It has, as usual, been a whirlwind year for Justin Bieber. (A quick recap: 2018 saw him get engaged, get married, get a new face tattoo, make his mark on practically every corner of Brooklyn via seemingly endless public make-out sessions, and issue a promise to grow his hair down to his toes—only to then shave it all off.) And now, in the final hours of the year, Bieber has added yet another achievement to that list: starting and (sort of) ending a feud with Jojo Siwa, a 15-year-old Nebraskan YouTube star.
It all started on December 22, when Jojo Siwa shared photographic evidence with her seven million-plus Instagram followers that she’d received an early Christmas gift in the shape of a brightly colored BMW, which had been customized to feature not only Siwa’s name, but also a hyperrealistic painting of her grinning face. One may expect Bieber, a painter, former YouTube star, and customized car owner himself—almost exactly a year ago, he responded to accusations that he wasn’t in the Christmas spirit by driving a SUV covered in snowflakes, ornaments, and Santas around L.A.—to respond to the image with a grin, too. But alas, Bieber did not: instead, the 24-year-old made his distaste with the 15-year-old’s ride quite publicly known by commenting two words on her post: “Burn it.” (Well, four words, technically, since he followed up on his demand a bit later by commenting “burn it” once again.)
What, exactly, was on Bieber’s mind when he left the comment? It’s unclear, but there does at least appear to be a reason as to what, exactly, he was doing checking out a 15-year-old’s custom BMW: he actually left his comment on a regram of Siwa’s post shared by West Coast Customs, the customization company responsible for painting her likeness. Bieber follows just 102 Instagrams, and their account just so happens to be one of them, making it likely that he caught glimpse of the photo on his feed. Just like Bieber, however, Siwa’s mother, Jessalynn Siwa, also happens to follow the account, and it wasn’t long before she responded to (one of) his comments to torch the car: “burn your own things,” she wrote.
While Siwa’s mother kept it lighthearted with a laughing emoji, her comment appeared to be enough to awaken Bieber to the fact that he’d just started some drama with someone nearly a decade under his age. Indeed, his comment ended up being dramatic enough to still be on Bieber’s mind more than a week later, which is when he shifted platforms to Twitter to write Siwa a custom message explaining his reasoning: “@itsjojosiwa I have nothing against you it was the car and the colors I didn’t like I really hope you didn’t think it was malicious or mean spirited,” he wrote.
Even though he stopped short of apologizing, Siwa appeared to take his message to heart—or at least take it seriously enough to turn it into leverage. A few hours later, she replied: “it’s all good bro! you can perform at my 16th birthday party and we’ll call it good!” Bieber, for his part, has yet to respond to her proposal, but in the meantime, Siwa has turned his demand into a catchphrase of her own: she deployed it later that night in response to a photo that 33-year-old Jeffree Star posted of a flamethrower, and as a caption to a photo she posted of herself in yet another custom car—this time with a life-sized Bieber cardboard cut-out.
A Complete Visual History of Justin Bieber’s Hair
And I was like baby, baby, baby, oh…
Aside from minor changes in its swoop, Bieber stayed notably consistent with his look between 2008 and 2010.
For his appearance at the 2011 Video Music Awards, Bieber offered a long-awaited glimpse at his forehead, and accessorized with glasses and Selena Gomez.
A sneak peek at Bieber’s future scruffiness.
By 2012, Bieber seemed to have learned how to maintain his original locks: by simply slicking them back into a bouffant.
The kickoff of Bieber’s Believe tour in South Africa brought his bouffant to the international level.
Bieber’s cheery mug shot, taken shortly after he was charged with drunk driving, resisting arrest, and driving without a valid license, featured a magnificent bouffant—perhaps because he’d just spent the night racing.
Fully embracing his roast on Comedy Central, Bieber matched his hair to his monkey’s. (To be clear, this is not OG Mally, Bieber’s pet monkey, who was infamously confiscated by the German authorities, and who is still a resident of a German zoo—and still having trouble communicating with other monkeys.)
Posing with Nash Grier, Bieber later captioned this image simply “#Ponytails.”
Behold: a bleached-blond Bieber.
By the next month, though, he was back to his dirty-blond bouffant.
Who knows what’s hiding under this beanie? The possibilities are endless.
Bieber started off the new year with a bang—i.e., a man bun.
By the next month, he’d already moved on to bleached blond, as he showcased at the Saint Laurent show.
Naturally, his Purpose World Tour merited his third transformation in as many months. Lest it get in his way, he slicked it back into a bun on the tour’s opening night in Seattle.
Yes, those are dreadlocks, and yes, Bieber wore them out in public—here at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, though regrettably on other occasions as well.
By the next month, the dreads were fully gone, though that didn’t stop Bieber from making a statement while on his trip to Monaco. It was during this month that he also got a teeny face tattoo.
A little over a year later, Bieber shifted his attention to his facial hair.
The next year, his regrown hair didn’t exactly help him at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.
We’re still waiting with bated breath to find out if or when Bieber will deliver on this promise.
Look at those luscious locks go!
The evidence of the haircut, though, was already gone by the next month.
While in Michigan that September—a whirlwind month for Bieber’s hair—he returned to the forehead-less days of his youth.
Yes, that bump under his hood is no doubt a bun or a ponytail, pulled up high on his head, Hailey Baldwin–style.
Less than a week later, Bieber took care of the bump, using his Instagram Story to share the news of his buzz cut, which quickly earned him the nickname Buzztin. It also put his tiny face tat of a cross more prominently on display—an act of faith perhaps as prominent as his and Hailey’s commitment to waiting until marriage to have sex.
Save for the presence of Hailey and quite a few more tattoos, you’d be forgiven for thinking this photo dates several years back. In May 2019—yet another banner year of hair changes for Bieber—he threw things back to his original sleek, neatly combed, and naturally colored mop.
Periods of scruff soon followed, but Bieber once again managed to clean things up for his (second) wedding to Hailey in the following months.
It’s no surprise that Bieber kicked off the new year in a pair of Drew House pajamas, but his peroxide pixie was definitely an unexpected touch.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hailey. Even she (reportedly) “can’t stand” Bieber’s mustache, which unfortunately made a comeback. (Bieber even put it at the center of his “Intentions” art.) Hailey has yet to publicly condemn it, but according to People‘s mysterious source, that might be for the best: “The more people want him to shave it off, the more he wants to keep it. It’s staying for now. It’s making him feel like a rebel and he likes it!” Thankfully, Hailey has previously prevailed in getting him to shave it off.