Selena Gomez had a great time at Tuesday’s MTV Video Music Awards — until she went online.
The “Calm Down” singer was all smiles at the ceremony after winning the Best Afrobeats category alongside Nigerian artist Rema – and being cheered on by her longtime best friend, Taylor Swift – but left the Prudential Center from New Jersey to find himself without his knowledge. viral moments on social media.
“I will never be a meme again,” Gomez wrote on a black background in an Instagram Story early Wednesday morning after the MTV ceremony ended. “I’d rather sit around than be dragged around because I’m myself. Lots of love.”
Gomez didn’t elaborate on the matter, but was likely referring to the widely circulated images of her reactions at the ceremony that were proliferating online. The images of the singer covering her ears during Olivia Rodrigo’s performance, for example, garnered nearly 100,000 likes.
The “Only Murders in the Building” actor was also seen wrinkling his nose as Chris Brown, who physically assaulted Rihanna in 2009, was named a nominee for best R&B. Social media users also noticed her expression during Nicki Minaj’s presentation.
While Gomez initially made fun of herself that night and posted an Instagram Story of her and Swift kissing with a caption that read: “She’s gorgeous, I look constipated,” she was clearly frustrated that her reactions were being used online to stir up potential feuds.
Swift, meanwhile, who tied the record for most VMAs in one night with nine trophies, was universally praised for her reactions. Footage of the “Anti-Hero” singer happily dancing while Gomez collected her prize was widely shared on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Gomez, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2018, has been very open about the negative effects of social media on mental health. She has taken several breaks from her online presence over the years and asked users to be kinder earlier this year.
However, the singer was all smiles while accepting a VMA and stunned in a red lace Oscar de la Renta dress while celebrating her and Rema’s win for “Calm Down” – the first track led by an African artist to reach 1 billion Spotify streams – and thanked his fans in a real speech.
“Thank you for believing in me,” she told Rema on stage.
“And thank you for choosing me to be a part of such an incredible song that managed to break records,” she continued. “Thank you all for listening, for streaming. I couldn’t be more honored. And I want to send all my love to Nigeria.