Considered in the most romantic sense, the universe consists of layer upon layer of ever-more-enticing mysteries, all of them just waiting to be uncovered by an eager mind. This, then, is how I choose to approach what I have dubbed the Bieber/Jonas Shirt Continuum. It is a newly discovered phenomena, and we have only begun to scratch the surface of understanding. What we’ll find as we further explore its intricacies remains to be seen.
Here, briefly, is what we do know: Late in July of 2019, Justin Bieber exited a spa in West Hollywood. He was wearing a quintessentially Bieber fit consisting of hyped Nikes (Air Max 97s from this year’s On Air competition), oversized basketball shorts, and a tee from his own label, Drew House. The tee featured a throwback shot of the Jonas Brothers in all their shaggy, teenage glory, and is either a one-off, or—and I really hope this is the case—a tease for an upcoming general-release tee that’s, ideally, part of a full collection of JoBro Drew merch.
For just over a month after this momentous occurrence, nothing happened.
Then, something beautiful: Out of the nothingness, a shirt emerged. It was worn by Joe Jonas, on September 12, while he was attending the U.S. Open with his brother Nick. It featured a picture of Justin Bieber wearing the shirt with a picture of the Jonas Brothers on it. Where once there was a lone meta 2000s heartthrob tee, now, there were two. A universal blip had, through the wonders of emergence, created a nascent pattern. The Bieber/Jonas Shirt Continuum was born.
Now, we wait, and we watch. We gaze at these stars like Gallileo gazed at his own heavenly bodies and pray for still more patterns to emerge, so that we may better understand the universe at large. Will Justin Bieber, come October, wear a T-shirt with a picture of Joe Jonas wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Justin Bieber wearing a T-shirt with a picture of the Jonas Brothers on it? Will, by January, will we be so deep into this pattern that Joe steps out in a T-shirts with so many pictures of men wearing T-shirts with pictures of another man on them that the images stretch back into infinity, the graphic tee equivalent of standing between two mirrors and seeing endless, ever-smaller versions of yourself?
I sure hope so. Because that would be fucking awesome. So, to switch to another metaphor entirely: Justin, Joe, please let this arms race continue. I want to see where this all goes.