Selena Gomez is aware that she is the star of many memes—so much so that she posted on her Instagram story denouncing her meme stardom after this year’s VMAs.
“I will never be a meme again,” Gomez posted. “I’d rather sit still than be dragged for being myself.”
Here’s a look back at Gomez’s meme tenure, including the memes that led up to her September statement.
The crying meme
The Selena Gomez crying meme originated in 2013. The meme is based on a still of Gomez smiling with tears in her eyes from an interview with The Hot Hits, during which she is shown a video made by a fan of hers. Gomez is so touched by the fan’s words that she starts crying.
“You’re the reason I do what I do,” Gomez says to the fan in the interview.
The internet, as it’s wont to do, turned an earnest moment into a meme: A screenshot taken from the 2013 interview that shows Gomez smiling with tears in her eyes has come to signify when someone is trying to hide their real feelings behind a smile.
“When your friend says something in front of your parents that they weren’t supposed to know,” reads one meme.
“When you’re about to go to sleep and you remember you still have makeup on,” another says.
The blanket meme
And who could forget the photo of Gomez wrapped in a blanket looking off into the distance?
“Me waking up first on the friend trip,” a meme of the photo reads.
“Horror movie characters sitting in the back of an ambulance after almost dying,” another says.
The entire photo itself was satirized, too.
“My mom just sent me this old picture of my abuela from when she was still living in Mexico,” a tweet containing the photo says. “This was taken during a year without rain.” (“A Year Without Rain” is one of Gomez’s songs.)
The VMAs memes
Gomez was meme-d twice at the 2023 VMAs, which prompted her to post that she no longer wants to get the meme treatment.
One moment that went viral was Gomez making a disgusted face when she heard that Chris Brown was nominated for an award.
Another was her concerned look when Olivia Rodrigo’s performance was malfunctioning.