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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

For years, there has always seemed to be a celebrity feud or dispute that makes the world wild. In recent news, the debate on everyone’s mind is between Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez. If you need to know anything about them, they are connected because Bieber is Hailey’s husband, while Gomez is his ex from several years ago. Once this connection was made, the internet couldn’t get enough of projecting what they thought was happening between the two women. While there may be truth in some of the points being made, a lot of the recent buildup has been based on nothing but passive, indirect communication. Though I love celebrity gossip as much as the next person, I couldn’t help but wonder: Why is nothing we’re talking about coming from them actually being in the same room?

The rumored feud between Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber is nothing new in recent pop culture news. Some have followed it since Hailey Baldwin married Justin Bieber—Gomez’s ex—several months after Bieber and Gomez split for the last time. Thus, when an innocent post from Selena Gomez about a makeup fail was followed by Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber also posting about eyebrows and seeming to shade Gomez, all hell broke loose. Suddenly, there was an overflow of content about Hailey Bieber and her obsession with Gomez. At the same time, Gomez received support from other corners of the internet. However, the content being pulled together didn’t involve the two women taking any direct jabs at each other; instead, what most people were riffing on was what they heard the two women had said about each other — but from talking to other people. In this sense, passive, indirect communication seemed to pull this dispute to the forefront of the news.

The use of this communication is something that has been taught in societies, especially in America. It has been seen as something women of all ages are adept at. In this sense, many of us have made our way through school, learning from each other how to communicate this way. It has been made the norm in many spaces, including Hollywood, which sometimes bases its appeal on mystery — and no mysteries are straightforward. Here, with Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber, there may be some bad blood. Still, there isn’t any objective, concrete evidence to say they had this conversation.

Altogether, I would be a hypocrite to say that I haven’t read many articles about “why Hailey Bieber is a mean girl” or “here’s the latest about the Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber drama” because I have. Yet, it is all smoke and mirrors at the end of the day because none of the information people have dedicated videos about is related to a direct conversation between these two women. Instead, all of us online, or writing articles for news outlets, are basing our opinions on the supposed clear communication of being indirect. To keep seeing the same logic replayed in all of the articles seems to say that people would rather deal with the possibilities of each indirect action rather than confront the issue at hand: how we tell the stories of others. If you want this to change like me, I will implore you to be more direct with how you feel about people instead of hiding behind implications and clues. 

Haley Morrill

UC Berkeley '25

Haley is a 3rd year at UC Berkeley, who is an art major. She loves to write about the arts, culture, and more! When Haley is not studying, you can find her going to art museums, trying every version of a mocha, or making art. She is very excited to continue with the Her Campus team and is looking forward to the year ahead.