To those of us isolated and claustrophobic in 500-square-foot apartments, be grateful: at least we’re not stuck on Justin Bieber’s boat.
As if we weren’t already suffering enough, the singer and his wife Hailey (née Baldwin) have offered viewers an “intimate look” inside their lives while quarantining at home in Toronto. The couple, who married once at a New York courthouse in 2018 and then again on a former plantation in South Carolina, plan to shoot their Facebook Watch series entirely on GoPro cameras.
Episode one of “The Biebers on Watch” revealed one important fact about the young couple: they are Boat People. They took to a lake outside the Canadian capital to sail around in a dingy covered with stickers from Justin’s clothing line. Dressed in an oversized Kith fleece, Hailey looked ready for a tranquil day in the sun.
Instead, she got an interrogation from her husband. “Would you say that this is one of the most peaceful places that you’ve been?” Justin yelled over the hum of a boat motor.
“It’s my sanctuary,” Hailey cooed, before her husband said he had a “list of questions” for her. He began by asking “What’s the best thing, what’s the most rewarding thing about being married? What have you found?”
Hailey answered that she enjoys “the companionship, I think, that you get out of it.” According to Justin, it’s the “security [that] marriage gives you... you make a covenant before God to love that person for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.”
As Vogue put it last year, one of the tenets of the Biebers’ relationship (at least publicly) has been “opening up about their passionate, not-always-easy, but absolutely all-in romance.” They employ therapy jargon in their conversations. “I really let myself feel all the emotions that I was feeling,” Hailey says of her strategy to get over their initial breakup. “It feels like grieving... it is grieving... when you lose someone that you really, really love.”
While speaking about online trolls, who Justin refers to as souls “who don’t have an anchor,” Hailey says she is able to forgive the naysayers. “But how do you forgive someone who doesn’t deserve to feel forgiven?” Justin asks from off-camera. “Because we know that we were forgiven first,” she answers with an assured nod.
The scene cuts to Hailey sitting by the lake, a shirt from her husband’s clothing line peeking out from underneath her jacket. “Will you remember that for the rest of your life?” Justin asks of their (kind of average) boat ride. She nods.
Though their boat talk was delivered seemingly off-the-cuff, the couple’s on-camera rapport is extremely on brand. It’s another way to remind the public, “Look, we’re still here.” They’re not alone—just as the rest of us at home are becoming creative with baking and bird watching, PR-minded celebrities have come up with new strategies to cement their influence into our addled brains.
In isolation, the celeb image remains curated, even if the usual production levels are lacking.
Emily Ratajkowski hosted a wedding for her dog, Colombo, because she’s a dog mom just like us, except with a six-pack and ab-crack. Jennifer Lopez posts flashback clips from her old rom-coms and family portraits with her children because she’s something of a self-appointed Hot Mom for fans.
Meanwhile her ex, Ben Affleck, chain smokes through his face mask, because he’s been living through an ongoing midlife crisis for what feels like a decade now.
Social media has long been a way for influencers and their ilk to monetize their looks and lifestyle. As celebrities stay at home (we hope), these posts remain one of the only things they’re safely allowed to do anymore. If, like critics continue to say, no one cares about celebrities during a time like this, how will they resort to getting our attention? Will everyone have to pull a Britney Spears and burn down their home gym?
Hopefully not, but it seems that a lot more “intimate peeks” we didn’t ask for are headed our way until this lockdown ends. For anyone who’s interested, Bieber’s Facebook watch show airs on Facebook every Monday at 9 am PST. A word to the couple, for next time: not every boat ride has to be a therapy session.