“I will never be a meme again,” wrote Selena Gomez following the 2023 VMAs. “I’d rather sit still than be dragged for being myself.” This ominous message arrived shortly after she inspired yet another flood of reaction memes – just weeks after her candid blanket photo went viral.
The cameras were trained on Selena Gomez throughout the VMAs, so it’s no surprise that some of her expressions caught people’s attention. She’s an extremely expressive person, leading to several out-of-context viral moments like this clip of her “covering her ears” in response to Olivia Rodrigo‘s performance.
Needless to say, she wasn’t actually reacting to Olivia Rodrigo’s music. Apparently, there was a “pre-planned set collapse” happening onstage at the time. However, this didn’t stop people from labeling Gomez a “mean girl” as the clip spread on TikTok.
Selena Gomez’s Chris Brown reaction
Gomez’s other viral VMA moment was her apparent reaction to Chris Brown, looking disgusted when she heard his name:
This split-second reaction was surprisingly controversial, with some people praising Gomez for appearing to disapprove of Chris Brown, citing his various abuse allegations. Meanwhile, Chris Brown’s fans accused her of being disrespectful.
“Lmao girl we feel the same,” reads one of the many TikTok reposts of the clip, earning over a million views.
While Gomez vowed to “never be a meme again” after all this post-VMAs buzz, this will almost certainly happen again. Why? Because audiences love her on-camera reactions, and as a result, events like the VMAs will keep giving her plenty of screentime.
It must be weird and uncomfortable to have fans analyzing random footage of you when you’re not even performing, similar to the way people misinterpreted Megan Thee Stallion and Justin Timberlake’s interaction backstage at the VMAs. But even if Selena Gomez sat through these events like an expressionless rock, these memes will probably just keep happening.