Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber: Is the drama over?

Condé Nast (through Vogue Taiwan), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber were recently photographed together at the Academy Museum Gala, but what does this mean and why does it even matter? The drama dates all the way back to 2011, the beginning of what Gomez and Justin Bieber fans used to call “Jelena.”

In 2011, Gomez and Justin made their first red carpet appearance as a couple. Later that year, Gomez talked about being in love. This was the beginning of a rocky relationship the media and fans became overly invested in for years.

Their 2012 breakup led to a friendship between Hailey and Justin that blossomed in between the rocky on-and-off Jelena relationship. In 2017, Justin and Gomez got back together for the last time after a seven year on and off relationship, and only a few months after the final breakup, Justin married Hailey in 2018.

You would think this would be when the drama would have stopped, but it was just the beginning.

“The Biebers’ first few months of marriage were riddled with strong, unsolicited opinions from fans who preferred Justin’s relationship with Gomez over his relationship (and now marriage) with Hailey,” Hannah Oh said in her Seventeen Magazine article.

Both Hailey and Gomez denied different feud allegations during 2018 and 2019 where fans and the media constantly pitted them against each other.

In 2020, Justin even had to fire back at a fan who tried to rally others to bully his wife, to which Gomez also expressed disappointment. In 2021, fans harassed Hailey by shouting and chanting “Selena” at her, leading to both girls to continue to deny shade and rumors spinning in the media and by fans.

“I feel like the drama was created by the media. The whole Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett [issue] is a modern day equivalent — the retelling, Jelena part two,” freshman broadcast journalism student Annie Watson said.

Recently, Hailey addressed the issue head-on in the hit podcast “Call Her Daddy.”

“When he and I ever started, like, hooking up or 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. I’m not interested in doing that,” Hailey said.

This all culminated on Oct. 16, as Hailey and Gomez snuggled up for their first ever photo together, almost a decade after the first Jelena sighting and four years after the Biebers’ marriage. After countless efforts to show they were always at peace, this iconic moment and visual representation of unity leaves no reason to doubt their cordial relationship, but leave it to the media to stir the pot again in the future.