Selena Gomez may be suffering from a littler Instagram-commenter's remorse today.
While most comments left on celebrities' photos are conscripted to the "view all 27,981...load more" pile of anonymity, when Selena leaves one, the sound of a thousand clicks screengrabbing the moment for posterity echoes across the virtual landscape.
And make that infinite clicks when Justin Bieber is involved.
Selena made headlines this weekend for offering her 2 cents to her ex-boyfriend's situation, after he threatened to make his Instagram account private if randoms continued to hate on his new gal-pal Sofia Richie.
Seems like a fairly chivalrous move, actually, but Selena—who's a few months shy of the two-year anniversary of the pinpointed moment when she at least felt she was exorcising her relationship demons—suggested that he was biting the hands that feed.
"If you can't handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – it should be special between you two only," she wrote (according to The Shade Room at least). Don't be mad at your fans. They love you."
And that's fine, nothing wrong with writing that.
But if Selena Gomez has anything resembling 24-year-old human-girl blood coursing around all that genetically blessed DNA in her system, she's probably been frozen in a proverbial hand-to-forehead slap for the past 24 hours.
Because "damn it, it sounded breezy at the time but now he knows I'm paying attention." So much progress, down the drain.
It's OK, Selena. Sometimes it's hard to resist the siren song of what is increasingly resembling a most calculated plan.
Justin Bieber might not even realize exactly what he's doing, but he's doing something.
Not to say he hasn't had real feelings for the various ladies he's romanced recently, including Hailey Baldwinand, currently, Sofia Richie—the "girlfriend" who Selena was referring to in the Instagram comment (though Justin himself hasn't gone as far as to say that himself yet publicly). And this also doesn't mean he's actively trying to win Selena back, or otherwise has realistic expectations of them ever getting back together.
But if part of him wanted to keep Selena's ire piqued, or otherwise keep her in his orbit...he's been doing everything right.
First of all, Justin Bieber is only 22, so it really isn't much of a stretch to guess that the majority of his actions are all about catching someone else's eye. Music and work, yes, you've got to play the game and cater to the fans, but the other stuff too.
Getting "caught" by paparazzi going skinny dipping, just days after nemesis Orlando Bloommade waves by paddle-boarding naked with Katy Perry. (Not to mention just eight short months after Bieber's bits had already shocked the world from Bora Bora.) Re-taking sides in the Taylor Swift vs. Kanye Westdrama, even though logic would have already had it he was on Team Kanye, Bieber being a longtime friend of the Kardashian family, close acquaintance of Kendall Jenner and not Taylor's favorite person when he was officially dating Selena. Renting out a theater for a private movie date with Chantel Jeffries—renting out a place to watch something being a go-to move back in the Jelena days.
Basically, there are so many things Justin could be doing to not attract as much attention to his feud alliances, his personal life and his penis.
It's no wonder Selena broke and tried to inject a little maturity into the conversation, only to unwittingly hit re-set on the vicious cycle.
Getting over your first love—this goes for Bieber, too, obviously—can be a struggle, even if you have zero contact with them and have no idea what they're up to. Aside from the disturbance in the force caused by her ex's mere existence, Gomez has hundreds of headlines and the allure of not-at-all-private social media accounts to contend with. She's also not exactly innocent when it comes to the 21st-century art of sub-tweeting and -Instagramming.
And Bieber certainly proved that he wasn't above it all, or anything, when he apparently fired back at Gomez's comment, "It's funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way. Sad. All love. I'm not one for anyone receiving hate. Hope u all can be kind to my friends and each other. And yes I love my believers."
That's quite the accusation, that the star whose social media accounts were recently ranked the most bankable in existence, used Bieber for attention.
Can't help but think of Calvin Harrischarging Taylor Swift with trying to make him look bad by asserting her songwriting credit and bringing up an old fight months after the release of "This Is What You Came For" (and a couple months after their breakup)—that was way after the fact too, as well as quite an accusation since technically Taylor's camp had just clarified something that most fans already suspected.
This obviously isn't the same thing—it's years after-the-fact, for starters—but Justin calling Selena's comment a case of finger-pointing seems extreme. And why would he respond at all if he was truly interested in moving out of the Jelena vortex?
The plot just thickened, however, with Selena then supposedly replying, "Funny how the ones that cheated multiple times, are pointing the finger at the ones that were forgiving and supportive, no wonder fans are mad. Sad. All love."
To which this Bieber fellow bounced back, "I cheated...Oh and I forgot about you and Zayn?"
We'll let the 1D protectionists handle that one, but how quickly the situation escalated!
Selena shouldn't beat herself up too much for stooping to Justin's level, since he apparently couldn't wait to pounce on her first, pointed-yet-not-that-accusatory remark. But all signs point to her having to be the one to stay strong and not engage, no matter how practical she thinks she's being in the moment, lest something like this happen again. So far, she's got the better track record of living the less Jelena-centric life, aside from the mountain of questions she's been asked over the years.
This has been going on for so long now (breakup No. 1 occurred in 2012) that it's often easy to forget that we're talking about the fallout of two major teen-stars-turned-slightly-older-stars' first major relationship. The back and forth could still have a few more years of life left in it before it peters out for good. Heck, they could get back together down the road, presuming Bieber's maturation process doesn't hit any irredeemable obstacles.
He could start by taking a few cues from his ex as to how to conduct himself in a post-Jelena world.
Oh, and if somehow this unprecedented commenting war is the work of two impostors... Fake Justin and Fake Selena should really go on tour together.