A Critical Examination of Justin Bieber’s Mug Shot

Justin Bieber Arrested In Miami Beach

Justin Bieber’s mug shot. (Photo via Getty Images)

Somebody alert World Press Photo! The dude who snapped the mug shot of Justin Bieber last night, after the pop star was brought in for resisting arrest and driving while intoxicated in Miami Beach, took what may go down as the photo of the year.

In the rich and varied canon of celebrity mug shots, Mr. Bieber’s stands out as one of the strangest. It’s hard, of course, to compete with Nick Nolte’s catatonic gaze, Rip Torn’s bemused visage or even Mike Tyson’s tongue. But those sit in a category of their own weird dishevelment.

Mr. Bieber’s stands out because it is actually a pretty good picture. You’d be surprised to know how many celebrities have tried to smile in their mug shots and have failed at doing so. Paris Hilton, Khloe Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan ventured grins in theirs. Nothing doing. Robert Downey, Jr., Mel Gibson, Mickey Rourke, Matthew McConaughey—all attempted a smirk but came off looking creepy and kind of embarrassed.

But how perky the 19-year-old Mr. Bieber looks! An impressive feat, considering he was out very late doing drugs and drinking and driving expensive vehicles.

This photo goes to show that Mr. Bieber’s physical image may well be incorruptible. (Make of his music and emotions and ideas what you will.) That red prison uniform he’s wearing? It looks like a V-neck T-shirt. That smile? He must be programmed to do that by now.

In fact, brighten up his face a bit, broaden his shoulders, remove some acne, airbrush out a few errant tufts of hair, and you might just find this mug shot on the cover of Seventeen magazine.