Why Do We Laugh Off Celebrities’ Underage Drinking But Condemn Them Once They’re Legal?

Drunk Selena Gomez Justin Bieber sports bar celebrity alcohol rehabLest 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.

Lindsay Lohan passed out in car drunk

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.

Top photo: Fame Flynet via I Don’t Like You In That Way

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    • ksnm

      Were you there? Didn’t think so. However his mother and grandparents were.

    • mimi
    • mlee

      but lindsays clearly passed out drunk, at least jb and selena are walking out, they still are able to use there legs and keep there eyes open. Where as LL looks like a drunken mess

    • Glen

      and they were drunk too. It’s a Canadian thing; there he is legal & probably resents the US law. Wonder where the little guy pays his taxes. Hope he pays for the public resources he consumes spending so much time in the US.

    • Jonathan

      An apology is in order, Ms. Natalie. My brother works at Fergs. Justin’s grandparents ordered from the bar for themselves, but Justin and Selena didn’t partake.

    • James

      And the pathetic gossip site strikes again. I’m starting to think that you guys want to live your lives throughout celebrities because you will never be them. Sty irrelevant Natalie. You will die a lonely old woman loved by no one. A fat befitting of a piece of trash like you.