Following his 29th birthday on Wednesday 1 March 2023, Justin Bieber marked the occasion this weekend with a star-studded party. Among the A-list guests were Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith, Aussie rapper The Kid LAROI, and of course, his equally-famous and controversial wife, Hailey Bieber.
The ‘Baby’ singer shared snaps from the event on Instagram and revealed some fun sneak peeks. But what truly gobsmacked the internet was a party favour guests were gifted at the birthday bash, which was revealed online through a picture posted by Alfredo Flores, a music video director who has previously worked with the renowned artist.
On it, a silver lighter (or is it a bottle opener?) featuring a cowboy hat can be seen, bearing the words: “I am so grateful that I didn’t end up with what I thought I wanted.” Many netizens believe the message was a brutal dig at Bieber’s former girlfriend Selena Gomez.
This—let’s be honest here—incredibly petty attempt at throwing shade at Gomez is only the latest in a long list of childish feuds between some of Hollywood’s most famous celebrities.
For those of you who have been living under a rock during the last two weeks, Hailey and Gomez’s yearslong feud recently came to a head after Kylie Jenner shared a screenshot of a FaceTime call with Bieber’s wife in which the pair zoomed in on their eyebrows, seemingly making fun of the former Disney Channel star, who had previously shared a video on her Instagram joking with fans that she had “accidentally laminated [my] eyebrows too much.”
As soon as fans picked up on the potential rebirth of this drama, online sleuths became so obsessed that Gomez had to momentarily delete all of her social media accounts, stating “I’m too old for this.” Shortly after, ‘team Selena’ hit back by flooding Bieber’s TikTok video comment sections with tags to Gomez’s Rare Beauty cosmetic line.
All this to say that things were messy enough already—no one needed the Biebs himself to get involved and make things worse. Though some fans have claimed that it was an innocent choice, countless others have speculated the quote may be a dig at Bieber’s ill-fated relationship with Gomez.
One person wrote on Twitter: “Husband and wife both obsessed [as fuck] with Selena [Gomez]… They’re clearly not okay.” Another said: “Using your birthday party to try and throw shade at your ex like this is unhinged behaviour. He is the real problem in all of this drama.”
A third commented: “If this is really about Selena [Gomez] then this is just cruel. No matter how many years have passed, it would sting if an ex of mine said they’re so glad they didn’t end up with me ON THEIR BIRTHDAY. But I’m a people pleaser so what do I know?”
Even Bieber’s selection of pictures for his Instagram carousel raised some questions in the wild west of social media as he added a bizarre shot of Hailey attempting to hug him as he looks away from the camera, arms to his side.
Meanwhile, The Kid LAROI was featured more than once in Bieber’s post, through several photos of the pair laughing and enjoying some food together. Even Billie Eilish appeared at the extravagant outdoor event, which also included colourful beanbags, mushroom-shaped decor and a stage for live performances.
We’re not sure exactly what the pop star was trying to prove with this controversial present to his guest but it comes just after his wife Hailey lost one million followers on Instagram following the alleged TikTok drama with Gomez. Just when we thought the long-time (and completely ridiculous) feud was over following the two women posing for a photo together back in October 2022.