With Kimoji, Kim Kardashian proved that branded emoji apps are a great way to engage with fans and make millions. Other stars have followed suit. Among them are Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose, Rick Ross, and—just this week—Steph Curry and Justin Bieber. Using celebrity emoji isn't as seamless as dropping an eggplant or upside-down smile emoji into a text, but fans readily pay to download these apps and copy and paste the designs.
But what's most interesting about celebrity emojis is a common theme that has emerged in almost all of them. Yes, each celeb's emojis adhere to the familiar trappings of their personal brand—like Wiz Khalifa and weed or Rick Ross and pears—but they're also an opportunity for their creators to reclaim potentially embarrassing moments from their past and make fun of themselves in a totally disarming, unexpected way. These emoji apps have allowed celebrities to give a self-aware wink to their public image, reframing the way their story is told: Hey! We know you think this is funny, and we do too, they're saying, We are aware that you are aware. For instance, Steph Curry introduced an emoji version of the time daughter Riley Curry stole the show at a post-game interview—a moment that was met with a lot of love and a lot of hate—and Rick Ross brought us a house arrest bracelet emoji. Kim Kardashian immortalized her notorious crying face in emoji form. Blac Chyna even announced her pregnancy with an emoji.
Justin Bieber, too, has totally risen to the occasion. We rounded up five of those peek-behind-the-curtain emojis from the Biebs's Justmoji collection.
Last month, Justin Bieber declared in an Instagram post that he would stop taking pictures with fans. He said that he no longer felt human, but like a zoo animal, and just because people bought his albums didn't mean he "owed" them a photograph.
Justin Bieber isn't one to hide his emotions, particularly not his tears. He broke down last fall during his comeback performance of his single "What Do You Mean?" on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards. It's also been reported that Bieber has been doing a lot of crying on his Purpose tour.
In 2013, TMZ obtained a video of Justin Bieber walking through a restaurant, clearly intoxicated, and peeing in a janitor's mop bucket. Later in the same clip, Bieber sprayed a photo of Bill Clinton with cleaning fluid, saying, "Fuck Bill Clinton." We're going to guess the janitors did not find either of those stunts amusing.
In 2014, Justin Bieber was charged with misdemeanor vandalism after he was caught egging his neighbors' house in Calabasas. He was required to pay an $80,000 fine, serve two years probation, and complete five days of community service.
Why the handcuffs? In 2014, Justin Bieber was arrested and charged with a DUI, drag racing, and resisting arrest in Miami. Then, in 2015, Bieber was busted for assault and careless driving after his ATV crashed into a minivan in Canada.
We're going to guess that the app's future updates will include emojis of Justin with a monkey and begging for forgiveness to Selena Gomez?
Tahirah Hairston is a style writer from Detroit who likes Susan Miller, Rihanna's friend's Instagram accounts, ramen and ugly-but cute shoes.