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I Don’t Think Selena Gomez Should Be The Most Followed Woman On Instagram — Here’s Why

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

If you’ve checked social media in the past month, then you’ve surely heard of the drama between Selena Gomez, Justin, and Hailey Bieber. You also probably heard that on February 23, Selena Gomez dethroned Kylie Jenner as the most followed woman on Instagram after fans flocked to her support amidst the drama. 

That’s an amazing achievement, especially to kick off Women’s History Month. Selena has always been a talented actress, songwriter, and producer — the list of her accomplishments goes on. But a part of me couldn’t help but feel discouraged. Her following is due to drama involving her ex of how many years again? Rather than Gomez being recognized for her achievements, her mass following was sparked by gossip that sounds like it was taken straight out of a book. 

Also, one would think that the most followed woman on Instagram surely must be using her platform to inspire great change then, right? 

Wrong. Just for GRWM videos, selfies, and life updates.

And again, I feel the need to reiterate: Selena Gomez is a talented and powerful figure that has impacted the world in more ways than one. No hate towards her; she deserves immeasurable recognition. But shouldn’t the most followed woman on Instagram be someone who understands the power of their platform and who uses it to the fullest extent? 

Some examples: While Angelina Jolie is a gifted actress and director, she is also a humanitarian and activist and has been steadily posting news articles detailing injustices around the world. She has 14.3 million followers; Selena has 402 million. 

Jane Goodall, author, anthropologist, and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, usually posts about local sustainability efforts one can take in their community, or about her latest conservation projects. She only has 1.1 million followers. Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States and the young woman who performed at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, has only 3.8 million. Other than Selena, the women with the current highest followings on Instagram include Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and Kendall Jenner- all celebrities, influencers, beauty moguls- you get the gist. All are also part of the top twenty most-followed people on Instagram in general. 

These women influence the thoughts and actions of young women and men alike today, and some honestly cause more harm than good. I can’t help but think: if their followers were swapped for women like Angelina Jolie, Amanda Gorman, Jane Goodall, Malala Yousafzai, or Emma Watson, where would we be now? 

The average person spends about 30 minutes on Instagram each day- that’s 210 minutes in a week and over 600 minutes in a month. In a time where our social media consumption is higher now than ever, we should focus on consuming meaningful information rather than celebrity tea and bikini pics. Most importantly, we should especially focus on celebrating the women who use their platform to inspire others.

Raiya Shaw is an undergraduate student at the University of Central Florida pursuing majors in Sociology and English: Creative Writing. She loves performing slam poetry, solving jigsaw puzzles, and consuming large amounts of coffee.