Selena Gomez’s reactions at the MTV VMAs led to hot takes and a wide array of thinkpieces. The way she responded to all the viral moments prove that she’s really over all of it and brings up an important discussion about celebrity social media discourse and public opinion.
Whatever you think of all the Selena Gomez viral videos and hot takes about her VMAs appearance on social media, she’s over it. The multi-hyphenate’s reactions during the MTV Video Music Awards garnered plenty of attention, and all sorts of discourse has put her on the top of the trends list once again.
“DRAGGED FOR BEING MYSELF”
Selena went viral during Olivia Rodrigo’s VMAs performance, where the deja vu singer reenacted her vampire music video by staging a faux stage and pyrotechnic malfunction and Selena could be seen holding a hand to her ear. And of course, the narrative people on social media ran with was that she didn’t like Olivia’s performance.
This is completely unfair and out of context: Olivia pretended to have her set break down and semi-explode as she was fake rushed off stage, and Selena was reacting to that, probably thinking something was really going wrong. #VMAs https://t.co/lOYsxKv2Ct— Gibson Johns (@gibsonoma) September 13, 2023
People defended her, though, clarifying that Olivia’s set surprised and confused the audience, especially with the singer’s fake-worried reaction to her own stage. Selena herself commented on an Instagram post about her reaction, explaining “I heard a loud noise and it scared me.”
Second, when she made a face at convicted assaulter Chris Brown’s nomination, she earned all sorts of reactions—mostly positive, though. She was praised for showing disapproval of the artist. And then she made headlines again when she commented on an iHeartRadio Australia Instagram post about the “incident” saying, “Who cares lol.”
Selena took to Instagram after all that to comment, saying, “I will never be a meme again. I’d rather sit still than be dragged for being myself. Much love.”
Within a day, public opinion about Selena swayed so fast with just a few seconds of videos and some viral posts. And it’s happened many times to Selena before, her Francia Raisa incident among them.
And while it’s ironic she’s making headlines (even ours) after subtly (and perhaps inadvertently) shedding light on sensationalism, it’s worthy to have a discussion about the problem with going viral, unwarranted think-pieces, and pushing our own narratives on celebrities and everything we see on social media.
THE PROBLEM WITH VIRALITY
And whether or not you like or care at all about Selena, all these instances beg the question of how easy it is for us to fall into the trap of basing our opinion of people and issues on what we see through a screen. Of course, a person’s actions do help form our opinion of them, but in the spotlight, at a time where anybody can post a photo or video without context and frame a moment however they like, our assumptions and hot takes are less grounded on actual facts and context and instead hinges on “what’s this account with thousands of followers implying?” or “what’s the majority of people saying?” for fear of getting cancelled.
Celebrities themselves can also frame a narrative however they like (they literally have teams of people advising and executing such plans), so it’s really been tough to critically examine things or form our own opinions when control of media and public opinion is so easy to take.
So, it’s kind of new and refreshing to see Selena herself take control of the narrative and stand her ground with the truth on her side. People are quick to turn unnecessarily cruel or perceive not just celebrities, but anyone they see online, not as people but as fodder for hate or gossip or think-pieces. The online world has become so tricky and exhausting that we really often need to take a step back and reexamine ourselves, our obsession with celebrities, and our social media consumption.
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