Justin Bieber May Not Know How to Eat a Burrito

(Image credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Stringer/Getty Images)

When a photo of Justin Bieber sitting on a park bench in sunglasses, cap, and hoodie went viral yesterday, it wasn’t because of the beautiful shade of pink of his sweatshirt (it’s really quite nice) — it was because of how he was eating his burrito.

In the photo, taken by Reddit user personal_ac, the pop star appears to have unwrapped his burrito and taken a bite. But not a normal bite, where you start at one end and work your way through it. No, this man, whose musical stylings have captured North America’s ears for a decade since he was the tender age of 14, just bit a chunk straight out of the center of his burrito, like it was an ear of corn.

As the world contemplated what kind of chaos-theory-subscribing maniac would do this, The Cut went deep in their investigation. Is it really Bieber — or just a pink sweatshirt-wearing imposter? Is this a case of mistaken identity, one wonders, or is it simply Bieber fans trying to give their hero an out? Vanity Fair went so far as to interview the photographer. But Bieber or not, this is not how you eat a burrito.

Burrito-making is an art, with the various layers of sauces and fillings laid out to offer the maximum variety in each bite — for a person eating it in the standard fashion. Expert burrito makers — of which Southern California has many —probably trained their whole lives to create a balanced burrito, and then the Biebs is just going to completely ignore the basic decency of society and chomp through the center.

Considering that we are talking about a human adult living in the epicenter of burrito-landia, one has to wonder how he could not know how to eat a burrito. The obvious answer is that he’s Canadian. Bieber hails from the Great White North, and while Canada does a wide variety of things quite well (including both doughnuts and gravy-laden french fries), it’s never been known for its Mexican food, and definitely not for its Cal-Mex, which the two-handed monstrosity he mauled most certainly is.

The other thought is that he was a teen star; perhaps in the chaos of his rapid and youthful rise to stardom, he never learned, and his friends were scared to correct him. Like a kid who learned to pronounce words only by reading trying to say “nonchalantly,” it was a mistake, born of naiveté.

But then food goddess and social media queen Chrissy Teigen stepped in to defend him with a third option: “The only way they should be eaten,” she says, adding that those abandoned ends “are just carb factories.” That’s actually the reason some of us love the ends — and seems rather rich, coming from a woman with two cookbooks that could serve as guidebooks to the carb factory. But that aside, she is likely correct on his (misguided) motive.

Which leaves just one question for both of them: Why not simply request the burrito to be cut in half and eat your way from the inside out, sparing that beautiful pink sweatshirt the fallout of a burrito robbed of its structural integrity?