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The Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber drama: explained.

As I am writing this, I see your pesky eyes skim through my words, trying to find the dates of the controversies’ beginning. Trying to work out which women is worse, and therefore should be rallied against with an abundance of hateful messages and parodies.

Although, rather than researching into their feud’s origins, and mindlessly scrolling through TikTok to find clips of them mocking one another, or speculating on whether one stole another’s man… I think it would be more meaningful to do the opposite. Even if I could formulate an answer as to who’s the worst, I would gain your satisfaction for a minute or so, and then it would be completely forgotten about. Another article pitting two women against each other.

I would rather focus on discovering the origins of our new, favourite internet drama. When referring to these origins, these are not just individual situations, or events that may have started taking place a decade ago. Rather, the origins of this internet drama reflects our desire to speculate, in order to pit two women against each other.


This trend isn’t new, and I am sure it is well-remembered from when Brad Pitt appeared to be in a love triangle with two highly successful women, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie.


Now, I am not above the parameter: I love drama, gossip, and tomfoolery as much as the next person. However, at a point a line needs to be drawn between light-hearted jokes, and the death threats that these ‘rivals’ receive. But, I have now seen countless clips comparing the relationship that Justin Bieber has with the two women, with questions emerging like: who did he love more? Who did he really want to marry? Who treated him better?  A never-ending stream of questions that focus on putting the blame on either one of the women.


In all transparency, I am not a fan of Justin Bieber, and don’t particularly think that he treats either woman particularly well. However, I do not know the man and therefore could be incorrect in this assumption, and my assumption of Justin Bieber doesn’t give me the right to divert the mob onto him, or imply that he is deserving of hateful messages.

It would be fascinating for me to list my reasons as to why I am not a fan of his, and for me to write presumptuously about the ins-and-outs of a couple who don’t even know my name… but would it be fair?


As the audience, the viewers, we are caught into the crosshairs. And I see how it is exciting! Not only is trivial drama like this a welcomed interruption to our standards of repetitively and routine, but we are gossiping about people who we assume will never hear us. This exhibits the problem of this ‘feud’: we can all have an opinion on this and voice it (including on anonymous social media accounts) as we assume it’ll never catch up to us.

It is very difficult not to stoop to this level of internet drama, especially when you receive clicks, attention, and monetary incentives when you do discuss it.

This further complicates the issue as it is difficult to place blame onto anyone: the two women who we have subjected to our speculation don’t deserve blame, the content creators discussing this topic and adding to the drama don’t deserve hate (as they’re doing their jobs), the fans don’t deserve hate as they’re just supporting their idol. This exemplifies the cyclical nature of this issue, and how difficult it is to place blame on one or two groups.

Based upon the example of Jennifer VS Angelina (which can be replaced with various other female celebrities, such as Britney VS Christina), it is evident that this issue was widespread long before social media. Hence, we can choose to place the blame on: the celebrities online presence, or the commentary creators, or the accessibility of social media and ease of viewing online content, or the fans’ activeness with the online presence of their idol… but it just isn’t that simple.

Even after both Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez have spoken out about this, and encouraged their fans not to spread viscous hate, the issue remains where death threats are being sent to either, or both, of the women. Additionally, even after this feud dies down and the celebrities receive peace from this conflict, the internet will merely find another two women to replace our thirst for confrontation.


Grace Back (2019) is a journalist who writes for ELLE and Marie Claire, and she wrote an amazing article on the glorification of female rivalry, referencing Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth as an early example of pitting two women against each other (

A lot of critics place the blame of this onto biological instincts, with women creating competition amongst themselves over appearance, popularity, or biological health to appear as a better mate (first theorised by Charles Darwin). Although, this concept is both archaic, and potentially irrelevant, as these internet feuds span much further than interpersonal relationships. Regardless of whether Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber competed about their biological potential, as an audience, we critique their features ourselves despite our lack of involvement.


Although we are discussing celebrities in the public sphere, we are not entitled to provide our thoughts and opinions on their private lives and relationships. Despite these celebrities’ role within the entertainment industry, and the concept that “they got themselves into this”, it is morally indefensible to send hate and ridicule to a celebrity merely because you assume the ins-and-outs of their relationship.


It may be ironic that I am critiquing the cyclical nature of feminine rivalry and feuds in a seemingly circular way, but it is the only way in which this problem can be addressed. There are countless examples of this competitiveness throughout history, with social media only exemplifying this problem and the speed at which hate can occur. This problem, unfortunately, goes round in circles and seems never-ending.

Despite the importance of accountability, especially when a public figure is repeatedly engaging in inappropriate, or illegal behaviour, this isn’t relevant in this case study. As far as I am concerned, neither Selena Gomez or Hailey Bieber have acted in a criminalistic way, and yet they’re being ridiculed like they are. However, since 2020, a countless number of male celebrities have received allegations pertaining to assault, molestation, rape, or other criminal activities. Yet, the allegations and controversies against these men haven’t been on a ‘trending page’, haven’t caused a social media trend or challenge, and have been largely unspoken about.


So, I want address all the people who have come to this article attempting to find my opinion on which women is worse, or which women is deserving of our love and praise whilst the other gets obliterated within the virtual sphere. Rather than focus on spreading hate and mocking women on social media, why not call for actual accountability for those facing sexual violence and misjustice from male celebrities?


Now, I am not recommending spreading hate to anyone, regardless of sex or gender. However, several male celebrities who have been accused of varying ranges of misconduct remain unnerved, unaccountable, and untouched. Instead of focusing on a petty internet feud between two women who seem to have resolved their problems (long before it entered the trending page), why not hold criminalistic behaviours under the spotlight accountable?

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Tags: #news #feminism #drama #influencer #celebrity #Gomez #publicfigure #rivalry #rank #gossip #Bieber


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