Justin Bieber hasn’t been on Taylor Swift’s Christmas list for some time. Now, the Canadian singer, has de facto admitted — and on Twitter, so trés public — that Selena Gomez’s best friend is one of the “females” who “run their mouths” and referred to in the lyrics of his hit song “All Bad.”
This story, like the parties involved, has history. But we’ll break it down for you.
On Sunday (Nov. 10), Bieber dropped “All Bad” the sixth single from his Music Mondays series. As well as topping numerous iTunes charts around the world, speculation about who the song’s wounded, pointed, defensive lyrics were aimed at, raged among fans and media outlets alike.
Most recalled the many, many occasions when Swift has dissed Bieber.
Who can forget the “gagging gif” that immortalized Swift’s backstage reaction to his and Gomez’s embrace at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards?
Recall, if you will, the “I Knew You Were Trouble” singer’s reply to a journalist in the press room at the same May event. Asked what she and Gomez whispered to each other as they watched Justin receive excoriating boos while accepting the first ever fan-voted Chevrolet Milestone award, Swift declined to answer but offered this loaded zinger: “You do not want to open that can of worms.”
Fast forward to comments Swift made to Glamour (UK) in an interview published in October.
Taylor said she and Selena “laughed hysterically on the phone” about persistent rumors that she “hates” Justin and didn’t want him to be with Gomez. Pressed on whether or not that was true, the 23-year-old replied, “Does it matter?”
In the same profile, she also said: “I’ve seen my friends take someone back after they’ve cheated because they fit perfectly. But I don’t know, because I’ve never had a perfect fit with someone.”
Many assumed Swift was making yet another swipe at BIeber and she may well have been. And if these are the kinds of remarks she makes in public, the “Boyfriend” singer may be sitting on quite a list of private snubs.
On Monday, the day after “All Bad” dropped, Justin retweeted a fan’s tweet suggesting his new song was intended as a slight on Swift. He un-retweeted it shortly after.
I think Justin was shading Taylor in #AllBad
— ¯_()_/¯ (@IKidrauhlic) November 11, 2013
To date retweeted 7,572 times, Twitter user @IKidrauhlic turned the already blazing heat up a tad by tweeting:
So basically justin admitted the he was shading you @taylorswift13
— ¯_()_/¯ (@IKidrauhlic) November 11, 2013
It’s likely Bieber’s and Swift’s mutual antipathy arises from her probable interference in his friendship with his ex-girlfriend Selena, who Swift often refers to as her “little sister.”
During the swansong of Justin and Selena’s two-year plus relationship — E! Online scooped their first split last November — the pair reportedly reunited more than once, posed for many Instagrams, and declared their affection for each other.
The same can’t really be said about most of Swift’s relationships. The songstress’ famous exes — from Joe Jonas “Forever and Always” “Better Than Revenge”, Taylor Lautner “Back to December” (Note: the exception, in which she apologized), Jake Gyllenhaal, who is the inspiration behind “All Too Well,” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” John Mayer’s kicking in “Dear John,” Harry Styles “I knew You Were Trouble,” and blue blood Conor Kennedy— all of them have either been talked about, publicly criticized, or made the subjects of effectively written, bitter songwriting.
While Harry Styles left it to One Direction bandmates Liam Payne and Niall Horan to call out Swift’s Best Female Video award acceptance speech at the 2013 VMAs as “lame,” to date only Mayer has had the guts to publicly take Swift to task for using some of her singles as missiles.
In an incendiary 2012 Rolling Stone interview, Mayer — who dated Swift in late 2009 — pulled no punches about the song that said he played “dark twisted games.”
Admitting he felt “really humiliated” at the namecheck, Mayer elaborated, “It made me feel terrible. Because I didn’t deserve it. I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do.”
Adding that he didn’t received no warning from Swift of what was coming by email, phone, or other means, Mayer went on to say, “I will say as a songwriter that I think it’s kind of cheap songwriting. I know she’s the biggest thing in the world, and I’m not trying to sink anybody’s ship, but I think it’s abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, ‘Wait till he gets a load of this!’ That’s bulls—.”
During the interview, the singer-songwriter rhetorically asked,”How would you feel if, at the lowest you’ve ever been, someone kicked you even lower?”
Now that Mayer has moved on with Katy Perry, that question might be better addressed to Bieber.
Currently approaching the last stretch of his 15-month tour, it seems the 19-year-old carries some resentment about the influence he evidently believes Swift has on his relationship with Gomez. Ever since he and Selena first broke up, persistent cheating rumors have been cited as the reason. But so too have their careers and their youth.
But, whatever the reasons, they are between Bieber and Gomez.
While offering advice, being a shoulder to cry on, and helping a friend through a bad break typical duties that a good girlfriend is expected to perform, there’s a big difference between any of these and the provocative, passive aggressive, overstepping Swift has handed Bieber for the better part of the year.
For her part, Selena has continued to publicly express support for her ex-boyfriend. Back in July, during a GMA appearance, the Latina said of Bieber, “I’ll always care about him and protect him if anybody tries to be mean.”
Whether that’s still how Gomez feels in light of Justin’s much speculated exploits in South America isn’t the point. Publicly, she keeps any negative thoughts about their relationship (mostly) to herself. Which is ideally what Swift should do, especially as she wasn’t in the relationship.
Bieber has been on receiving end of Swift’s barbs for a long time and clearly it frustrates him. With “All Bad,” he stuck up for himself, and in so doing, every other male who has had to grin and bear it while Taylor dragged them kicking and screaming into a critical spotlight.
Noting Swift’s splendidly humorless “special place in hell” response to hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s lighthearted joke about the singer at this year’s Golden Globes, it’s telling that she appears so cavalier about the much harsher digs she doles out to others.
Perhaps an old truism says it best, “What goes around comes around.”