From their Summer 2018 PDA Tour to their just-announced shotgun engagement, The Internet™ loves to talk, and Justin Bieber’s whirlwind romance with Hailey Baldwin has given it plenty opportunities to do just that about. But talking on the Internet is an act entirely abstracted from its IRL equivalent, a mode of discourse helpless in resisting the magnetic pull of hyperbole: argument and good ol’ conspiracy theories. Which means, of course, that there’s already a handful of out-there theories about how Bieber and Baldwin’s engagement – cue X-Files music – may not be what it seems, with some of them so weird you have to read to believe:
Their engagement is part of a megachurch-arranged marriage
Both Bieber and Baldwin count themselves among members of global megachurch institution, the Hillsong Church. Though Hillsong traffics in the Pentecostal variety of Christianity, the church has a history of controversies regarding allegations of “authoritarian church governance, lack of financial accountability, resistance to free thought, strict fundamentalist teachings and lack of compassion” from past members that makes it sound a bit closer to that other church (you know, the one that rhymes with Shmyenshmology) that interviewed a bunch of women to marry Tom Cruise, meaning a prefab unity between two of Hillsong’s most prominent members isn’t out of the question.
Their engagement is a PR tactic from Bieber’s manager
This engagement comes hot on the heels of Ariana Grande announcing her plans to tie the knot with SNL cast member Pete Davidson after a similarly short period of dating. It’s not just the hasty proposals that both Bieber and Grande share, however – the two are also both managed by talent manager magnate Scooter Braun, leading some to believe that both engagements are a part of an attempt on Braun’s behalf to create buzz around his clients – and in Bieber’s case, a throwback to more wholesome times.
Hailey’s dad wants Bieber’s money
When it comes to the intersection of celebrity and surreal, Wendy Williams basically owns the whole plot of land, so of course she’s no slouch when it comes to the Bieber-Baldwin engagement. Williams is convinced that Ms. Baldwin – daughter of Stephen Baldwin (brother of Alec and star of, uh, Bio-Dome) – has been pushed to marry a high-profile celeb such as Bieber by her father as part of a “cash grab” to deal with his financial issues and apparently upkeep the “relevance” of the Baldwin dynasty.
Justin and Hailey’s relationship is sponsored by the New York City Parks department
Even if you’ve been logged off for the past month or two, you’re probably still aware of the Bieber-Baldwin relationship if only because there’s a good chance you walked by them flagrantly making out with one another in front of some landmark in your city. Seriously, the two of them have been the opposite of shy when it comes to showing physical affection, flaunting their PDA as if it’s their job—which led one blogger to speculate that maybe it is their job, with a makeout-heavy trip across the five boroughs being a part of a campaign by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department to show just how hip and romantic all their parks are.
Hailey’s been planning her attack for years
In case you didn’t know, 90% of people on the Internet are Sherlock Holmes—only they’re more concerned with digging up Chance the Rapper’s brunch Instagrams from six years ago instead of like, finding stolen jewels or whatever. This proclivity for celebrity sleuthery was in action a couple of years ago when reports of a Baldwin-Bieber fling first surfaced, with web-detectives uncovering Baldwin’s long and storied history as a Belieber:
— Hailey Baldwin (@haileybaldwin) March 26, 2012
But that’s only the beginning – when the engagement was announced, a picture surfaced of a young Hailey Baldwin holding up some Tiger Beat-adjacent magazine with a headline reading “Why Selena Knows She Won’t Marry Justin” as if it’s some kind of threat; suggesting that although the news of their impending marriage may seem sudden, the gears have been turning in Hailey’s head for quite some time:
In any event, we wish the happy couple a long and fruitful marriage!