Inside Selena Gomez’s bitter feud with love rival Hailey Bieber and her rise to become the most followed woman in the world

SHE IS the new queen of Instagram – but her posts aren’t the usual perfectly edited and filtered images we’ve come to expect from celebs on social media.

Selena Gomez, the first woman to reach 400 million followers, overtook the Kardashians thanks to open candor about her health issues and romantic struggles — as well as a high-profile argument with her ex’s wife.

Selena Gomez is the first woman to reach 400 million followers on Instagram


Selena Gomez is the first woman to reach 400 million followers on InstagramPhoto credit: Getty
Since her high-profile falling out with Hailey Bieber, she's overtaken the Kardashians on the platform


Since her high-profile falling out with Hailey Bieber, she’s overtaken the Kardashians on the platformCredit: Instagram/selenagomez
The star often goes makeup-free - here with Nicola Peltz and Brooklyn Beckham


The star often goes makeup-free – here with Nicola Peltz and Brooklyn BeckhamCredit: Planet Photos

Reflecting on her warts-and-all approach, Selena, 30, said: “I make a conscious effort not to be perfect. I don’t want people to think I have everything.”

The actress and singer, who often goes makeup free, has opened up about her crushing mental episodes and the side effects of her poor health.

But it was a recent falling out with Hailey Bieber — the wife of Selena’s former partner Justin Bieber — that gave her the 10 million new followers she needed to leapfrog Kylie Jenner and become the most followed woman on the platform.

Selena and model Hailey have had bad blood for almost a decade, and Justin is rumored to have seen Hailey during his eight-year on-off relationship with Selena.

He proposed to the model, niece of actor Alec Baldwin, in July 2018, four months after splitting from Selena.

After years of fans analyzing the alleged feud between the two women, the feud came to a head in February when Hailey and pal Kylie Jenner appeared to tease Selena about her eyebrows on social media.

The two celebrities who sparked claims of bullying appeared to post mocking posts after Selena admitted to messing up an eyebrow treatment, which they both denied.

Last week, after Selena saw her followers grow while Hailey’s dwindled, Selena urged fans to stop taking sides.

“I felt like a product”

She wrote: “Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has received death threats and such hateful negativity.

“I don’t stand for that. No one should have to experience hate or bullying.

“I’ve always championed kindness and I really want all of that to stop.”

In what has been dubbed the modern Versailles Treaty, they began following each other on Instagram.

It was hard not to read the episode as a win for Selena as her relationship with the girl next door trumped the glamorous “mean girls” of the internet.

Brand and culture expert Nick Ede said it’s typical of their open-book appeal.

He told The Sun: “She has the relationship factor, she’s kind and a really good role model for her army of fans.

“She didn’t have a perfect life, but she’s a hard worker and hasn’t let any hit to her mental or physical health stop her.”

He added, “She’s the total opposite of a Kardashian, there’s nothing scripted about her. In the age of filters and fillers, this reality is refreshing for Gen X as well as Millennials and Gen Z.”

Selena, who rose to Disney fame, could have been a washed-up child star by now. Instead, she boasts three gold and platinum studio albums, Netflix production credits, and her own beauty and ice cream ranges.

Selena urged fans to stop taking sides in her feud with Hailey


Selena urged fans to stop taking sides in her feud with HaileyCredit: Tyrell Hampton
Selena said,


Selena said, “I make a conscious effort not to be perfect”Credit: Instagram/selenagomez
But it is the argument with her ex Justin Bieber's wife that gave her ten million new followers


But it is the argument with her ex Justin Bieber’s wife that gave her ten million new followersPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor
Selena with her own kitchen collection


Selena with her own kitchen collectionCredit: Our Place

She’s also said to have a hot new love interest, with rumors that she’s dating One Direction’s Zayn Malik.

Her career has gone from strength to strength thanks to a star in the Disney+ series Only Murders In The Building alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short.

Her success is down to hard work because Selena isn’t a Nepo baby. Her mother, Mandy Teefy, was just 16 when Selena was born, and her father left her when she was five.

Recalling her tough upbringing in Grand Prairie, Texas, Selena said, “I remember my mom running out of gas all the time and we were sitting there going through the car and getting quarters and helping her get gas.” receive.”

On Selena’s ninth birthday, Mandy took her to an audition for PBS’ new show about a purple dinosaur, Barney and Friends.

She starred alongside singer and actress Demi Lovato for two years before both were snapped by Disney.

At just 15, she was cast as a teenage witch on the network’s hit show The Wizards of Waverly Place, which quickly made Selena a superstar.

Then, when she started dating Justin in 2010, she was closely watched by the media and by Justin’s army of Beliebers.

She said at the time, “I just like not focusing on what the whole world is saying about me and just being comfortable with myself.”

In 2020, eight years after leaving her Disney days, Selena admitted that working for them made her “feel like a product.”

In a separate interview, she opened up about how the details of her life were dictated by the network: “I wasn’t a wild child by any means, but I was at Disney, so I had to be careful not to say, ‘What the hell?’ in front of anyone.

“Now I think being the best role model means being honest, even with the ugly and complicated sides of yourself.”

It was a mantra she carried with her as she faced a series of personal crises — just as her post-Disney career took off with more adult films like Spring Breakers and launching her solo pop career in 2013.

One fan claimed Justin Bieber and Selena had a baby together – a case that was dismissed – and then he was seen sneaking out of a model’s hotel room, leading to their first meeting in their romance parted

Halfway through her Stars Dance album tour in 2014, Selena suddenly checked into rehab.

Her mother, then her manager, assured fans that she wasn’t there because of addiction. Two years later, it was discovered that she had been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus and had entered rehab for chemotherapy.

She said: “I really wanted to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m on chemotherapy. You are assholes’.

“It’s awful going into a restaurant and everyone in the room looking at you even though you know what they’re saying.

psychotic break

“I locked myself in until I felt safe and comfortable again.”

She rejoined Justin the same year of her rehab stint, but drama continued when the musician was slapped by Orlando Bloom at a club — allegedly for dating Orlando’s then-Missus model Miranda Kerr.

Two years later, Justin began dating Lionel Ritchie’s daughter Sofia, who, predictably, was trolled by fans. When Justin told them to back off on Instagram, Selena gave her two cents for the post.

She wrote: “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pics of your girlfriend lol. It should be something special just between the two of you. Don’t be mad at your fans. They love and support you before anyone does.”

In response, Bieber accused Selena of cheating on him with her current alleged boyfriend, Zayn Malik. But the couple reunited in 2017 after Selena’s brief romance with singer The Weeknd, but split the following March.

But that was the least of her problems. That same year, her actress friend Francia Raisa donated her a kidney, saving Selena’s life.

She wrote on Insta at the time: “There are no words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa.

“She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sister.”

There have been rumors that the couple have since feuded with the girls on social media.

When Selena shared an article welcoming Taylor Swift as her only friend in the industry, Francia wrote, “Interesting.”

After Bieber got married in 2018, Selena confessed that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after being hospitalized with psychosis.

During her revival tour, she began hearing voices, which her assistant Theresa described as “getting louder and louder.”

Selena later admitted that she had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts since her 20s.

She said: “It would start with depression, then it would go into isolation. Then it was just that I couldn’t move out of my bed.

“I thought the world would be better if I wasn’t there.”

Channeling her pain into her career, Selena became an executive producer on the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why. The controversial series racked up six million views in three days during its second season.

Regarding the series’ suicide, the actress said, “If we’re going to talk about it, we might as well do it in an honest way.”

She took her honesty to her Instagram — often appearing for videos without makeup and with messy hair.

After being criticized for her weight gain, Selena opened up about how her lupus medication was affecting her weight, saying, “I just want people to know that you’re beautiful and wonderful.

“Yes, we have days when we might feel like shit, but I’d rather be healthy and take care of myself. My medication is important and I believe it is helping me.”

Katie Price flaunts the biggest boobs ever and huge tattoos in a tiny bikini
I don't wear bras and never will again - people can see piercings through my shirt

Selena could play every inch like a Hollywood mogul, but instead she embraces her flaws because she knows her fans love her for it.

She said: “I remember if it wasn’t for my psychotic break, if it wasn’t for my lupus, if it wasn’t for my diagnosis, I wouldn’t be here

Selena shared an article welcoming Taylor Swift as her only friend in the industry


Selena shared an article welcoming Taylor Swift as her only friend in the industryCredit: Instagram/selenagomez
Selena films with Martin Short and Steve Martin


Selena films with Martin Short and Steve MartinPhoto credit: Getty
The star at the launch of her brand Rare Beauty last year


The star at the launch of her brand Rare Beauty last yearPhoto credit: Getty Inside Selena Gomez’s bitter feud with love rival Hailey Bieber and her rise to become the most followed woman in the world

Caroline Bleakley

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