There’s a photoshopped image of pop singers Sabrina Carpenter and Olivia Rodrigo going viral, and it reveals a strange reality.
Both attended the Variety Hitmakers Awards, and Carpenter, 24, and Rodrigo, 20, have an awkward history together.
Both have dated Disney star Joshua Bassett, 22, and while neither has outright confirmed it, they have been rumoured to have written songs about him.
Rodrigo dated him in 2020, and then she released the 2021 smash hit Driver’s License, which has long been rumoured to be about their break-up and includes the iconic line.
“You’re probably with that blonde girl. Who always made me doubt. She’s so much older than me. She’s everything I’m insecure about.”
People online have long theorised the lyrics must be about Carpenter because she dated Bassett directly after Rodrigo did and she’s blonde.
This meant that when Driver’s License went viral, Carpenter got relentlessly trolled online because of it.
In 2022, Carpenter addressed the backlash in her song All Because I Liked a Boy, which also became a hit and includes some very pointed lyrics.
“Now I’m a homewrecker, I’m a slut. I got death threats filling’ up semi-trucks. I’m the hot topic on your tongue. I’m a rebound getting round, stealing from the young.”
The two singers have become part of the most prominent love triangle that Generation Z has to offer; in the same vein Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt fed Millennials with their love dramas.
Neither of the young women posed together at the event, but someone online photoshopped it, so it looked like they did.
The fake photo is amassing millions of views on X, formally Twitter, and fans are cheering to see the two women together.
“I almost fainted,” one fan wrote.
“They look so beautiful,” another praised.
“War is over,” one claimed.
“Aww,” someone gushed.
Online investigators were quick to detect that it wasn’t actually a photo of Rodrigo and Carpenter together but rather Carpenter had been photoshopped over singer Phoebe Bridgers.
“I believed this a for a second,” one complained.
“I gasped,” another admitted.
“This is not real. Stop lying to people,” one ordered.
What is interesting is that people on the internet seem obsessed with these women being friends.
Instead of being assumed that perhaps the pair have an awkward history together but there are no hard feelings, there’s a loud rhetoric that they must hate each other.
People want them to become close mates, and the fact they aren’t means people assume they must be in a long-running feud.
Is anyone friends with their ex-boyfriend’s ex?
Weirdly there does seem to be an expectation of famous women to be friends with their boyfriend’s exes.
There was a similar demand between Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber; Gomez dated Justin Bieber on/off for years until they finally called it quits for good in 2018. After they broke up, Hailey and Bieber started dating and got married in the same year.
Ever since then, there has been a huge push on the internet for Bieber and Gomez to be friends, and when a selfie of the pair came out in October 2022, people were thrilled.
It went viral and it made people very happy.
“The way Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez have done more for world peace than the majority of the politicians in the world,” one claimed.
“This picture is made for the history books,” another wrote.
“Hailey and Selena hugged each other this is my multiverse of madness,” someone joked.
So why is there an obsession with women being friends?
Psychologist Carly Dober said it is because there are significant “pressures” on women to seem agreeable.
“To some degree, there are still significant pressures on women to conform to typically feminine traits or characteristics such as niceness, agreeableness, and ‘keeping the peace,” she explained.
Ms Dober explained that these biases can be more easily highlighted in Hollywood, hence why people are photoshopping photos of young women.
“Objectively, we know there are many reasons why people might not be friends with another person irrespective of their shared dating history. We know how much you have in common with someone, how much you get along with someone, and how much you want to be friends with someone are all influenced by many variables.
“However, people still want women to play nice, and if they don’t, there might be ‘something wrong’ with them,” she explained.
Ultimately Ms Dober thinks it is important to remember that not everyone is going to “like” you and that is normal.