Why does the rivalry between Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez haunt us so much?

After focusing attention on the Chiara Ferragni and Fedez casethe eyes of the world have returned to an intricate issue of international gossip that has been around for years, whose protagonists are Selena Gomez, Hailey and Justin Bieber. A triangle that is rekindled cyclically due to the (alleged) teasing of the pop star’s wife against her historic ex, seasoned with poisonous stories, dissing and barbs on mutual physical defects and striking farewells from social networks to get around the wave of hating .

To sum up the story to the handful of people who have never heard of the matter or who haven’t opened up on social media these days by getting sucked into the multiverse SelenaVSHailey Tok, here is a bignamino of the facts: Selena and Justin Bieber have been together for a long time (giving up several times) in the teenage years, becoming, in the collective imagination and, above all in that of the generation of their peers, a model of love and relationship to aspire to. Hailey Baldwin, model and scion of one of the most famous families in Hollywood, after having had a brief flirtation with Justin unbeknownst to Selena while they were in a pause for reflection, she then managed to conquer him and marry him in 2018, complete with an engagement announcement just two months the breakup of Bieber and Selena. Detail that the artist’s fans have never forgiven her: Hailey is accused in particular of always copying Gomez, from her style to her make-up, of bullying her together with her famous friends (Kendall Jenner above all) through social media, of having set his sights on Justin when he was still a steady couple with Selena and of flaunting his love for her husband too blatantly.

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The feud is so heated that not only the fans but even some very famous celebs have decided to take sides on one side or the other, demonstrating with the social unfollow which side they are on; in America coaches, psychologists and sexologists discuss it, all eager to understand how a story light years away from the experience of mere mortals can actually become a reflection of very common relational dynamics, in which many can recognize themselves.

Selena Vs Hailey: two women at the antipodes

Let’s take the narration linked to Justin’s two women, if we can call them that: Selena Gomezwho has often exposed herself on social media about the disease she suffers from, the kidney transplant she has undergone, the anxiety and mental illness she suffers from, is often portrayed as the betrayed woman whose mean girls on duty they scoff, too good to react and too correct to foment his community against the “enemies”; Hailey Bieber instead fully reflects the prototype of nepo babyborn and raised in privilege, in love with her teenage love and determined to do anything, even stealing it from a sweetheart like Selena, to win him over.

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TikTok is teeming with videos of the Justin-Hailey duo being taken apart piece by piece: there are frames of Bieber ignoring his wife, whether they’re on a red carpet or grabbing coffee at Starbucks, juxtaposed with those of loving towards Selena, who in this narrative is considered his only possible love. And others in which Gomez, not as peaceful as she wants to appear, seems to be imitating her rival while she does her evening skincare. Rooting for one or the other is not just a matter of dislike, but above all of empathy: those who adored the couple Selena and Justin today can not bear to see them separated; those who have seen an ex quickly rebuild their life with another partner will tend not to side with the Bieber spouses; those who have suffered the actions of verbally violent or even abusive companions or friends will perceive the words and gestures of Justin’s wife as a trigger.

In this picture Selena and Hailey they are archetypes and Justin Bieber, the object of the dispute, is in the middle. Usually silent.

Justin Bieber, the trophy

The curious thing about this case is that the trophy – at least remaining firm in the social narration in which there are two women contending for the same man – is in no way involved in the feud: Justin is silent, he does not defend his wife from attacks of the haters nor does he distance himself from the rumors that he would still be in love with Selena, his only soul mate. He doesn’t make statements, doesn’t answer questions, doesn’t go too far on social media. Immobile, just like a trophy, is not an active part of the narrative: there are Selena the good and Hailey the bad (this is the most quoted version, even if not necessarily true) and Justin who lets himself be yanked in the middle.

The point of the matter is not hope Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez get back together (she is much better off without him, this is the common opinion) but to do justice, restore order, right the wrongs. A bit as if Selena were a badly dumped friend to be avenged as soon as possible, in short. Could this be why we are so passionate about this triangle? Until the next dissing, presumed or true, the case remains open.

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