Horan, the Canadian shared two Instagram videos of him playing the piano and singing "Nothing Like Us." The ballad features on his 2013 Believe Acoustic album, which he wrote about his relationship with his ex after their first break-up in November 2012.

"Qué será será." Isn't that how the saying goes?

[Images via Jason Merritt/Getty Images]