ARTS COMMENTARY: Fans drag everyone down in Selena vs. Hailey online “feud”


Photos courtesy of Bruno Press and Cosmopolitan UK

An online celebrity feud has emerged as a result of fans’ efforts between icons Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez.

Celebrity icons Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber are two of the largest names in celebrity news currently and they have one thing in common: their relationships with Justin Bieber. But the drama that’s spilled over in the past months between the two has been blown out of proportion and amplified to levels never seen before by fans and the media.

Selena’s relationship with the megastar ran on and off between 2011 and 2018. During this time, their relationship was popular with fans, and they were considered the “it couple” of young Hollywood. Fanatics were invested in this relationship, putting them on a pedestal and forever connecting the two. 

But very shortly after this relationship ended for good, likely to be due to a public blow out, Justin was seen with popular supermodel and daughter of the industry, Hailey Baldwin. Justin and Hailey first met in 2009, but their sparks weren’t made public until their relationship was announced in 2016, during an off period in Justin’s romance with Selena. Justin and Hailey split after just six months, but the two reunited shortly after and publicly announced their engagement in July 2018, only two months after he officially broke up with Selena. Since their wedding that September, Justin and Hailey’s relationship has remained in the public eye, and they’ve appeared at all celebrity events hand in hand.

Flash forward to 2023: Even though Selena and Hailey seemed to have no bad blood, a feud between the two of them erupted out of what appears to be like nowhere. Fans have noticed that several of Hailey’s recent social media posts seem to be aimed at Selena, but none as obvious as one that caused Selena, Hailey and several of their celebrity friends to comment. 

On Feb. 22, Gomez posted a TikTok, commenting that she has accidentally over-laminated her eyebrows. Just a few hours later, Hailey and Kylie Jenner posted photographs of their own eyebrows on their Instagram stories, one with the caption “This was an accident?????,” starting a feud which would divide celebrities and bystanders into a “Hailey vs. Selena” online war. 

Comments from Selena, Hailey and Kylie on TikTok only added fuel to the fire. The girls’ comments denying any rumors of malicious intent were disregarded by fans, as it was obvious to them that the post was not a coincidence. 

The drama was amplified when Selena commented on a TikTok that showed an old video of Hailey from 2017, appearing to mock Taylor Swift, a known friend of Selena. Selena commented in support of Taylor, “So sorry, my best friend is and continues to be one of the best in the game.” While the comment may seem innocent, many took this as Selena’s declaration of war against Hailey.

Shortly after, Selena announced she would be taking a break from social media, although she has already returned, but this did not stop her followers from continuing to invest themselves in her drama. A variety of celebrities and fans are showing their sides by unfollowing some of the girls on social media. Selena quickly became the most followed woman on Instagram while Hailey and Kylie saw their follower counts rapidly plummet. 

Bystanders are adding fuel to the fire and pitting two outstandingly successful women against one another, simply over their relationships with one man. People are allowing Justin to tear apart relationships and cause online hysteria, thus giving him more power. This is a pattern that is not only apparent in the drama between Selena and Hailey, but in other celebrity battles as well. Society has made a habit of comparing women and making them compete against one another. Instead of simply celebrating both of their successes, fans find a need to pick one side over the other, unnecessarily rooting for the other’s demise. We don’t usually compare men in this way, and yet with women, is it a commonplace.

When fans are so focused on the influencers and celebrities they follow, they cling on to any bit of drama they see, flooding the comment section in an effort to involve themselves and see the drama play out in front of them. Comment sections and TikTok feeds should not be filled with constant videos bashing celebrities and picking fights and feuds, as they only continue to perpetuate the deeply rooted, often misogynistic, attitudes that we should be trying to fight.     

Instead of ripping down celebrities with constant criticism and forcing them into drama over small conflicts, people should support their favorite celebrities without feeling like they have to tear others down.

By Bruno Press –

By Cosmopolitan UK –