Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Are Going After Hollywood Toxicity

Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jessie Cave, and Selena Gomez are standing up for themselves by calling out the media's shortcomings. A note to Hollywood: Fame doesn't erase one's ability to feel hurt.
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Stars: They’re just like us! And sadly, that means that they’re not impervious to criticism.

Social media has allowed stars to be far more transparent about who they are and what they feel. Instead of relying on the media to tell their stories, a few celebrities are stepping up to let people know how they feel about themselves.

Justin Bieber and other stars are standing up to the unique form of bullying that goes on in the celebrity world. For example, Bieber believes the tabloid media is trying to keep him down by circulating old photos that make him look unwell. He raises a powerful point: While those old photos were once reflective of the difficult truth he was living through, they are no longer a complete picture of who he is.


Meanwhile, Harry Potter actress Jessie Cave is speaking up about the awful treatment she received as a young woman working in front of the camera. A little bit of natural weight gain led to a terrible and scarring experience between Cave and a costume director on set.

Finally, Justin Bieber’s ex and pop superstar, Selena Gomez, is fed up with TV shows making light of her 2017 kidney transplant. She believes the jokes made on shows like Saved by the Bell and The Good Fight that reference her organ surgery are “tasteless.”

Justin Bieber

Bieber is calling out the media for using old photos of him that make him appear, as he puts it, “sick and unwell.” He points out that the photos in question are from a few years back when he was battling Lyme disease.

Instagram / @justinbieber

The little things that bother Bieber about the photos–that he looks “disheveled,” as he says–might go unnoticed by the general public. However, we all know what it’s like to see our imperfections much more clearly than other people do.

Not even Justin Bieber is immune to being self-conscious. But he’s also correct. Articles about Bieber gossip are often accompanied by photos that were taken when he was in the thick of his battle with Lyme disease. Bieber says that there have been plenty of other photos taken of him since that time that the media could use instead.

Scrolling through the “Peaches” singer’s recent Instagram photos and stories, one can notice a distinct difference in his vibe between now and a couple of years ago. He seems to be glowing with happiness and health, while photos from back in the day probably trigger memories of a much more difficult time in his life.

Jessie Cave

Cave as Lavender Brown / Warner Bros.

34-year-old Jessie Cave played Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter film series. Recently, she has spoken up about how an encounter with a costume director on set left her questioning her value as an actress.

Cave, who now has three children, told The Guardian, “I was not a right fit for the industry at that time. Lavender Brown is conventionally pretty, no glasses, small. By the time I went back to do the last film, I had gained a bit of weight, and I wasn’t that person anymore.”

Cave is still a working actress today; she recently played a great character on Black Mirror. However, she is still haunted by the Harry Potter employee in the costume department who apparently grabbed her stomach during a fitting.

“I’m prepared to be told something unkind,” Cave continued. “You’re treated like a different type of thing; you’re not somebody with feelings who has thought about what pants they’re going to wear that day because they’re going to be seen.”

Cave said that she has noticed some positive changes in the acting world; some costume directors are starting to show empathy and understanding for how personal each individual’s relationship with their body is.

“When they’re nice to me, and they are sensitive to how I may be feeling about my body, or that I may be breastfeeding or whatever, I almost cry,” Cave said.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez recently called out The Good Fight for making a “tasteless” joke about the fact that she underwent a kidney transplant in 2017. Gomez has been battling Lupus for years, and she is now a strong advocate for being an organ donor.

The joke in question was actually in reference to a controversial joke that was made on another show, Saved by the Bell (the reboot).

In 2020, Saved by the Bell removed a scene from an episode in which the characters are debating who donated the kidney that helped Gomez recover from Lupus.

In The Good Fight, the characters are thinking up joke ideas around “off-limits” topics, one of them being “Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.”

Well, Selena Gomez has not found these jokes funny at all.

“I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently,” she tweeted on August 3. “I hope in the next writer’s room when one of these tasteless jokes are presented it’s called out immediately and doesn’t make it on air.”