Lest I be accused of being prudish again (like last week when I wrote about Leven Rambin posing for Maxim), let me say off the bat that I’m not upset that Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are probably drunk in this photo.
Why not? Selena was shooting Spring Breakers in Florida when her boyfriend came to visit, and it doesn’t seem like there was much else to do in St. Petersburg, FL than go to the nearest sports bar. This photo, snapped when they exited the bar some time later, heavily implies that both had a bit too much to drink. If anything, it’s kind of entertaining to see Justin’s goofy grin and the way that Selena tiredly waves off the paparazzi.
But our glib reaction is part of the problem. We forget that she’s 19 and he’s 18—legal drinking age in Europe, maybe, but definitely not in Florida. But surely that didn’t stop the bartender from giving the young stars drink after drink; aside from these photos getting published, they won’t get punished in any way. Just last week, Justin and Selena seemed to be similarly inebriated at his birthday party, and everyone just laughed it off.
And then, five to ten years from now, we’ll spot these stars stumbling out of a bar and suddenly lay into them with acerbic jokes and accusations that they should check themselves into rehab. We judge Paz de la Huerta and Lindsay Lohan but enable their younger counterparts.
Would they be drinking if they weren’t famous? No doubt. But they wouldn’t be the old pros they are now when they’re partying in no-rules Hollywood; they wouldn’t be well on their way to behavior that might actually merit a rehab stay.
Again, not trying to be a prude. I’m not saying that Pattie Mallette and Mandy Teefey should be giving their kids breathalyzer tests. I just think that this double standard about celebrity drinking should change.