Keeping up with the Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber Internet ‘feud’

Hailey Bieber at the Academy Museum Gala at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles (Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images)
Hailey Bieber at the Academy Museum Gala at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles (Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images)

Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Where there’s literally any drama involving Selena Gomez? Speculation over Hailey Bieber’s involvement is almost certainly right around the corner.

This time is no different, and it all started with some supposed petty beef between Selena Gomez and Kylie Jenner, after the singer and actress overtook the reality TV star’s follower count on Instagram, thereby reclaiming her status as the most followed woman on the app.

Given that Kylie has held the Queen of Insta title for a while now, people assumed that the Kylie Cosmetics founder might be a little annoyed by this progression, so watchful stans were on high alert for any perceived shade. They also immediately assumed Hailey Bieber would be on Kylie’s side, because the pair are friends, and Hailey and Selena have been rumoured to dislike each other since Hailey is now married to Selena’s ex (one Mr Justin Bieber).

But the evidence under this hypothesis goes both ways: it’s been five years since Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber called it quits, he and Hailey Bieber are *literally* married, and Selena and Hailey themselves have tried to shut down the feud allegations multiple times. And yet... those subtweets tell another tale.

Here’s a rundown of everything that has gone on between the pair, including a walkthrough of their most recent ‘run-in’, the internet fallout of which caused Selena to announce a break from social media.

Jelena and Jailey relationship timeline in brief

Jelena in 2011 (Christopher Polk / Getty Images for ESPN)
Jelena in 2011 (Christopher Polk / Getty Images for ESPN)

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were in an on-again-off-again relationship for eight years before they eventually called it quits in May 2018. Just two months later, Bieber announced that he was engaged to a model known then as Hailey Baldwin. This did not go down smoothly with fans.

This was especially because Baldwin and Bieber had an on-again-off-again relationship of their own. The pair dated as kids after meeting at a Justin Bieber fan event in 2009 (cute) when Hailey was just 12 years old and Bieber would have been 15 — in fact, the moment was even captured on camera and shared by internet sleuths.

The two then split and got back together around 2015, during a brief Jelena hiatus, and then eventually split again before finally reuniting and tying the knot in September 2018.

When did the feud rumours start?

I mean, given how beloved and high profile Jelena’s relationship was, they began basically the moment Justin and Hailey got together, but there was very little evidence of any bad blood. Then, in 2018, the rumours were intensified by how quickly the Biebers put a ring on it following Justin and Selena’s final breakup, and fans started getting more and more eagle eyed, looking for clues on Selena and Hailey’s social media, no matter how tenuous.

One such “clue” seemed to come in the form of an Instagram Spotify story post from Hailey on October 23, 2019, the day that Selena released her song Lose You To Love Me, which is assumed to be about Justin. Hailey didn’t repost Selena’s song, but instead shared the song I’ll Kill You, by Jhene Aiko and Summer Walker, onto her Instagram story. Lyrics include: "I wish a b*tch would try to come between us, it won't end up good.”

Hailey and Justin Bieber in 2020 (Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images)
Hailey and Justin Bieber in 2020 (Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images)

Two months later, Hailey appeared to deny this was about Selena in an interview with British Vogue, loosely addressing the “feud”. “I think social media is a breeding ground for toxicity and people creating false drama between women,” she said, “and trying to put women up against each other and create these narratives that are just... toxic. I think that has to change and that has to stop.”

Seems like it didn’t stop, though, because in April 2022, Hailey had to explicitly ask Selena stans to leave her alone. “Enough time has gone by,” she said in a TikTok, “I’m minding my business. I don’t do anything, I don’t say anything. Leave me alone, please. [...] That’s my only request. Be miserable somewhere else, please."

Have they addressed the beef?

Multiple times, including Hailey’s point-blank denial of any overlap on the Call Her Daddy podcast: “Let’s just put it this way,” Mrs Biebs said in October 2022, “When him and I ever started, like, hooking up, or like anything of that sort, he was not ever in a relationship, ever, at any point. It’s not my character to mess with someone’s relationship. I would just never do that. I was raised better than that.”

She also noted that she and Gomez had spoken since the pair tied the knot, and that it was “all love” between the two of them. “I respect her. There’s no drama personally,” she said. “If everyone on our side knows what happened and we’re good and we can walk away from it with clarity and respect, that’s fine.”

Selena even seemed to agree with her on an Instagram live days later, where she appeared to comment on hate directed at Hailey. “I think some of the things that I don’t even need to be aware of are just vile and disgusting,” she said on the livestream. “And it’s not fair because no one ever should be spoken to in the manner that I’ve seen.”

Then, less than a month after the Call Her Daddy episode release, Hailey and Selena were spotted cosying up to each other at the Academy Museum Gala, greeting each other warmly, hugging and chatting enthusiastically. This put the feud to bed for a bit - until...

Present day: Eyebrows, Taylor Swift, and Nicola Peltz Beckham

After Selena overtook Kylie on Instagram, netizens were poised for some kind of retort. Then they found it, or at least what they percieved to be it: Around this time, Selena had posted a video where she admitted to overlaminating her brows. Hours later, Kylie posted a photo of her brows looking more, uh, laminated than they usually do, with the caption “I did this by accident”.

Enter Hailey Bieber. Kylie then followed this photo with another story post of her Facetiming Hailey (the two are friends), with their respective cameras focused on only their eyebrows. The internet goes wild, TikToks explaining the drama get millions of views, but Kylie and Selena quickly shut it down.

“This is reaching,” Kylie wrote in the comments of a TikTok explaining the beef, “no shade towards Selena ever and I didn’t see her eyebrow posts! You guys are making something out of nothing, this is silly.” Selena herself then weighed in, saying: “Agreed @kyliejenner it’s all unnecessary. I’m a fan of Kylie!”

You’d think it would end there, but it gets weirder. Selena, clearly thoroughly enjoying the TikTok app, then comments on a reposted video of Hailey from 2017, where she appears to mock Taylor Swift (Selena’s long-time bestie) by making a vomiting expression when her name is mentioned. In response, Selena commented underneath the TikTok: “So sorry, my best friend is and continues to be one of the best in the game.”

She has since deleted the comment and announced she is taking a break from social media, but fear not: people are supporting Selena in her absence, including one particularly famous friend: Nicola Peltz Beckham.

Nicola recently posted a TikTok on her own account featuring her and hubby Brooklyn Beckham mouthing along to a TikTok audio, which got a lot of unrelated Selena-based comments due to the alleged ‘feud’ news this week, including one which read: “TELL SELENA EVERYBODY SUPPORTS HER”. Nicola then liked the comment, essentially cementing her position as pro-Selena. Another fighter has entered the ring, and the apparent beef continues.