It's telling about how desperate we all are for more information about Justin Bieber that even a profile about him that spends about half its copy talking about the process of waiting to speak to him is still absolutely riveting. Drew Magary's piece on The Bieb for GQ ("Man Up, Bieber")—planned as some sort of commemoration of Bieber's recent ascent to manhood, but in the end just another attempt to peer into the foggy window of Bieber's fabulous and incomprehensible existence—ultimately just adds more to the Ontario pop phenom's mystique, but to Margary's credit, there are still several moments of brief revelation worth parsing and compiling. Here are ten of them.
1. Bieber isn't quite ready to have his manhood commemorated in print. "The goal was explicit: Get Bieber to experience some kind of rite of manhood. To that end, we proposed to his people any number of insane ideas: drinking, smoking, drinking, going to a titty bar, gambling, drinking, shooting things, drinking, etc...Of course, none of this ended up coming to pass. Turns out neither Bieber nor his team were all that interested in any of our manly ideas. In fact, it's a measure of just how carefully managed Bieber is that all of our ideas, even having a simple beer, were treated as impossibilities, like proposing to build a gay disco in Iran."
2. Bieber can draw a mean dry erase board dick. "After a few minutes, I noticed that someone had drawn a bunch of dicks all over the grease board by the door. So I pointed at them and asked, 'Hey, who drew all the dicks?' One of the sound engineers immediately jumped up, ran over, and erased them with his sleeve. This is the new and mature Bieber. We can't have dicks being drawn all over the place. People might get the wrong idea about filthy-rich 18-year-old pop stars."
3. Bieber is tiny. "There is no way around it: Justin Bieber is a very small human being. He's 18, but he could easily pass for someone six years younger. His rep says he's five feet nine, but he looks about four feet four, maybe one hundred pounds. I shake his hand, and it feels like there should be more hand there."
4. Bieber might have been a normal kid, but we'll never know. "Bieber exists inside what amounts to a series of interconnected skyways: He goes from his secluded house to his secluded Range Rover to his secluded studio, rarely setting foot in the exposed world. Suggesting that we pop down the block to a restaurant is insane. Stupid, even. I have been assured by Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager, that Bieber is 'very normal, very regular,' which is nonsense. No one can be normal living under the circumstances that constitute daily life for Justin Bieber."
5. Bieber is not a drunk texter. "I ask Bieber about getting shitfaced. 'For me, it's just like, I like to be in control of myself. I mean, I've had a beer, like, before.... But I never get out of control.' (Later on, I tell Braun about this response, and he says, 'He knows that I hold him to a high standard.... He doesn't want to blow it.')"
6. Bieber occasionally Rides the Lightning. "We talk music, and he mentions his love for pre–'Black Album' Metallica—'One,' 'Fade to Black.' 'Those are my jams,' he says."
7. Bieber wishes Platinum Motorsport to suck a dick. "A bit later, someone alerts Bieber that West Coast Customs has arrived with his new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. So now he's running out to the parking lot to give it a once-over...He is euphoric. So much so that he has decided to pledge his loyalty to West Coast Customs forever and to decry its rival, Platinum Motorsport. 'Fuck Platinum,' he says. 'Platinum can suck a dick, man. West Coast all day.'"
8. Bieber's posse are white people at karaoke night. "They all crowd around Bieber, marvel at his gold chain that's long enough to rig a mountain bike, and nod their heads to the beat [of Bieber's "Boyfriend"]. Bieber also starts nodding his head. Soon everyone is nodding his head, like white people at a company karaoke night. Once in a while, someone will pull out the jazz hands to punctuate a drum fill. Occasionally one of the West Coast guys will erupt in laughter, as if to say, This is so awesome that all I can do is laugh hahahaha!"
9. Bieber still feels the connection with Kimmy K. "He catches Kaye ragging on Kim Kardashian. "That bitch should never wear white in public again," she says. Bieber gets mildly indignant and sticks up for Kardashian. 'You guys are so mean, bro.... People say she doesn't do anything; she actually does do stuff.... She works hard.' Bieber is, of course, wrong, but it's easy to see why he sticks up for Kardashian. For one thing, they once did a photo shoot together, which naturally makes them best celebrity friends forever. And he surely knows what it's like to be hated by people who've never met you."
10. Bieber is 18 years old and a swaggy adult. "I'm 18 years old and I'm a swaggy adult!" he yells. "Come on, swaggy bros!"