Photo Credit: Vox
An ethical take on the Selena-Hailey feud dominating the internet
Lana Kamal, Lifestyle Editor
In the many moments of my day when I’m not studying, socializing, or out and about, you can find me mindlessly scrolling through TikTok for hours on end. No matter which side of TikTok you are on, there is no escape from the Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber drama that has overtaken your TikTok FYP. This drama is a recipe of reach, facts, and speculation, and is overall extremely confusing.
Here’s some context on how this all began, right before we get to the most recent drama. As you all know, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber — aka Jelena — were known as the “It” and ”on and off” couple from 2010 to 2018 (almost a whole decade). But this whole romance, or lack of a stable relationship, ended in 2018, and 2 months later Justin Bieber married Hailey Baldwin. This took fans by surprise. Ever since then, Hailey and Selena have been put head to head and in constant comparison and major speculation.
This drama can reach all the way back into 2014, and no one has time or the energy to revisit it. So if you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the rundown and timeline of what has happened in the past week, or better yet, as of 2023:
The drama between Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber has erupted more than ever. Some of it is far-reaching and some is factual information that further tipped the drama to a point where TikTok is unbearable. On January 9th, Hailey Bieber posted a TikTok that was quickly deleted, where the sound states, “And I’m not saying she deserved it, but God’s timing is always right.” Many fans assumed that she was throwing direct shade at Selena in regards to the recent body shamers after paparazzi took a photo of her in a swimsuit. Following this speculation, on January 11th, Hailey shut down the assumptions by responding, “I never comment on this type of thing but we were just having a girls’ night and did a random TikTok sound for fun. It’s not directed at anyone.” While you might think this is the end, Selena responded shortly after on February 9th with, “It’s ok! I don’t let these things get me down! Be nice to everyone! X.” By responding with this comment, many fans believed that deep down, Selena knew the TikTok was about her, which further made fans refer to Hailey, Kendall Jenner, and Justin Skye (those in the TikTok) as “mean girls.”
The drama does not end there, despite me wishing it did. On February 22nd, Selena posted a video saying, “I accidentally over-laminated my eyebrows,” and 3 hours later Kylie Jenner posted a photo of her face with the words, “This was an accident???” right on top of her eyebrows. This made fans believe Kylie was responding and mocking Selena. But this spiral continued as the next Instagram story was a photo of a facetime with Hailey Beiber where they only showed their eyebrows. This made fans troll their comments on all social media platforms, claiming the two were being “mean girls.” Kylie responds the next day claiming that everyone is reaching out and she never saw Selena’s post. This is then followed by Selena stating that it’s all unnecessary and that she is a fan of Kylie. The drama then continued, as a video of Hailey gagging at Taylor Swift’s name resurfaced and Selena commented, “So sorry, my best friend is and continues to be one of the best in the game.” Shortly after, she announced she will be taking a break from social media amid the drama — hold on I need to take a breath.
Okay, so now that the rundown has been covered, the question that comes to mind is are we reaching, is this drama true, and are people going too far in trolling Hailey and Kylie’s comment section and unfollowing? What we definitely know is that fans, and people in general, are not happy with the “mean girl” actions of Hailey and the Jenner sisters. We know this to be true, as a large sum of people unfollowed Hailey, and Kylie has so far lost a million followers on IG. Also, Hailey has restricted her comment section due to the increased trolling and comments shading her and her “mean girl” actions. The ethical dilemma behind such drama is the fact that we do not actually know anything as people on the outside. Social media has the effect of exaggerating and creating a space for a spiral of rumors and assumptions, where we don’t actually know what is true and what is not. At the end of the day, these celebrities are human and have the right to private life and respect. No matter which side — or lack of a side — is chosen, we should keep in mind that social media has the tendency to amplify conflicts and misunderstandings. We should approach any and all situations with empathy, kindness, and understanding.
This drama has opened the window for reaching back into past videos of Hailey stalking Justin, manipulation claims that the Jenners had planned to ruin Selena and Justin’s relationship, and overall reaching into the past when we should be moving forward and give the opportunity to put an end to the woman vs. woman comparisons and overall drama. I, for one, do not blame Selena for taking a break as there is no safe corner on TikTok that does not bring up the past heartbreak and drama she endured back to the surface.
Ending this whole timeline of drama, I will leave you with one last thought: no matter who or what kind of spectacle takes over social media, keep in mind that most of it is speculation that has been blown out of proportion. As a general rule, it is a waste of time to speculate on lives other than our own, because at the end of the day, these celebrities have careers and lives like the rest of us, and our energy is better put into more productive activities. Spread positivity and have a great week!
Correction (March 30, 2023): Hailey Bieber’s name was misspelled in sections of the original published version of this article.