On Friday, just a number of weeks after dethroning Kylie Jenner on Instagram, Selena Gomez became the primary woman to have 400 million followers on the photo-based social media platform. Jenner is just not too far behind with 382 million Insta fans, but Gomez has been pulling ahead fast.
There are still two individuals with more followers than Gomez on Instagram, soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who’ve 562 followers and 442 million followers respectively.
Gomez has been essentially the most followed woman before, wearing the crown in 2019 before Ariana Grande after which Jenner took the title. Surprisingly, Gomez’s comeback takes place within the midst of her retreat from social media. She recently told Vanity Fair she only has the TikTok app on her phone and has tried to place “filters” in place to guard herself from trolls and hurtful comments.
“People can call me ugly or silly and I’m like, Whatever,” Gomez explained. “But these people get detailed. They write paragraphs which might be so specific and mean. I’d continuously be crying. I continuously had anxiety…I could not do it anymore. It was a waste of my time.”
The Only Murders Within the Constructing actress said that social media made her feel “inundated with information” that she didn’t want.
“I went through a tough time in a breakup and I didn’t wish to see any of the [feedback]—not necessarily concerning the relationship, however the opinions of me versus [someone] else,” she went on. “There’d be 1000’s of very nice comments, but my mind goes straight to the mean one…. There are wonderful things about social media—connecting with fans, seeing how comfortable and excited they’re and their stories. But normally that is filtered through [for me now]. I created a system. Every thing I do I send to my assistant who posts them. So far as comments, my team will put together a number of things which might be encouraging.”
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will probably be released by Dial Press in February 2022.