In busy cities, people can normally look to the sky on a clear summer day and get a brief respite from the countless billboards and screens that produce sensory overload. So imagine the displeasure of New York City residents when they took a deep breath Sunday afternoon, craned their necks upward, and were met with the words “Justin Bieber is a smileophile” in capital letters.
It’s not clear who was behind this egregious use of sky real estate, but whoever it was felt it important to stress Bieber’s apparent affinity for smiling—a trait unlikely to make people like him more, no matter how dedicated he remains to a positive-image campaign that started with his appearance on Ellen and subsequent Comedy Central Roast. There is the possibility that Bieber himself pulled the stunt, which would be foolish on a number of levels, not least of which being the widespread belief that Bieber is already a sentient ego, spelling out his name wherever he goes. Regardless, expect New Yorkers to just stare straight down from now on.