As you've likely heard, Selena Gomez and The Weeknd were seen kissing in Santa Monica this week. The hubbub around the hookup stems from the fact that The Weeknd only just broke up with Bella Hadid in November, and that Gomez is friends with Hadid's older sister, Gigi. Also, Hadid appears to have unfollowed Gomez on Instagram. It's intriguing — we get it. Who doesn't want to read about the latest hookups and breakups in Hollywood? Celebrity dating drama: we're here for it. But what's not so understandable is why people feel the need to pit the two young women against each other. The pictures aren't even two days old yet, and already Hadid, 20, and Gomez, 24, are being positioned against, and compared to, each other on social media as well as various news outlets. The comments are largely judgmental towards Gomez, marginalizing towards Hadid, and degrading to both. Gomez is being vilified as a "slut" and a "snake" on Twitter, while Hadid is being portrayed as a victim of said sluttiness.
The comparisons between the women couldn't be more gross or superficial; TMZ went so far as to rank photos of Gomez and Hadid in bikinis in an office round of "Who would you rather?" Sickening. Curiously absent from this conversation is The Weeknd himself, a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye. The 26-year-old singer seems to have largely evaded the negative press. There's more than a hint of sexism here: nobody is asking whether The Weeknd or Justin Bieber, Gomez's ex, looks better in their tighty-whities. While it's incredibly frustrating that women still have to deal with this bullshit, we're definitely not suggesting that anybody drag The Weeknd here just to even the playing field. We're just so done with the misogynist tradition of turn women against each other.