There are some music artists that have gained their level of fame out of sheer talent. Artists like Mariah Carey and Adele have been able to create a name for themselves due to their incredible amount of talent and have become highly respected in their field. Yet, there are other music artists that are completely manufactured in order to become the next pop star. In the case of Selena Gomez, there has been a driving force in her career ever since she first appeared in Barney and Friends. She moved on to become a Disney star and was propelled into the music industry in a way that was oddly similar to other former Disney stars like Britney Spears.
While Gomez definitely has a certain amount of talent, she isn’t exactly the next stellar vocalist of this generation. In fact, many have compared her form of celebrity to that of the Kardashians since she seems to rely on her appearances in tabloids and her social media sites to maintain her fame. Gomez currently has 106 million followers on Instagram and constantly posts pictures of her day to day life to her fans. Every aspect of her life is broadcast to the world through a series of orchestrated events and photos, which shouldn’t be surprising for a music artist that was completely manufactured by the industry. Check out our list of the 15 photos that show Selena Gomez manipulating the media and see if she’s roped you in a few times over the years.
15. Friendship With Demi Lovato
Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato have a number of similarities in the background of their careers that goes all the way back to their days on Barney and Friends. They both went on to become Disney Channel darlings and embarked on solo careers. During the time of transition, it shouldn’t surprise people to know that it was in Selena’s best interests to align herself with Lovato. This would only help increase her fan base and help to tap into Lovato’s key audience. When Lovato was at her peak in popularity, Gomez made sure to flood the Internet with her supposed love for her “friend.” From Instagram posts to cuddly photos at every red carpet event, Gomez made sure to let everyone know that she and Lovato were thick as thieves. Yet, when Lovato’s star began to dwindle, all of a sudden Gomez began to skirt away from her and try and seek out new “friends.” While Lovato was on a journey to good health and sobriety, rumors began to spread that Gomez and Lovato were feuding.
14. Friendship With Taylor Swift
Right around the time when Selena Gomez was starting to distance herself from Demi Lovato, she quickly found a new “best friend” in Taylor Swift. At the time, Swift was known as the most popular young artist in country music and was gaining a huge fan base due to her hugely successful hit singles and acclaimed music videos. Gomez made sure to post numerous photos of the two of them on her social media sites and they became inseparable at red carpet events. When Swift began to branch out into the pop realm, it couldn’t have been better timing for Gomez because she was also starting to become known as a solo pop artist. This helped her to swing some of Swift’s fans over to her music, especially since the two were seen as “best friends” in the media. Who better to cheer Selena Gomez on during her stage performances than Taylor Swift in the audience, singing along to her songs?
13. Aligning Herself With Swift’s Girl Squad
While the world was beginning to hail Taylor Swift as the Princess of country music and the next big pop star, she wasn’t exactly reaching the top without her fair share of feuds. As in true popular girl nature, she gathered a group of the most beautiful and successful women in the modeling, acting and entrepreneurial world and proclaimed them her “Girl Squad.” Of course, the main girl in the squad was Selena Gomez. In practically every single photo shoved in the face of the media was Selena Gomez with a firm grasp on Swift and standing as close as possible. Again, not only would this help solidify herself as one of the “popular” girls but it increased her status with every beautiful and successful face Swift added to the squad. Everyone from Gigi Hadid to Blake Lively were ingratiated into the squad and Gomez made sure to squeeze into as many photos as possible.
12. “Secret Project” Photo
While celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose are not above sharing scantily clad photos of themselves on social media, that isn’t exactly something that can be expected of Selena Gomez. She started off as a Disney star and still has the same audience that has grown up with her over the years. Regardless of all the jokes about Taylor Swift’s many ex-boyfriends, she has still managed to maintain a “good girl” reputation and Gomez is undoubtedly trying to maintain hers as well. Yet, Gomez was able to find a way to work around it by having her glam team post the photo to their Instagram site. They captioned it, #SecretProject, which only further increased the intrigue over the photo. The scantily-clad photo was supposedly to show off her new haircut but it was obvious that the real feature was the nude-colored thong she was wearing in this practically nude photo. The caption immediately made fans clamber to try and find out what the “secret project” was and inevitably began talk about her new lucrative endorsement deals.
11. Very Public Relationship With Justin Bieber
Celebrities are not above using their romantic relationships to increase their fame status. In fact, some of the biggest celebrity couples in Hollywood have been completely manufactured to build on each other’s fame. So, when Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were seen photographed on highly publicized dates and attending red carpet events together, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Just as Justin Bieber was becoming the biggest superstar in pop music and all the girls around the world were becoming “Beliebers,” Gomez made sure to make them appear like the cutest couple in the music world. Yet, once the public began to turn on Bieber, so did Gomez. Their breakup was just as publicized as their first date and she was quick to take the side of the fans over her supposed “first love.” There were even times when Bieber lashed out at his fans on social media and Gomez made sure she posted a quick response in favor of his fans.
10. Photographed With Orlando Bloom
During the time when Selena Gomez was romantically involved with Justin Bieber, he was asked to perform at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It was at this event where rumors began to swirl around the flirtatious nature between Miranda Kerr and Justin Bieber. The two reportedly exchanged phone numbers and there was some supposed texting, but Kerr’s representatives were quick to deny claims that they had slept together after the show. In the meantime, Bieber immediately posted romantic photos of Gomez to try and dispel rumors that he had been unfaithful or that the two had broken up. Yet, there was obviously some bad blood surrounding Kerr since Gomez didn’t hesitate to be photographed with her ex, Orlando Bloom, through a series of leaked pictures. In 2014, Bloom was photographed in Las Vegas after one of Selena’s concerts and the two looked more than just a tad friendly. She was again photographed with him outside by the paparazzi and it just seems strange that this would all be just a coincidence.
9. Hugging It Out With Miranda Kerr
Selena Gomez is never one to let her personal feelings get in the way of making money or increasing her celebrity status. While she may be quick to feud with a fellow celebrity when they’re on the decline with the public, she is definitely not going to make an enemy of someone that could help her in the long run. This was made evident during the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2016 Resort Collection show when she ran into Miranda Kerr. While Justin Bieber and Kerr’s ex, Orlando Bloom, were fine having hugely publicized fights, Selena Gomez was nothing but smiles and hugs when she ran into Kerr at the fashion show. Gomez had recently landed the ultra-lucrative deal to become the new face of Louis Vuitton so she wasn’t about to make waves at their latest fashion show. Instead, she made sure to appear as chummy as possible with Kerr and the photos were plastered everywhere to show just how amiable Gomez is, even with the woman that was rumored to have been carrying on with Selena’s former boyfriend.
8. Establishing Herself In The World Of Fashion
With the music industry going through major financial hardships, artists are endlessly seeking out other ways to build their brand (and their bank accounts). One of the most lucrative ways to branch out is to delve into the world of fashion. Kanye West’s Yeezy shoes have caused a frenzy among consumers and even J. Lo has a product line sold at Kohl’s. Realizing that it is in Selena’s best interests to appear as fashion-forward as possible, she has been constantly photographed with the latest designer bags and ensembles. Even when she had barely turned 21-years-old, she was already dressing with the sophistication of woman far older. This is probably what helped her to get her ultra-lucrative endorsement deal with Louis Vuitton. In order to perpetuate this fashion-forward persona, she constantly tries to show that she is a true trendsetter in fashion. Her most recent photographs entailed her strutting down the street in pajamas. She paired it with glamorous hair and makeup, as well as some eye-popping stilettos to complete the look. Appearing as though she were walking down her own private runway, it was no accident that she happened to be photographed by paparazzi.
7. Nine Outfits In Three Days
It is commonly known that the paparazzi in Europe are far more invasive than the ones in the United States. From hounding celebrities through high-speed car chases to long reach lenses capturing them in their homes, it is extremely difficult to hide if you’re a celebrity in Europe. Celebrities have gone to huge lengths to try and visit across the pond without being constantly stalked. Yet, when Selena Gomez went to Paris, she didn’t exactly skulk around wanting to be unnoticed. Instead, she went out of her way to parade herself around for the paparazzi and even struck a pose or two in order to appear in the headlines. She was photographed in nine different outfits in just three days, with multiple clothing changes throughout each day. Obviously, this wasn’t just Gomez visiting Paris. This was a carefully orchestrated publicity campaign, with her using the media to highlight herself at every turn.
6. Secret Admirer Roses
When Selena Gomez decided to take a trip to London in March 2016, she didn’t exactly try and go under the radar. Instead, she let the paparazzi photograph her with a carefully orchestrated prop in her arms. Knowing that the world is never bored with finding out new tidbit information on who celebrities are dating, she arrived at the London airport holding a bouquet of roses from a mystery secret admirer. This came in the midst of Justin Bieber having a constant rotation of new model and celebrity love interests. What better way to create intrigue over your own love life than walk through a paparazzi-filled airport holding a big bouquet of roses? This is the equivalent of the classic scene in Clueless when Cher sent herself flowers and candy to try and gain the attention of Christian. There’s no telling if Gomez bought the roses herself but it’s interesting that she would carry them herself when she has so many other personnel that accompany her when she travels.
5. Peep Show At LAX
Typically, when a celebrity goes to or from the airport, they try and tone down their look so that they aren’t photographed or hounded by the paparazzi. This makes it easy to distinguish those that are hoping they will make it into tabloid headlines. During one particular visit to LAX, Selena Gomez appeared in what only can be described as “Please look at me” ensemble. She wore a see-through black shirt that revealed a skimpy black bra beneath it. She paired it up with a pair of boldly printed cheetah pants. She carried a large black designer bag and the interior lining of the bag was the same bold cheetah print. This was obviously not done on accident. This was a carefully planned out ensemble that would help to get her the most attention possible. If the paparazzi cameras didn’t sit up and take notice of her in-your-face animal print pants, they definitely couldn’t pass up photographing her in a sheer top.
4. Building Her Own Squad
While there was a time when Taylor Swift was at the utmost top of her game and Selena Gomez tried her hardest to tag along for the ride, the tables are starting to turn. Swift’s popularity is starting to go down due to some (actually, a lot) of very publicized breakups and feuds with other celebrities. People are starting to see Swift as the “mean girl” in the popular group and it’s starting to get a bit old. Sticking with her pattern of dumping “friends” as soon as their popularity dwindles, Gomez began being photographed with a girl squad of her own. While Gigi Hadid was a favorite in Swift’s girl squad, her sister, Bella, was often photographed in the group of girls that Gomez chose to hang with. This is just another way for Gomez to build her celebrity status, as well as prove to the public that she is now considered the new “It” girl.
3. Offensive Mosque Photo
When Selena Gomez released her first solo studio album, there was a lot riding on whether or not any of the singles would take off. As an emerging pop star, Gomez needed this album to stand out from all the other sounds on the radio waves. Much of the album included beats that were similar to common sounds found in Indian music and she implemented the dance and ensembles into everything from the music videos to the live performances. She performed, “Come And Get It” at a number of high profile TV performances and even sported a red dot to complete the overall look. So, Gomez isn’t above adopting other cultural elements to try and make herself stand out. However, in one of her attempts to adopt another culture, it resulted in a major misstep on her part. During a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Gomez posed in a burqa but then lifted it to reveal her ankle, which is considered completely disrespectful. She posted the photo on her social media page and not surprisingly, she received a huge amount of negative attention over the post. In this incredibly politically correct society, posting a photo of her being disrespectful inside a mosque is probably the easiest way for her to garner attention to her social media page.
2. Breaking Out Of Her Disney Shell For Spring Breakers
It isn’t exactly a new concept for a celebrity to try and break out of their child public persona in a drastic way. Drew Barrymore did this in her portrayal in Poison Ivy and Alyssa Milano did it when she starred in the TV special, Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story. In the case of Selena Gomez, she chose to break out of her Disney shell by playing the role of Faith in the 2012 film, Spring Breakers. The photo featured a number of raunchy scenes with her and her costars and the promo photos for the film were just as provocative. The film received horrible reviews by both critics and audiences alike, despite having a star-studded cast. Obviously, Gomez didn’t choose the role because she was trying to delve into acting to become a serious actress. She also didn’t choose the role because of the incredibly insightful and compelling storyline. On the other hand, this was the perfect project to undertake in order to shed her Disney persona.
1. Dating The Weeknd
The notion of Selena Gomez suddenly starting to date a fellow music artist just as she’s promoting her new album, Revival, shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, the person she’s dating is a little surprising. Gomez has had a friendship with Bella Hadid for quite some time and she was even featured in her then-boyfriend’s music video. Hadid and The Weeknd went through a breakup and within just a few short weeks, The Weeknd was photographed getting extremely cozy with Gomez. People have started to criticize the relationship because of the close friendship between The Weeknd’s ex-girlfriend and Gomez. They also criticized it because it seems a bit contrived. The first time they were photographed was at a highly popular restaurant that the paparazzi constantly camp outside of for celebrity sightings. Gomez also appears to be pouring on the public displays of affection, directly for the cameras. It’s interesting to note that The Weeknd’s second album came out to less than stellar sales and he may be looking for a way to increase his celebrity status as well.