Monday 14 October 2019

Ciara O'Connor: 'Hailey and Justin's wedding is a masterclass in why rich children shouldn't be allowed to get married'

Hailey and Justin Bieber married for the second time. Picture: Instagram
Hailey and Justin Bieber married for the second time. Picture: Instagram
Hailey and Justin Bieber married for the second time. Picture: Instagram
Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin attend the John Elliott front row during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on September 6, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
Kyle and Travis

Ciara O'Connor

Hollywood: it gives with one hand and takes with the other.

Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which: last week Justin Bieber wed Hailey Baldwin (again), and at the celebration was Kylie Jenner, that other over-exposed child-billionaire, who had just split with her partner and father of her child.

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It had been a whirlwind romance - Kylie became pregnant with baby Stormi shortly after meeting rapper Travis in April 2017. He has filled entire rooms with roses and carpeted floors with a deep blanket of petals too many times to count: each time was faithfully uploaded to a rapturous internet. It's fair to say we were strangely charmed by this extravagant and ridiculous young love, with its diamonds and Ferraris as push presents. The pair appeared on the cover of GQ; Travis serenaded Kylie on a roller coaster above his Madison Square Garden gig; they referred to each other as hubby and wife and Kylie wore a gold band on her ring finger - but they weren't married. Kylie and Travis (right) made an art-form of misleading their public, keeping news of her pregnancy secret until Stormi was born was just the beginning: and we ate it up.

Of their courtship, Travis said: "Maybe, like, the first week, you don't know if it's real or a fling. Then the second week you're like, 'Whoa, I'm still talking to her, she's responding, I'm responding. We ain't run out of a thing to say'."

But after two years, it seems the pair have gone their separate ways - reports are of a 'break' rather than a definitive split. Sources say it's not because of 'trust issues', which is an interesting bit of damage control: this isn't like other tacky break-ups, it seems to say. But, of course, in some ways it was: it's hard to see Kylie's gravity- defying gold dress which she wore for the Bieber wedding as anything other than a classic revenge look.

Indeed, the wedding made me feel profoundly grateful Kylie and Travis hadn't tied the knot, because it was a masterclass in why rich children shouldn't be allowed to get married. Hailey and Justin's festivus was their second go, having already got married at a New York courthouse last year. The wedding was themed around The Notebook, that saccharine affront to God and taste, beloved by 14-year-old girls and grown women who holiday in Disneyland. It's an interesting relationship model to aspire to, with protagonists who "rarely agreed on anything. They fought all the time. They challenged each other every day. But despite their differences [...] they were crazy about each other," which, honestly, sounds completely exhausting, but also not unlike young Justin and Hailey themselves: "You don't wake up every day saying 'I'm absolutely so in love and you are perfect'," Hailey told Vogue in February. "That's not what being married is. But there's something beautiful about it anyway - about wanting to fight for something."

Guests received a copy of the book, and the film was screened the night before. Hailey's father said "a lot of their pastor friends and a lot of their Christian friends" would be in attendance. There was bowling and water fights. Ed Sheeran was there. I'm not angry that my invite got lost in the post.

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Today's 'and you only have yourself to blame' award goes to the Irish Aviation Authority, which confirmed last week that a blanket ban on in-flight alcohol is "absolutely on the table".

Paul Brandon, the IAA's head of corporate affairs, added: "But our preference is to focus on the awareness of the risk if they disrupt the flight."

This is, of course, the oldest trick in the parenting book: "I'm not telling you you can't see your friends, but if I find more vape cartridges in your pockets, you can launder your own clothes, and there'll be no more gallivanting. Don't say you weren't warned."

This approach seems about right given a Ryanair flight full of persecuted travellers who've just had their backpacks confiscated because they didn't fit in the cupped hand of an air hostess/were too heavy for a toddler to throw over a two-metre wall, might as well be a load of hormonal Kevin the Teenagers.

Indeed, a survey by Which? found that one in 10 airline passengers in general had experienced a flight "blighted by shouting, drunkenness, verbal abuse or other obnoxious behaviour". Meanwhile, nearly double that figure, 17pc, of Ryanair passengers reported disruptive behaviour in the past year. Michael O'Leary's solution is not to provide basic levels of customer service, but to ask British airports to stop serving alcohol before 10am, and to limit flyers to two drinks. I'll say nothing - but, so help me, if I can't post an Instagram story with the time showing 07:13 and a picture of a pint, passport and holiday nails next time I'm jetting off, you'll know all about air-rage.

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In August, the National Transport Authority launched a week-long public campaign highlighting the racism experienced by employees and passengers of Ireland's public transport.

Last week, a Freedom of Information request gave us, like a flaming turd on the doorstep, some of the responses from members of the public who feel personally attacked by images of 'foreigners' on their buses.

Bode Olatunji, a Luas driver for 16 years and who is black, says things have got better - because now he only gets two racist incidents a month: "You see people jump out in front of your tram making monkey chants, giving you the middle finger and making all sorts of comments to you."

Thankfully, it seems Bode is wrong. There's no racism here - white people say so: "I can't remember ever having met a racist. Have you? Any time I ask anybody have they ever met a racist they struggle to think of anybody. I just don't think racism among the public is an issue at all," wrote one.

Another punter mused: "I cannot help but notice that so far the only faces I see displayed on the sides of buses and in bus shelters are those of foreign people. When will the ones of white Irish people be displayed, too?"

Apparently seeing the faces of white Irish people in every bus, dining in every restaurant, on every page of every newspaper, on every channel any time they turn on the TV, on the boards of every company, in the Dail and in our courts, is not enough. These folks would also like white people to front campaigns about how white people make Luas journeys a misery for black and brown people. Presumably they are also writing letters demanding access to abortion for cis-men, and swimming pools for seals.

It was, apparently, an egregious example of 'anti-whitism', as clunky a term as ever I've heard. Imagine thinking a campaign to treat black people as people would make your life worse. Imagine being personally insulted by the fact your demographic is not the target of prejudice and abuse. I think it's fair to say if you feel targeted by an anti-racist campaign, it's probably because you're racist.

In my favourite example of corporate-radicalism this year, the NTA responded elegantly with: "While there isn't a poster with a white person as the main image, we don't feel anyone has been excluded." Quite.

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