Why do some celebrity couples repel us? Welcome to the magnet theory.

There are many things in life that are enticing or useful when on their own, but become less desirable once mixed together.

French fries and vanilla ice cream.

Baking soda and vinegar.

Bradley Cooper and Gigi Hadid.

This celebrity couple first appeared in our news feeds in October 2023 and initially, it seemed like a union that was created by the entertainment journalism gods. A conventionally beautiful model and business owner, and a critically acclaimed director and actor, who still shakes his head in disbelief that he was once voted People Magazine's Sexiest Man Of The Year.

When it came time to officially debut their relationship — after reports had been swirling in corners of the internet where blind items and 'sources close to the couple' go to hang out — the couple chose a route often by favoured by celebrities who don't monetise their Instagram accounts.

They wandered in and out of fancy New York City restaurants and Broadway shows, never performing for the paparazzi they knew would be lining the streets in wait for them, but also making no moves to conceal their relationship. This was all before they graduated to being photographed hauling their suitcases out of a car after a long weekend together, or Bradley subtly wearing a jumper from Gigi's fashion line, Guest In Residence, under a jacket as he took to a bit of solo street wandering.

For anyone who has ever debuted a new partner on their Instagram stories by sharing just the corner of their elbow buried among pictures of dinner plates and half-filled wine glasses, this is the celebrity-equivalent level of chill you were aiming for.

All the ingredients were there when it came to the makings of a new celebrity It Couple — the fame level, the body language 'clues', the piecing together of their celebrity circles, and speculation that Gigi would make an appearance on one of the many red carpets Bradley walked during awards season for his nominated film Maestro.


But before there was any sign that their newly launched love affair was starting to fizzle out, the public seemingly made a call first.

We just weren't that into them.

Listen to The Spill hosts explain why some celebrity couples give us the joint ick. 

Which, judging by the (justifiedly) annoyed looks on their faces when they are papped through dimly lit restaurant windows, would be music to their ears. Just because a celebrity couple decides they don't want to crawl around in the shadows like Quasimodo on a bad day doesn't mean they are deliberately courting the spotlight. 

In fact, the main coverage and fan conversation you'll see around the couple now is in reference to Bradley's somewhat new style of dressing — in particular, an extremely large woollen hat that he has taken to wearing in Gigi's presence.

Whether as part of a dare or the first step of a method acting plan he's enacted for his next movie, we'll never really know.

But even this line of frivolous criticism disappeared faster than Ariana Grande's fake tan after accusations of black fishing.

When it comes to the conversation around celebrity couples, it's rarely the stars themselves who drive our interest in them, but rather, the conversation that builds up around them. This is the reason some celebrity couplings up their joint fame factor once they get together while others, once acceptable in solo form, come together and then give us a case of the double ick.


A single behind-the-scenes video of Timothée Chalamet and Kylie Jenner at an awards show was enough to ignite a torrent of TikTok love.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard constantly tell fans that their marriage is hard work and not always as pretty as it appears in pictures, yet it's still seen as the ultimate fairytale.

Zendaya and Tom Holland are notoriously private about their relationship, yet a glimpse of him watching her walk down a red carpet from a nearby hotel room was enough to bring on a slew of fan fiction.

And so hungry were people for the storytelling around Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's romance when it first emerged, that hundreds of articles were written around a viral tweet guessing the condiment mixture she favoured on one of their dates.

On the flip side of this, celebrity pairings such as Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and The Weeknd, Jessica Biel and Chris Evans, Macaulay Culkin and Mila Kunis, and Penélope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey, on paper, seemed ripe for fandoms to build up around their relationships. Yet either the public attention fizzled or they become a source of ridicule.

In many ways, the coverage of celebrity relationships behaves like a box of magnets. When placed in a certain way, they stick together, but when placed the other way around they push away from each other.

Maybe the simplest explanation here is that stars like Gigi Hadid and Bradley Cooper are just two magnets that, when their stories are brought together, have the power to repel.

Laura Brodnik is Mamamia's Head of Entertainment and host of The Spill podcast. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Feature Image: Getty.

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