But I gotta keep an eye out for Selener. These are not just some rap lyrics. We live in a world where celebrity news is more than just entertainment. One word or action from a beloved star creates a tsunami of reactions, ranging from fan wars and campaigns to theories and fights in comments sections. And while it seems mostly harmless, there is a sinister undercurrent. The increasing fixation with celebrity controversy has now gone beyond simple fascination; there’s a hint of malice.
For many people following the drama involving of celebrities offer a distraction, an escape from the pressures of daily life. It enables them to temporarily put aside their own issues and become completely lost in a world of elite rumours.
Wait, Fill Me In On What Happened
As a Gen Z kid who lives on the Internet 24×7, the whole Selena Gomez–Hailey Beiber–Kylie Jenner drama was all over my explore page. And it’s not just me, everyone’s social media page has been flooded with web detectives analysing the years-long back and forth between Justin Bieber’s ex girlfriend and his current wife of four years. There was digging in deep into their lives, carefully dissection of their moves and a hawk-like precision pinning of the timeline of events. The whole thing started when Selena Gomez blogged about her accidentally laminated eyebrows.
Later on, when Kylie Jenner posted a picture of her own eyebrows on her Instagram story, she said, “This was an accident?????”. The Internet, always watching, ready to spread fire without question, immediately connected with her Instagram story as a dig on Selena’s. It might have been innocuous but the internet was having none of that. On Tik Tok, Jenner commented “No shade towards Selena ever and I didn’t see her eyebrow posts! u guys are making something out of nothing. This is silly.”
You’d think that once the sides had confirmed that while the timing might have implied otherwise, the whole thing was being blown out of proportion, this would die down. Nope. A rather curious Internet slueth found a clip of Hailey Bieber hosting her old show, Drop the Mic, alongside co-host and rapper Method Man. It had a mention of Taylor Swift and Mrs. Bieber pretending to gag and sticking her tongue out before rolling her eyes. Fans accused Mrs. Bieber of being a bully. Later Selena went on commenting on this particular clip: “So sorry, my best friend is and continues to be one of the best in the game”.
Sea of comparisons
This is just one incident but it certainly isn’t the first of its kind. We seem to thrive on a culture that pits women against each other. It’s salacious almost. An infernal delight in watching women fight each other. Women are pitted against one another- and it’s now a recurring theme that plagues both Hollywood’s and Bollywood’s female stars and the rest of the women worldwide. Tabloids and news sites using this as fodder for gossip – digging up dirt about women who seemingly despise each other.
Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber have followed each other on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/eThHyvcyXU
— Pop Base (@PopBase) March 24, 2023
Stan Twitter took a few clicks to label Hailey the Mean Girl. People also went after Selena to call her a victim or name Hailey a homewrecker, given the Jelena history. Both tropes we’ve seen played out for too long now. It is always portrayed as Selena vs Hailey, never Selena and Hailey. Both of these ladies have never publicly uttered a single negative comment about each other. It’s 2023 and our source of entertainment is still flourishing on this sexist lens of a catfight scenario.
Of course, most of this stems from the chokehold that internalised misogyny has over us. The tradition of openly determining which famous woman is most desirable of a particular famous male partner is old and stale but yet milked for views and comments. Debbie vs. Elizabeth, Camilla vs. Diana, Angelina vs. Jen, Betty vs. Veronica, or last year’s obsession with Olivia Rodrigo vs Sabrina Carpenter. I mean, all this drama is just happening for a guy, who himself doesn’t want to be a part of this chaos.
This whole comparison lane makes Selena, a former Disney star look like an authentic person (which we no doubt she is) but takes a very sexist turn when they see Hailey who despite being a former ballet dancer, is only seen as a certified Nepo baby, reduced to some sort of showcase of her supermodel lifestyle.
These fights, fuelled by the need to pit women against each other is not new, but it certainly is stale and way past its sell-by date. At one point, Britney Spears vs Christian Aguilera was a trending headline. Aguilera said, “It must have seemed as if we were competing with each other, but, in reality, Britney is someone that I used to hold hands with”.
It is essential that today’s generation gets the chance to witness that women are more multifaceted and interesting as opposed to the individuals they are “fighting” with; that young women are more than just attractive appearances or words and no, no one is fighting over the men.