There is no such thing as a quiet lunch when you’re Justin Bieber.
It is not unusual for the young pop star to attract a media swarm followed by a sea of obsessed fans while touring, but we rarely get to see what’s happening behind the paparazzi cameras.
But a new photo has perfectly captured the crowds of captivated fans blocking traffic to watch the Canadian popstar enjoy lunch at Chargrill Charlie’s in Sydney with some friends on Friday.
Last week Bieber made headlines after telling a fan she “made him sick” for refusing to respect his privacy, but on Friday the 23-year-old singer did not seem too fussed by his huge audience.
The girls awkwardly gawked at him from just metres away as he ordered a quarter chicken at the popular Sydney cafe.
Probably the first time I've felt sorry for Justin Bieber. The poor guy can't even go for chicken without a mob of baying fans tailing him. pic.twitter.com/yzgLYr24y2
— Joe Ellison (@Chevychased) March 17, 2017
There was a heavy police presence outside the chargrilled chicken joint where Bieber dined on the footpath with his entourage, including best friend Josh Melhm and Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz.
Bieber left after 15 minutes with a police escort, much to the dismay of his fans, with some making a move for his leftovers, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The not-so-glamorous picture of Bieber prompted some to sympathise for the high-profile celebrity.
it breaks my heart how people treat Justin Bieber. the fact that he can't even have a meal without a group of people watching him is wrong
— Emma Dean (@missemmmaaa) March 17, 2017
One fan tweeted that it was the first time he had felt sorry for Justin Bieber.
“The poor guy can’t even go for chicken without a mob of baying fans tailing him,” he wrote.
Another said it “broke her heart”.
Bieber’s ex-girlfriend and star in her own right Selena Gomez spoke to Vogue this week, shedding light on the challenges of life in the limelight.
“Look, I love what I do, and I’m aware of how lucky I am, but—how can I say this without sounding weird? I just really can’t wait for people to forget about me,” she told US Vogue.
Modern day Beatles-mania
The scene of Bieber feasting on chargrilled chicken surrounded by a hoard of overly inquisitive girls called to mind images of past Beatlemania.
The Beatles’ popularity shocked the world in the ’60s as the band rose to fame.
With nothing to compare it to, the media’s attempts to explain the wild new phenomenon bordered on comical, leading to headlines such as Beatles Reaction Puzzles Even Psychologists, as one science journal reported.