I spent 23 hours researching the Justin, Hailey and Selena love triangle and I only learnt one thing.

Late last week, a photo went viral. 

Not just any photo, but the photo. It was what Jelena fans, Jailey fans and every pop culture connoisseur never quite saw coming.

It was a photo of Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez sitting together, cheek to cheek and smiling at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ Second annual gala in Los Angeles. 

The photo meant a lot more than two women posing alongside each other. It showed that their 'beef' was squashed and the story is over. 

Watch: Relationship red flags. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

You might be wondering what 'beef'? Well, to tell that story, I have to tell another one. One that begins 12 years ago.

Back in 2011 at the Vanity Fair Oscars after party, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez announced they were dating after an entire year of speculation and rumours. No one could prove anything for sure before, but the red carpet debut became solid proof that the then 18-year-old Selena and 16-year-old Justin were together.


They then went on to date in the way most of us dream to do. There were holidays overseas, a helicopter rented out to overlook the city Justin was raised in and even an entire baseball stadium just to watch a movie. 

A Disney actor and a once-considered one-hit wonder were together, and every human under the age of 19 cared. A lot. Justin and Selena became one of the many 'it couples' of the early 2010s

But then in 2012, they broke up and we all wanted to know what happened and why it happened and who broke up with who. 

"Selena broke up with Justin about a week ago. It's been a really challenging experience over the last year because of their crazy schedules," a source told US Weekly at the time. "Selena definitely had some major trust issues with Justin. They are [young] … it changes from day to day. Right now it is a break and tomorrow it could be back on knowing them. It's hard to say how they will end up.”

The source? Undisclosed. The rumour? Well... That spread like wildfire.

Selena and Justin were on and off for years. They liked each other and loved each other, but they definitely – in their own words – were not in the right mindset for each other. 

But then Hailey Baldwin popped up. 

She'd known Justin since 2009 and had even been a fan of him and Selena. 

On Twitter, she wrote: "I don't care what anyone says but Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez together is the definition of a teenage dream!"


Image: Twitter @haileybaldwin.

After being spotted together in 2014, fans were convinced they were together. Coincidentally, it seemed to line up right after Selena and Justin ended their relationship again. 

He told fans they were just friends, but by 2015, Justin and Hailey packed on the PDA at a New Year’s Eve party. Their romantic relationship, though, was over after a few months.


Eventually, Justin and Selena would try again in 2017 before they decide to call it quits, once and for all, in April 2018.

In June, he was back together with Hailey and two months later, they were engaged. In September 2019, they married. 

The rumours about a feud became the most important aspect of the pair's relationship. 


The timeline is confusing and it feels wrong but according to Hailey, she and her husband were never together while he was with Selena.

"It's not my character to mess with someone's relationship, I would just never do that. I was raised better than that. I'm not interested in doing that," she told the Call Her Daddy podcast in 2022.


In all honesty, I've read and re-read the articles and interviews about this love triangle for a while now, and the only real thing I've learned is something I suppose I've always known.

Depending on which tabloid you read, or which friend you spoke to, or what YouTube explainer video you watched, the story as to who exactly was to blame changes.

You might have heard Hailey home-wrecked Justin and Selena's relationship. Selena was heartbroken and blindsided.

Or the story could have been that Selena's standards were too high for Justin. Or that Selena was on drugs. Or maybe Selena was broken up with because she wasn't good enough.

If you're sensing a pattern, it's because there is one. 

No one blamed Justin – not the fans, or the tabloids or the rest of the world. 

Listen to Lowbrow, hosted by Holly Wainwright and me, Shannen Findlay... In this episode, we discuss the elaborate love triangle of Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez. Post continues after audio.


Hailey and Selena's alleged feud has been in the media for years. Because Justin allegedly broke up with Selena only a few months before he proposed to Hailey. Because he kissed a girl on New Years Eve when he probably shouldn't have. Because we somehow know everything but also don't know anything at all and yet we still focus on the women. When in reality, if anyone is to blame, it should really be the man at the centre of it all.

But instead, we've insisted that women can never be friends. That the song sung by Selena had to be shade against Hailey. That the time Hailey posted an Instagram story, it had to be about Selena. That they are the centre of not only our universes but each other's as well.

Because women are catty and sensitive. Because women are jealous and crazy. Because women are boring and bored. Because women are meant to hate each other.

It's a tiring narrative that has ruled both women's lives for over seven years. So when that photo went viral, showing Hailey and Selena sitting together, cheek to cheek and smiling – it meant there was finally a fair ending to a very unfair story.

It meant that, finally, we could put the 'feud' to rest, and let them rest too.

Feature Image: Getty / Mamamia.

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