Following an interview with Rolling Stone, Selena Gomez is facing criticism for comments some viewed as disrespectful to her organ donor and longtime friend, Francia Raisa. The situation reveals a negative side of the openness between some celebrities and their fans.
In the interview, Gomez called Taylor Swift her “only friend in the [entertainment] industry.” The comment did not sit well with actress Francia Raisa, who donated one of her kidneys to Gomez in 2017.
Raisa commented “Interesting” on an Instagram post about Gomez’s comment. Although she quickly deleted the message, fans saw the comment and took to social media to voice support for either Gomez or Raisa.
Supporters of Raisa became more upset when Gomez commented “Sorry I didn’t mention every person I know” on a TikTok video about the situation.
It is certainly fair to say Gomez and Raina have not done much to discourage fans from speculating and commenting on their relationship. But fans must realize they can’t dictate the type of relationship Gomez and Raisa have.
For many of us, it is hard to imagine cutting ties with a friend who gave you an organ. While it isn’t known if that is truly what occurred, it shouldn’t be the world’s concern if that is what happened with Gomez and Raisa.
But the situation brings attention to an issue much bigger than an unfortunate rift between longtime friends. Fans consistently insert themselves into the personal lives of celebrities. This is inevitable to an extent, but when it comes to personal topics, it can be especially problematic.
Gomez is an expert at balancing her celebrity status with genuine relatability. It is easy to feel close to a person like Gomez for this reason. Her entire brand revolves around the idea of honesty and acceptance of one’s own vulnerability.
Through her recent documentary, fans have been given an inside look at Gomez’s personal challenges. Gomez’s openness about mental illness and lupus has likely helped a lot of her fans, but it has also exacerbated a major problem.
No matter how open Gomez is about her life and her health journey, fans should not feel they have the right to weigh in on these personal topics on social media platforms in the way they have.
Every fan base takes sides when their favorite celebrity is involved in a feud or a scandal. It is understandable to want to defend someone you admire when they face criticism, even if you do not know them personally.
You could argue Gomez has inadvertently invited this kind of behavior from her fans. Certainly, Gomez wants fans to feel close to her. Fans view her as an advocate for them, as a sort of friend even. People want to watch their friend’s Apple TV documentary or buy lipstick from their friend’s makeup line.
Maybe Gomez being so open about her struggles does encourage fans to weigh in on her life, but she should be allowed to express herself and be open about her challenges. We should not police the way she does this simply because fans struggle to detach themselves from her personal life.
Fans must see Gomez’s health as something that is “off-limits” to them. Gomez’s candid nature is not an invitation to fans to insert themselves into her personal life.