Selena Gomez says she’ll ‘never become a meme again’ after 2023 MTV VMAs

Selena Gomez has shared her candid thoughts about becoming a meme following her appearance at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).

The actor, 31, took to her Instagram Story on 12 September to address moments where she’s gone viral online. Although she didn’t specify what images or videos of herself she was referring to, she did express that she wasn’t a fan of becoming a meme.

“I will never be a meme again,” she wrote. “I’d rather sit still than be dragged for being myself. Much love.”

Throughout the last month, Gomez has unintentionally become the internet’s most popular meme. In August, she was pictured wrapped up in a grey, geometric-printed blanket with only her head peeking out. As she was seen looking off into the distance, her orange sequin Fendi Baguette bag was sitting on the table across from her.

When the photo quickly took over social media, the Disney Channel alum shared a candid response to the trend. More specifically, she joined in on the fun by sharing some of her favourite memes to her Instagram Story, one of which captioned the snap with a reference to Gomez’ album, A Year Without Rain.

“My mom just sent me this old picture of my abuela from when she was still living in Mexico, this was taken during a year without rain,” one person on X, formerly known as Twitter, joked.

Aside from the photo of herself wrapped up in a blanket, Gomez also made headlines for her facial expressions during the VMAs. On Tuesday, Chris Brown was nominated in the Best R&B category for his feature on Chloe Bailey’s “How Does It Feel”, but lost to SZA’s “Shirt”.

However, as the nominees for the award were read out, cameras on Gomez showed her scrunching her nose at the same time Brown’s name was read. Her apparent reaction to the nomination came after Bailey faced intense criticism from fans over her collaboration with Brown.

Following the song’s release in February, fans took to X to condemn the partnership, as Brown became a figure of controversy in 2009 after he physically assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna. After being charged with felony assault, he went on to plead guilty to the felony and received five years of probation, community service hours and domestic violence counselling.

On a separate occasion during the awards show, Gomez also made headlines when she was photographed with a concerned look on her face during Olivia Rodrigo’s performance. During her performance, Rodrigo was quickly escorted off stage when she finished singing her song, “Vampire” as a way to transition into singing her next tune, “Get Him Back.” As the music continued and lighting on the stage changed, the cameras focused on Gomez, who had her hand over her ear and eyes widened.

 (selenagomez / Instagram)
(selenagomez / Instagram)

The following day, the “Rare” singer took to the comments of an Instagram post to explain her reaction to Rodrigo’s performance, simply writing: “I heard a loud noise and it scared me.”

Although she didn’t specify if her post about becoming a meme was a reference to the VMAs, she did make other jokes about the event on her Instagram Story. She shared a sweet of her and best friend Taylor Swift hugging, and made a quip about her own appearance.

“She looks stunning, I look constipated,” Gomez wrote in the caption. “Typical.”

For the star-studded ceremony, held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the “Single Soon” singer wore a red floral dress with a high leg slit by Oscar de la Renta and matching red, strappy heels. Her appearance on the red carpet also came as a surprise, since she hadn’t publicly announced that she would be attending the awards show beforehand.

She also didn’t leave the ceremony empty handed, as she won the award for Best Afrobeats song for her “Calm Down” collaboration with Nigerian singer Rema.