Did She Shade Selena Gomez?

October 30, 2023 - Culture

Last week, Britney Spears’ book launched as an instant bestseller.

The popularity of The Woman In Me is so intense that her streaming numbers have jumped. Also, Justin Timberlake wisely deactivated Instagram comments.

Over the weekend, fans shouted with joy when Britney teased a possible new song. New music? At last?!

But … was her announcement also shade thrown at Selena Gomez? Do these two phenomenal queens have a beef?

A 2018 photo of Britney Spears sporting thick blonde hair and looking to the side.
Britney Spears attends the announcement of her then-new residency, “Britney: Domination” at Park MGM on October 18, 2018. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

On Saturday, October 28, living legend Britney Spears took to Instagram.

Alongside a screenshot from her “Overprotected” music video, she shared some news.

“I wrote a new song !!! Hate you to like me !!!” Britney announced.

A screenshot of Britney Spears' Instagram caption, discussing a possible new song.
On Saturday, October 28, Britney Spears teased a possible new song while referring to a screenshot from her “Overprotected” music video. (Image Credit: Instagram)

“No beef with anyone … just being a narcissist in a claimed, self-entitled way !!!” Britney seemingly joked.

It sounds like she is referring to criticism that she has seen about her past or present look. People say weird things about Britney on the internet, and she tragically sees a lot of it.

“It’s to accumulate interest by giving ego with my eyes closed,” Britney quipped, “because I hear important people do that these days.”

Was Britney joking, or is “Hate You to Like Me” a potential song title? It’s a tease, either way.

But, as many of us (myself included) instantly thought, it is strongly reminiscent of Selena Gomez’s hit breakup anthem.

“Lose You to Love Me” isn’t one of Selena’s transcendent dance bops. It’s an almost accusatory yet mournful song about healing after breaking up with a very toxic guy. A guy who went on to get married to a Baldwin daughter.

“Is she shading Selena again?” one of now-fallen Twitter’s lingering active users tweeted.

“Britney Spears can’t enjoy her memoir and all the praise she’s getting,” a reply spat.

The reply tweet continued: “She just had to find a way to insult Selena somehow.” Um … what part of Britney’s post was shade, exactly?

A cover photo of Britney Spears' 2023 memoir, The Woman In Me.
The Woman In Me is the title of Britney Spears’ October 2023 memoir. (Image Credit: Simon and Schuster)

So there is some history, here.

In 2016, Selena Gomez — one of the most influential people on social media, the queen of the Instagram — spoke about self-worth in a speech.

At the time, she spoke about how a lot of girls feel that they have to show their bodies on Instagram.

On Instagram, Britney Spears shared three variants of this photo, each with slightly different filters for the lighting. We like this one the most. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

Britney has, many times, come under fire for showing her body. And, one year ago, in October of 2022, Britney seemed to lash out at Selena’s 2016 speech.

“They say ‘This is NOT something I would do,’” Britney complained. “Yet those women are the very ones who get 4 million dollar budget videos made about sucking and licking on homemade ice cream !!!!”

Many believe that she could only have been referring to Selena’s 2020 collaboration with Blackpink, “Ice Cream.”

Selena Gomez Stuns in
Selena Gomez’s look for her “Ice Cream” collab with Blackpink took social media by storm in 2020. She shared this behind-the-scenes snapshot on Instagram. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

“So the next time I see someone with a big budget video sucking on lollipops yet giving righteous speeches shaming other women for exposing their bodies,” Britney wrote at the time.

“I would like to tell those people don’t be a hypocrite,” she continued, “as you suck on your lollipop having HUGE budget dreams…”

Simply put, the speech struck a nerve for Britney. She was not its target audience, but the words stung.

Britney Spears clutches both hands under her chin on the beach. Her butt is on display, and we can see the shadow of the apparent photographer.
How do you celebrate a bestselling book launch? Britney Spears got away from the stress of the (still extremely positive) public reaction to her memoir, spending some naked time baring her peach on the beach. We can see the shadow of her photographer on the sand. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

However, Britney also clarified in a follow-up post that she wasn’t singling out Selena.

Yes, that speech from Selena had made the rounds again on social media. Some may have assumed that it was more recent.

But Britney wrote that her mini-rant “had nothing to do with anyone specific at all.”

Britney Spears shared a photo of her full naked body on Twitter on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Thank you, ma’am! (Photo Credit: Twitter)

That’s sort of odd, though, given the fellatinous lollipop and ice cream imagery that Britney evoked.

There was a lot of that in the “Ice Cream” music video, though it was very tame.

Britney’s frustrations likely also stemmed from her years under her father’s conservatorship. Britney, who has done high-concept music videos and extraordinary performances, could no longer control her own life — private or professional.

The beautiful Selena Gomez made people gasp over the final weekend of September with this incredible look. The thigh-high boots were already spectacular before we take note of that plunging neckline. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

In other words, Britney and Selena had a very indirect disagreement. Also, Selena was one of Britney’s wedding guests.

We’re unclear on how Britney making a hypothetical song title similar to a Selena hit is “shading” exactly.

If anything, it would be flattering. Why are people trying to pit these badass ladies against each other? I’d rather see them collab.

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