When you're the most-followed person on Instagram for two years running, you can pretty much do whatever you want on the social media site—which is why Selena Gomez turned her Instagram account private early Tuesday morning, just a few hours after she posted and deleted a cryptic message on her Instagram Story.
Update: Less than 24 hours after the social media power move, Gomez has restored full public access to her Instagram feed, and the nation has sighed a breath of relief. The original story of how she came to temporarily make it private continues below.
People first noticed that the world's most popular Instagram account had locked out new followers around 7 a.m. ET, when major fan account @SelenaHQ tweeted out the news. Selena's fans reacted with shock and worry: "So Selena Gomez made her insta private. Guys am shook and happy at the same time. Like I want someone else to take that most followed title. So they can leave my baby alone. All the slander against her is just too much," one concerned fan tweeted. Others, however, found it funny that an account followed by hundreds of millions of people was now "private." "Selena has half of ig following her, what’s the point of putting her account on private 😂" one wrote.
Gomez flipped the switch shortly after posting and deleting a message seemingly criticizing her Billboard "Woman of the Year" profile to her Instagram Story, according to a screenshot captured by JustJared. "Never will I let another human guess my words ever again. Or invite them in my home. That is so hurtful. The most 'ridiculous' part of that is no one knowing my heart when I say things," she captioned a zoomed-in screenshot of the Billboard article, which was published last week.
The section of the article in Gomez's photo also uses the word "ridiculous," which was attributed to the "Wolves" singer. Here's that part, the article's opening paragraph, in full: "There's a five-foot teddy bear sprawled across the kitchen floor in Selena Gomez's North Hollywood home. 'I know, I know,' says Gomez, rolling her eyes, acknowledging that the stuffed animal doesn't quite blend with the trio of armchairs nestled in the inviting, marble-accented nook. 'It was a gift, and at first I thought, 'This is so ridiculous, I can't wait until I give it away to another person.' But Gomez, 25, hasn't let go of it—yet."
It's unclear what exactly offended Gomez about that seemingly innocent description, although it appears that she feels that she was misquoted about her feelings toward the teddy bear. The situation is made even more confusing by the fact that Gomez posted her Billboard cover on Twitter and thanked the magazine last Thursday, immediately after the article was published—which would imply that she had read and approved of the article at that time. And over the weekend, after attending the Billboard Women in Music 2017 event on Saturday, she posted the magazine cover on Instagram. "Thank you beyond for your acknowledgment and honor @billboard but honestly thank you more for the event you held for women. That night was so inspiring and every woman spoke eloquently and with such force. I’ll try to continue to give my best to even remotely live up to a title. In the mean time I hope we all continue to give our best when the world wants to give us the worst. We aren’t stopping the fight," she wrote.
Neither Billboard nor Brooke Mazurek, the profile's author, have commented on Gomez's unexplained criticisms. And while the only way we'll find out what exactly was so "hurtful" about the Billboard story is from Gomez herself, she's previously acknowledged that she prefers to step back from the spotlight than offer up long, drawn-out explanations when things get overwhelming—so we many never solve the mystery of the five-foot teddy bear in her marble-accented nook.