Selena Gomez has had a rough new year — all three weeks of it. The only highlight seems to have been her win at the People’s Choice Awards for Breakout Artist, marred with the disastrous sound problems CBS had that evening that rendered the first half of her live performance with her band The Scene inaudible and musically muffled.
But besides that instance, she has endured death threats, the hacking of her Twitter and Facebook accounts, a fake topless photo, and pregnancy rumors. It might be coincidental, but all these things have occurred since reports like the one in the New York Daily News surfaced of Selena Gomez being photographed on vacation in the Caribbean just before the new year kissing teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. Three of the four events have a direct Justin Bieber connection. And knowing that Justin has a few maliciously protective fans, one must wonder: Is somebody trying to get Gomez killed?
As horrific as it may read, there is the possibility that there is a fan or a cabal of fans — conspiring as a group or connected only through their devotion to the 16-year-old pop singer and their acts against the 18-year-old Disney singer — that are indulging in a most vicious passive-aggressive attack. Either way, whether through a concerted effort or a disjointed one, Gomez is under attack and one that could easily escalate to bodily harm.
It is already a matter of public record that Justin Bieber fans can get somewhat possessive. Reality star Kim Kardashian found herself the target of death threats after posing for several photos with the pop star, then taking to Twitter and joking with Bieber about a fictitious romance. The viciousness of the Twitter posts prompted Justin himself to issue comments to his fans that there really was no romantic involvement between himself (15 at the time) and Kim Kardashian (29 at the time); they had simply been fooling around via Twitter.
Gomez, who is best known as the popular star of Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, quickly found herself the focus of death threats immediately following the publication of a photo of her and Justin kissing while on vacation. Although her representatives denied the photo was real, a series of pictures were later published depicting the young couple in moments of intimacy.
Following the death threats, Gomez soon found her Facebook and Twitter accounts hacked. Someone hacked her accounts and posted personal attacks on Justin Bieber, attributing the words to Gomez herself.
Last week, a topless photo began circulating around the Internet. Gomez’s reps were quick to charge that the picture was a Photoshopped fake and that there was no such photo in existence, noting that someone was attempting to sully the reputation of the young star. Of the episodes of attack, the topless photo is the only instance that seems to have no connection to Justin Bieber or his fans, although the timing of its posting is suspicious. Gomez’s reps maintain that they are pursuing the matter.
At approximately the same time, rumors began circulating that Selena Gomez was pregnant. The rumors, mostly pushed by Twitter devotees, speculated or directly accused Justin of being the father.
Along with the death threats have come accusations that Gomez is a pedophile…
It isn’t even difficult to imagine a scenario wherein Gomez becomes the physical target of an attack against her person. Although it is difficult to imagine an incident where some delusional fan would carry out an attack such as that made by Mark David Chapman against John Lennon in 1980, the possibility exists. With so many calls for her death, though, all it would take would be for a highly suggestive individual to be “triggered” into action against the young woman. And there are fewer susceptible to the powers of suggestion than teens. Add in misplaced affection, possessive obsessive traits, feelings of a need to protect, an over-identification with the target of affection, and one could see a potential source of trouble. Add in a psychological disorder and/or delusions of grandeur (thoughts of sharing one’s life with Justin Bieber, ideas of keeping him “pure,” becoming famous for “protecting” him, etc.) and one can see the possibility of even more potential trouble.
All it takes is just one delusional person who thinks that Justin’s life is being somehow ruined or that their potential relationship with him has been taken away and a will to act…
The latest rash of personal attacks against Gomez is a display of misplaced fanaticism. It is irresponsible, potentially harmful, and needs to end before someone is actually hurt in some way. Bad enough that Selena Gomez has had to endure the taunts and threats of avid Justin Bieber fans via Twitter and Facebook and the occasional blog, but the topless photo, the hacking, and the pregnancy rumors only contribute to an atmosphere of hostility toward a young woman who simply had a romantic moment with a young man.
So what if that young man was Justin Bieber? He, too, has a life to live as well. Chances are, besides filling up his concert seats and buying his albums and memorabilia, almost none of those who feel strongly enough to make death threats will ever have any true personal interaction with him. Ever. And if Bieber chooses to live part of his life in the company of Selena Gomez, that is a matter to be decided by the young couple.
It is unclear how much of a distraction the incidents have been in her life, but there have undoubtedly been measures taken to to increase Gomez’ security. There have been far too many attacks on her recently to ignore. Although it is a sad testament to the trials of modern celebrity, it is also a sad testament to the odd mentality of those that become more than just the entertained.
Some people, as the colloquialism goes, need to get a life…