What’s Fueling Our Collective Obsession With Selena Gomez?

There are many an issue that keep me up at night (and by “up at night” I mean until my self-designated bedtime of 11pm). For one, why won’t Dick Wolf give us at least one episode of Law & Order: SVU that features a shirtless Carisi? I’ve only been aggressively tweeting this suggestion at him for the last six seasons. Or, like, will I die alone? Then, of course, there’s also why the hell is everyone so obsessed with Selena Gomez?  

Lately it feels like I can’t go one day without reading a headline about Selena Gomez. Whether it’s to psychoanalyze in minute detail each and every line of her new music or to report on the more hard-hitting stuff in her life, like her Instagram comments, the girl is f*cking everywhere. Her fame feels all-consuming, almost rabid, and on the same scale as mega celebrities like Beyoncé and Jennifer Aniston. Sometimes I feel like just uttering the words “Selena Gomez” on the internet sends people into a blood frenzy of speculation and gossip. The obsession with her is next level and her fans are beyond loyal. Case in point: she’s one of the world’s most followed people on Instagram, despite the fact that she hasn’t released a new album since 2015 and she’s not afraid to go dark on social media every few months. 

The rabidness of her fan base feels a bit unwarranted. Now, don’t get it twisted, I am one of these rabid fans. I’ve been a huge fan of Selena’s ever since she was on Wizards of Waverly Place (RIP) and, quite frankly, carried the entire goddamn show. I still, to this day, go about vocally voicing at parties that if I could switch lives with anyone it would be Selena Gomez. And I say that with a straight face and everything!! But even I’m confused by her fame. I mean, what is she really famous for? Yeah, she publicly makes out with Justin Bieber once every four years, but that’s about how long it takes her to put out a new single too. I was under the impression that her fan base included me and any other person born in the 90s who got way too excited about Disney+. So, how does she stay so relevant? She’s sporadic at best with releasing new music, comes in and out of the public eye, and her last acting gig took place when side bangs and chunky belts were still in style. To put things into perspective, Brenda Song has the exact same resume, and you don’t see people salivating at the mouth to publish a story on who she’s feuding with on IG. 

So what is it that makes her so goddamn popular? Sweetest Betch You’ll Ever Meet and I have discussed this issue AT LENGTH over Gchat at work (yes, we want to get fired, we’re begging for it actually). She’s of the mind that Selena’s rabid fan base has an underlying foundation of pity built into it, like how the media always writes her as the wronged woman in the Justin-Hailey Saga (kind of like how the media did to Jennifer Aniston about… everybody she was ever with). But, then again, these are also things Sweetest Betch has said about her coworker’s child whenever she visits the office and begs for quarters for the vending machine. I get what she’s saying, though: people love to root for a scorned woman, and no one has been burned more than Selena Gomez. Still, you’d think pity can only go so far. So, I want to break down Selena Gomez’s appeal one factor at a time.

Her Squad

I think part of Selena’s appeal is the way she flaunts her female friendships. If you take one look at her IG, you’ll see countless images of Selena with her friends—and not just the famous ones, either! (Though, for someone who claims to value her privacy, she certainly isn’t afraid to tout her high-profile relationships either *cough* Taylor Swift *cough, cough*). It gives people the impression that anyone can be a part of her squad. Like, that girl who starred in The Cutting Edge 4: Fire & Ice who gave Selena her spare kidney, or me a random fan who keeps flooding her DMs with positive affirmations she found on Pinterest. 

And the way she showcases these friendships is honestly masterful. This is a girl who has ditched every friend she ever made any time Justin Bieber decides to slide back into her DMs, and we’re to believe she’s this self-partnered, girl power, feminist icon? Look, I love Selena, but do I think she would ditch girls night in a heartbeat if an ex texted her “hey”? You bet your ass I do. But, again, this is what makes her so relatable. Who among us hasn’t skipped out early during a girls night out just to meet up with a guy whose idea of romance is splitting the Uber pool? And despite her apparent flakiness with friendships, her girls still back her up, still welcome her back with open arms after a messy breakup. Seeing that kind of loyalty in her girl squad inspires loyalty in her fans.

View this post on Instagram

And lastly, my actual #1 @courtneyjbarry you are an incredible woman. The way you handle life’s most confusing moments is indescribable and graceful. You are moved by the littlest stories to the most heartbreaking ones, you will give someone your perfume if they say you smell nice, you are freaking hilarious and always stand firm in your faith, a loving sister, an amazing friend and a beautiful daughter. You are the definition of FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made baby! #1

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

She Leaves You Wanting More

Another part of her allure is the way she handles social media at the most high profile of times. Remember when she broke up with The Weeknd and started publicly hanging out with Justin Bieber like it was no big thing? Or that time we found out she was hospitalized and almost died? Or that time Justin Bieber GOT MARRIED to Hailey Baldwin two months after he and Selena broke up? Instead of posting cryptic IG stories about deserving more (I see you, Khloé Kardashian) or testing Instagram’s nipple visibility policy with thirst traps (I see YOU, Kylie Jenner) she just like, lived her life. She posted normal pics with friends at dinner or in sweat pants hanging at home, or she posted nothing at all. I remember thinking when the news broke about Justin and Hailey dating, “where is your feminine rage?” and, “blink once if you need me to key his car!!” Instead, she handled the situation by saying nothing at all. It’s like when someone leaves you on read—it makes you that much more interested in them. 

View this post on Instagram

Another year down.. Thank you for all the bday love. I couldn’t be more appreciative of you and my best friends for celebrating with me. I love you guys like crazy! God bless!

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

She Seems Real AF

selena gomez

I think what really draws people to Selena Gomez more than anything else is that she seems really down-to-earth. She’s been open about her struggles with mental health and her body image. She’s just as likely to post a thirst trap pic as one of her pounding pasta. She’s not afraid to be vulnerable to the public, either. Let’s not forget that one time, fresh off of one her breakups with Justin Bieber, she started crying in the middle of her 2014 AMAs performance. Crying in public over an ex (or just a Ship bro who didn’t follow me back on IG) is sort of my thing, and I’m sorry but HOW CAN YOU NOT RELATE TO THAT. 

So, there you have it: the allure of Selena Gomez as best as I can describe it. One day when I’m explaining this to my grandkids I can point to these three reasons as a valid excuse for following @JelenaGoals well into my 20s. I’m going to go with that, or I’m just going to assume her fan base is comprised entirely of Russian bots. It’s anyone’s guess!

Images: Shutterstock.com; Giphy (1); @selenagomez /Instagram (3)

Selena Gomez & Julia Michaels Kissed And Got Matching Tats—What Does It Mean?

For pretty much my entire adult life, everyone has been obsessed with Selena Gomez’s dating life, and it’s always revolved around one person: Justin Bieber. Even during Selena’s relationship with The Weeknd or Justin’s current marriage to Hailey Baldwin Bieber, people just can’t stop wondering if Selena and Justin were meant to be, or if they still think about each other. But with some vague Instagram stories on Tuesday, Selena Gomez made it seem like she might finally be moving on for good.

On Monday night, Selena surprised fans when she came on stage during Julia Michaels’ concert in LA to perform their duet “Anxiety.” If you can’t quite place the name Julia Michaels, she’s best known for her 2017  song “Issues,” which your hometown radio station still probably plays every 10 minutes. Anyway, She and Selena sang their song together on Monday night, and quickly kissed when Selena left the stage. With no additional context, I wouldn’t have thought anything of this kiss, but we’ll get back to it in a minute.

On Tuesday afternoon, Selena posted a series of Instagram stories showing her and Julia getting matching tattoos, because that’s the kind of thing that celebrities do. The tattoos are small arrows on each of their hands that point to each other, and Selena said on her story that her arrow points to Julia “forever.” Damn.

And then, after the tattoo pictures, Selena posted a heavily-filtered photo of the moment that she and Julia kissed onstage. The kiss may have been super brief, but from this photo, you would never know that. Whatever the reality of their relationship is, to me, posting a photo like this is designed to make people talk. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture says that Selena Gomez and Julia Michaels are really into each other.

But are they into each other romantically, or just as friends?

Since posting these photos, most of the headlines about Selena and Julia have been something along the lines of “BFFs Get Matching Tattoos After Sharing A Kiss,” which is a little weird to me. Sure, we don’t know any history of Selena or Julia dating women (Julia dated Lauv for several months last year), but we live in a time when it’s not a novel concept to be sexually fluid. Just look at Miley and Kaitlynn, or Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson. I don’t know if Selena and Julia are dating, but judging from these posts, it uh…seems like a possibility.

Another important piece of this puzzle is Julia and Selena’s professional relationship. It’s not new information that they’re friends with each other, but Julia is also a co-writer on many of Selena Gomez’s songs, going all the way back to 2013. She has writing credits on major hits like “Hands To Myself” and “Bad Liar,” and, most importantly, both of Selena Gomez’s new songs. And in case you didn’t read our coverage, both of those songs are most definitely about Justin Bieber. To write so much together, Julia and Selena definitely already had a close relationship, but these last two songs show that they have a clear emotional intimacy, even if not a physical one.

Today is Julia Michaels’ birthday, but she celebrated on Sunday night because she’s on tour right now. Selena was in attendance, and she posted an Instagram that really doesn’t do anything to dissuade dating rumors. Personally, the only thing that I’m captioning “my love, my heart and my soul” is a pic of like, a really good brunch, but Selena and Julia obviously have a special bond.

View this post on Instagram

My love, my heart and my soul @juliamichaels 🖤

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

Julia commented back on Selena’s photo, and again, they’re not making it look like they’re not dating.

I don’t know if Selena Gomez and Julia Michaels are dating, but wouldn’t it be badass if Selena got her first number-one song with a record about her ex that she co-wrote with her new girlfriend? But either way, it’s good that Selena seems happy again, and has emotionally supportive people around her. I’m also a little confused why so many tabloids seem determined to just call them “BFFs” and steer clear of any dating rumors, unless they have information that we don’t. Maybe they’re dating, maybe they’re not, but they did just post a photo of them kissing on social media. Call me old-fashioned, but that usually means something is going on. I also feel pretty confident that if this was two men kissing, tabloids would be all over gay rumors and speculation, but that’s a different rant for a different day.

We’ll be watching for any more signs that they’re together, or confirmation that this really was just a classic BFF kiss. Let me know your thoughts on a potential Jul-ena coupling, because I think I’m really into it.

Images: selenagomez (3), juliamichaels / Instagram

Selena Gomez Dropped Another Song About Justin

If yesterday was like Christmas, then Selena Gomez really is the gift that keeps on giving. On Tuesday night, she released her big comeback single “Lose You To Love Me,” and we spent most of yesterday processing the lyrics and the ensuing shade between Selena and Hailey Bieber. If I was Selena Gomez, I would be taking a f*cking nap right now, but no. Selena wasn’t done. She dropped another surprise song last night, and she also addressed the ~negativity~ that’s been going around. Basically, we have a lot to talk about.

Last night, Selena went on Instagram Live to talk with her fans, and share the surprise of her even newer new song, “Look At Her Now.” On the Live, Selena called the new song “my special gift to all of my ride or dies,” and shared that the new video was filmed on an iPhone. Idk what magical iPhone Selena Gomez has, because all of my videos still look pretty tragic compared to hers.

View this post on Instagram

And here’s my special gift to all of my ride or dies! I created this with Apple especially for you. Y’all have been through it all with me and I thank you for pushing me to be the best. Look At Her Now is out now. ❤️ #ShotOniPhone

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

On Instagram Live, Selena also gave a message that some people took as being directed at the Hailey drama: “I will never stand for women tearing other women down, so please be kind to each other.” To be honest, I think it’s kind of a reach to assume this is about Hailey, but you never know. Selena Gomez has like, 150 million Instagram followers, so I’m sure she sees plenty of people being nasty in the comments. I doubt Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber are going to be getting brunch together anytime soon, but I’m going to assume we won’t be seeing any more of this feud play out publicly. We’ll have to stay tuned for when Justin starts releasing new music, and then maybe the claws will come out again, if we’re lucky.

But let’s get back to the new song. “Look At Her Now” is more of an uptempo EDM vibe, and it’s a far cry from the dreary piano ballad that Selena gave us yesterday. That being said, it’s definitely still about Justin. While the lyrics are a little less emo, they still deal with young love, and growing apart, and finding yourself.

“It was her first real lover
His too ’til he had another
Oh, God, when she found out
Trust levels went way down”

She also repeatedly says that she “dodged a bullet,” and sings about the women she’s grown into now. With the “dodged a bullet” line, I’m sure Hailey is currently writing in her burn book about how Selena Gomez is a fugly slut, but she hasn’t posted anything about it yet. Sad!

When you think about it, “Look At Her Now” is more or less the same song as “Lose You To Love Me,” just with more of a peppy beat and a chorus that’s made up of “mm-mm-mm” instead of actual words. A lyrical masterpiece if I’ve ever seen one. It’s what the kids would call a banger, and I can see this one being a big hit. Actually, I’m a big fan of this song, for the same reason I’m a big fan of most of Selena Gomez’s music. It’s catchy, fun to dance to, and it makes the most of Selena’s limited vocal talent. I mean, no one likes Selena Gomez music because they think Selena is a great singer, right? Right??

Now that Selena Gomez has cemented her comeback with back-to-back songs about Justin, I’m really curious to see where she goes from here. She said on Wednesday that she wrote “Lose You To Love Me” more than a year ago, and that she’s come a long way since then. Okay so…does she have anything else going on in her life besides ruminating on her relationship with Justin? I’m glad she’s getting all the Justin-based clout she can, but it’s not going to last forever. Stay tuned, I guess?

Here’s the full video for “Look At Her Now.” Have fun watching and pondering how the f*ck you get an iPhone video to look like that.

Images: Shutterstock; Selena Gomez / YouTube

Where Are Justin And Selena’s New Albums? An Investigation

Even though Justin Bieber is now happily married to Hailey Baldwin, we’ll never really forget his relationship with Selena Gomez. They were young Hollywood’s most iconic couple for a long time, and deep down, I still feel like a piece of #Jelena will never die. My therapist tells me I need to work on letting go of things, but I feel like this doesn’t count.

After initially getting together in 2010, Justin and Selena were together until 2012 before breaking up the first time. Then, they went through a few years of total relationship whiplash, getting back together in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Despite getting back together for a few months at the end of 2017, 2015 was the last time they were together like, for real. While all of that is definitely confusing, 2015 is important, because it also happens to be the last time Selena or Justin released an album.

Coincidence? I think not.

2015 was an amazing year in both Justin and Selena’s career, with multiple hits from each of their albums. Justin Bieber topped the charts with “What Do You Mean?,” “Sorry,” and “Love Yourself,” and Selena Gomez moved to a new point of maturity in her music with songs like “Same Old Love” and “Hands To Myself.” Seriously, 2015 was a year of nonstop bops from both of them, and I miss it. It’s four years later, and we’re still waiting for followup projects from both Justin and Selena, so where are the albums? Let’s examine the facts.

After releasing Purpose, Justin Bieber went on a world tour for over a year, playing 162 shows on six continents. (Sorry Antarctica, no J-Biebs concert for you.) Then, in July 2017, Justin announced that he was canceling the remaining 14 dates of the tour, citing his depression and exhaustion as the reason, and saying that he wanted his “heart, mind, and soul to be sustainable.” Justin received a lot of criticism for the decision at the time, but we have no way of knowing what his mental state at the time was really like.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

After this announcement, it makes sense that Justin wasn’t immediately back in the studio grinding out a new album. But that was two years ago. In 2017, he was featured on a few songs from other artists (“Despacito,” “I’m The One”), but there was no word on new solo music. When “Despacito” was nominated for Grammys in 2018, Justin skipped the show, saying that he wouldn’t be making any award show appearances until his next album was finished.

Fast forward to March of this year, when Justin posted a lengthy message on his Instagram responding to questions about a new album. He brought up how he had been working and touring since he was a teenager, and said that he was “now very focused on repairing some of the deep rooted issues” that he struggles with personally. He also mentioned wanting to be a good father, which naturally raised a lot of questions about a potential pregnancy. It’s four months later, and Hailey still looks tiny af, so it looks like we’re not getting a baby or an album any time soon.

View this post on Instagram

So I read a lot of messages saying you want an album .. I’ve toured my whole teenage life, and early 20s, I realized and as you guys probably saw I was unhappy last tour and I don’t deserve that and you don’t deserve that, you pay money to come and have a lively energetic fun light concert and I was unable emotionally to give you that near the end of the tour. I have been looking, seeking, trial and error as most of us do, I am now very focused on repairing some of the deep rooted issues that I have as most of us have, so that I don’t fall apart, so that I can sustain my marriage and be the father I want to be. Music is very important to me but Nothing comes before my family and my health. I will come with a kick ass album ASAP, my swag is undeniable and my drive is indescribable his love is supernatural his grace is that reliable…. the top is where I reside period whether I make music or not the king said so. ? but I will come with a vengeance believe that.. (grammar and punctuation will be terrible pretend it’s a text where u just don’t care).

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

But then, just a month after posting this, Justin threw us all back into confusion when he made an appearance during Ariana Grande’s set at Coachella. After thanking the crowd and reminding them that he hadn’t been on stage in almost two years, he left off with a cryptic “album coming soon.” Justin, WHEN IS SOON? In the past few months, Justin has released high-profile collaborations with Ed Sheeran and Billie Eilish, but we’ve still yet to see a hint of his own new music.

Now back to Selena.

Like I said before, Selena’s last album, Revival, came out in 2015, and much like Justin, we’ve only gotten some random singles since then. She’s gone through her fair share of personal health and emotional struggles in the past few years, so it makes sense that she’s needed some time out of the spotlight. Key word: “some.”

Selena also canceled the end of her last tour in 2016, citing anxiety, panic attacks, and depression as a result of her lupus. After disappearing for a while, it really seemed like she was planning something major in 2017. After releasing “It Ain’t Me” with Kygo, she dropped her own singles “Bad Liar” and “Fetish” in the summer of 2017. This seemed like a natural promotion cycle leading up to an album, but then everything went quiet from the Selena camp. She released “Wolves” with Marshmello that October, and said that an album would be coming soon, but apparently that was a lie.

apparently Selena Gomez and my boss have different definitions of “soon” pic.twitter.com/KaSV0fxmzX

— Dylan Hafer (@50shadesofbetch) April 17, 2019

Rough, but honestly I have stuff that’s been on my to-do list since 2017. It happens to the best of us. Selena has seemed pretty unfocused on music since 2017, only putting out half-assed collabs, mostly with Spanish artists (“Taki Taki” is the best song ever released, don’t @ me), but now it seems like there might finally be an album at the end of the tunnel. On Jimmy Fallon’s show last month, she said that her album is basically done, and just needs a few finishing touches.

This is exciting news to hear from Selena, but honestly, I’ve been burned before. I’ll believe an album is coming when there’s some kind of official announcement, but she basically said the same exact thing two years ago. It definitely seems like there’s potential for both Justin and Selena to put out albums still in 2019, but I’m not holding my breath. Both Justin and Selena have gone through personal struggles since 2015 (including approximately four breakups with each other), but they have to release albums sooner or later, right? Right??!

For now, I guess we’ll have to be okay with their vague “soon” statements, because I really don’t control when they decide to release new music. I’m doing my best to be patient, but Hailey Bieber, if you’re reading this, tell Justin to get his ass to the studio please! And bring Rihanna too while you’re at it.

Images: justinbieber (2) / Instagram; 50shadesofbetch / Twitter; The Tonight Show / YouTube