Even if social media started out as a way for undergrads to keep tabs on one another’s lives and relationship statuses, and to “Poke” each other… these days it can be hard to find someone who doesn’t use it.
My generation swarms to apps like Instagram, where we follow closely every step (or rather, post) of both our actual friends from real life and celebrities, athletes, and others we’ve never actually met.
It’s a brave new world that we’re all living in, and it’s all been quite the game changer for celebrities.
They can be their own PR people around the clock, attracting both negative and positive attention in both carefully orchestrated and completely unexpected ways.
The masses, apparently, feel like they have the right to pass judgment and make public comment on everything that these famous faces capture with a camera, caption with a few words, and post out into that weird and wondrous world known as the Internet.
The wilder thing, still, is to see how a single post made by a socialite, actress, or athlete can spark so much controversy or attract so much attention that entire news articles are written about it, not only on celebrity gossip sites but also in, like, actual news publications.
Man, if you think the pressure’s on you to make your life look picture perfect with each post (which, um, maybe you shouldn’t…? Just saying, this is not the only way to live…), imagine how the mega-famous must feel…
From (what they thought were) simple family photos to baring themselves for selfies to posting pics of the hub’s butt, here are 20 posts celebs made that got the Internet talking.
20 Controversy Over Cavallari’s Kids
In my own leisure time, I honestly don’t make it a point to keep up with what many celebrities are doing in their personal lives these days. We canceled cable years ago, and with two very young kids of my own and a writing career crammed in there somewhere, it’s just not really in the cards for me to be up on the latest Hollywood gossip.
But one I have kept track of over the years, if I’m honest, is Kristin Cavallari. Although I wasn’t a fan of MTV “reality” show Laguna Beach when it was actually on the air back in the day, I did watch through it after the fact with eyes glued to the screen a few years later.
Being very similar in age to the cast members featured on the show, it was a hoot to look back on the fashions and teen life of those years – because they were all REALLY close to home for me.
And so my interest was piqued, indeed, when one of my very favorite stars of the show (who had gone on to marry a famous NFL quarterback and have children) started making mom headlines, as well, due to her posts about her life on Instagram.
When she posted a simple shot of her family at the beach, commenters decided to chime in that her kids were too “skinny,” and an entire discussion followed.
19 Kristin Cavallari Bares Jay Cutler’s Behind
Have you ever heard of a little football team called the Chicago Bears? The football fans in my life are all about the Green Bay Packers, and so even I had quite an awareness of the Bears, some of the Cheesehead’s longtime rivals.
Their quarterback for quite some time was a guy named Jay Cutler, from 2009 until near the end of his NFL career in 2016, in fact. It was also during this time that a relationship of interest was developing.
Former MTV reality TV star Kristin Cavallari and Cutler ended up getting engaged, then calling off the engagement (as reported at USMagazine.com), and then getting engaged again before getting married in 2013.
The couple has three children together.
The good news for fans of the former pro athlete, the blonde celebrity, or both is that Cavallari also joined Instagram and started posting updates about her life and travels (and promoting her various business pursuits).
From downtime with the kids to vacations with the girls to getaways with the hubs, she seems to periodically post a bit of it all.
Sports and celebrity sites (and more) got talking when she shared a picture of her husband’s naked butt.
18 Blake Lively’s Backside Brag
What can be quite interesting to watch unfold is when a celebrity makes a comment or posts a caption with no ill intent behind it that is then interpreted, well, differently than they imagined it would be.
Blake lively was stared at by eager fans of the show Gossip Girl for its many seasons. She played an extremely wealthy teenager who ran in the most exclusive NYC circles and, of course, fell in love, with plenty of drama and intrigue along the way.
The (currently 30-year-old) actress got married to actor Ryan Reynolds in 2012, and the two now famously have two children together.
They’ve attracted plenty of (positive) attention from the media over the years.
Then something a little bit spicy happened, and all because of a little post that Lively made.
As reported on AmericasSpotlight.com, “Blake Lively didn’t intend to spark controversy when she posted a photo celebrating her curves. With side-by-side photos of her front and backside on a red carpet in Cannes, she captioned her Instagram post, ‘L.A. face with an Oakland booty.’”
The problem was that some people didn’t like the actress’s use of those particular lyrics.
The same site continued, “In quoting Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back,’ Lively was accused of ‘racial insensitivity.’ Lively later said she didn’t mean to offend with her photo, and even Sir Mix-A-Lot himself defended the actress.”
17 Kendall & Kylie Hawk Clothes
They were once just young girls sometimes seen in their family’s reality TV show…
You can keep up with Kylie through the use of social media such as Snapchat, although the images she posts rather frequently spark entire articles on celebrity news sites, so you can probably just catch your Kylie news there, too.
Aside from all the news about pregnancies and new babies in that growing and ultra-famous family, there’s also occasionally news – sometimes quite controversial – about the sisters’ various business pursuits.
The two younger sisters of the family apparently had a clothing brand that they were trying to promote. The way one outfit was worn in this promotion offended some onlookers.
The website AmericasSpotlight.com reported, “Kendall and Kylie Jenner may not have realized they’d spark controversy in their clothing line advertisement. However, the way their button-up shirt was styled left them at the center of the blame for cultural appropriation.”
A twitter user wrote, “Aside from being unoriginal, it’s definitely irritating to see these girls making money off a culture they know absolutely nothing about. When we — Latinas and Xicanas — dress in flannels and big pants, we get profiled and frowned upon. But when they do it, it’s ‘fashion.’”
After such reactions, the ad was taken down.
16 When Anne Hathaway Didn’t Mean To Offend Anybody
Sometimes celebrities get people all riled up for posting something offensive to certain cultural groups. And then there are those memorable moments in which they post pictures and / or captions that may come across as offensive to each other – as in specific other celebrities.
Is “controversy” the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of actress Anne Hathaway? Me neither.
But someone with a spotlight shining so brightly on her for so long, and who uses social media, has her share of the very public drama, too.
Once again, this drama managed to involve none other than that famous reality TV family the Kardashians.
What some celebrated as clever and admirable, others saw as being negative.
The brunette actress posted on Instagram a meme involving a picture of actress Helena Bonham Carter and the words “In a world of Kardashians be a Helena Bonham Carter.”
I remember seeing it shared on Facebook, and at the time, I had no idea that Hathaway had any connection to it.
AmericasSpotlight.com said, “Actress Anne Hathaway may have thrown shade at the Kardashians, but we believe her when she says she didn’t mean to. … Instead of reading into the positivity of her post, many accused Hathaway of condemning the Kardashians. Hathaway swiftly deleted the post and uploaded a new photo in the form of an apology.”
Her response was, “Post removed for unintended shade thrown.” She wrote, “It never occurred to me I was pitting anyone against each other. Not my style. Peace x.”
15 Kylie Jenner’s Cosmetic Controversy
During the time that I personally watched a little show you may have heard of called Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kendall and Kylie Jenner were just little girls.
Their makeup-free faces were innocent and smiling, and their long brown hair cascaded prettily down past their shoulders when they were filmed in scenes filmed in the family’s Southern California home.
A lot has happened since those days (more than a decade ago!), and while I haven’t kept up with the family through their various shows, I do know that those girls are now all grown up.
From promoting their clothing to their various relationships and beyond, it’s all the stuff of celebrity news these days.
And posting to social media to many fans and followers is sort of (a big) part of the job for people who make their money by, well, being famous.
Not everyone is always exactly thrilled with what’s posted, though… Sometimes fans demand that more care is taken in details such as which clothing is worn (and how) and even the look of certain makeup…
AmericasSpotlight.com reported, “Kylie Jenner received a lot of heat for posting pictures from this photo shoot on Instagram. The dark effect on her face prompted her followers to believe she was wearing blackface, but Jenner immediately shut that speculation down.”
Jenner wrote, in 2015, “This is a black light and neon lights people lets all calm down.”
While some reportedly defended Jenner with comments, others continued to disapprove.
14 Kim Kardashian’s Topless Shot By Her Tot
How many times have you read a headline involving Kim K and some controversy centered around none other than social media app Instagram? Is this by mistake, do you think? Food for thought.
The Kardashians are, after all, a family full of business people, and the businesses they are in often center around being famous.
I’m just saying, having yet another attention-grabbing headline written about you when your whole deal is attracting fans, followers, and views probably isn’t seen as a bad thing in many cases…
AmericasSpotlight.com said that the reality TV star “could be the most controversial star on Instagram, considering her tendency to show a lot of skin. One photo in particular, however, left her followers feeling seriously uncomfortable…”
The photo in question involved, once again, Kim K showing some skin.
She posted this photo of herself, topless, to her followers and made it clear, reportedly, through her caption that the shot had actually been taken by North, Kardashian’s daughter, who was 4 years old at the time.
One comment read, “I wonder how many people would get social services called on them if this was anyone else but Kim K?? This is subpar parenting.”
On the other hand, someone else commented, “How is this bad? My mom used to change in front of me all the time,” they wrote. “It’s normal with moms and daughters, at least where I’m from. Maybe North was just playing with the camera when Kim was changing. It’s normal, y’all. Stop reaching.”
13 Kardashian Versus Swift
While I know Taylor Swift’s famous face, her music has never exactly been played on the type of radio stations I’ve been listening to over the last few decades.
I know that some of the youngsters in my life still like her music. I guess as long as there are pop stars, there will be teeny boppers who adore them, huh?
Well, I hadn’t heard, somehow, about one of the spicier controversies that Swift was somehow apparently a part of, but website AmericasSpotlight.com explained that this was a big one, and it again involved… a Kardashian!
The site described the occurrence as an “Instagram scandal” and said that “Swift’s feud with the Kardashian-West family isn’t going away anytime soon, with Kardashian’s social media post reigniting the hate even further.”
They say that Kim K posted a still image from back in the day, from Kanye West’s music video for his song “Famous.”
The same site says that the video “infamously features a number of celebrities, naked in bed with the rapper (which were really just wax figures). One of those celebrities includes Swift, which is fitting, considering the lyric, ‘I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b*tch famous.’”
Taylor Swift was reported outspokenly angry about those lyrics.
However, “Kardashian exposed Swift with a recording of her actually approving of them over the phone,” AmericasSpotlight.com says. “With so much controversy already surrounding the whole ordeal, you’d think everyone involved would want to put it to rest,” they continued.
Swift fans reportedly commented with angry emojis, and the whole thing is said to be a continuing feud.
12 Anne Hathaway’s Bikini-Clad Bump
As noted at Glamour.com, brunette actress Anne Hathaway may not exactly be the type fans would expect to post pictures of herself wearing itty-bitty bikinis and things of this nature.
In fact, the site said, “It's pretty much the last thing we'd expect to see on Instagram, ever…”
The shot was posted to Instagram during the wintertime, with the celebrity noticeably pregnant.
Here’s what reportedly happened: The actress was vacationing and out at the beach. Then, she noticed that paparazzi were around taking photos of her.
Instead of succumbing to this “invasion of privacy,” as Glamour.com phrased it, the famous female decided to take control of the situation in her own special way: by posting a picture herself.
Glamour.com said, “Hathaway decided to seize the moment and make it into something profoundly beautiful by stealing it back from those who were invading her privacy (and let's face it, hoping to capture the most unflattering shots of her possible, in order to make big bucks selling them to tabloids).”
Hathaway’s explanation came in the form of these words, included as a caption to the photo she posted herself:
"Happy 2016 to my beautiful Instafriends! So, posting a bikini pic is a little out of character for me, but just now while I was at the beach I noticed I was being photographed. I figure if this kind of photo is going to be out in the world it should at least be an image that makes me happy (and be one that was taken with my consent. And with a filter :) Wishing you love, light and blessings for the year ahead!"
11 Mel B Wearing Just Bangles
Ah, remember the Spice Girls?!
I was right at that age that such pop music is seemingly designed for – and yet my friends and I at the time thought the cool thing to do was to make fun of it (even if we also happened to own one or two of the girl group’s CDs and dance around to the music videos for the hit singles while singing every lyric at full volume…).
Embarrassing tween years aside, some of those women are still, of course, in the spotlight now and again. That level of famous just never really goes away, I guess.
I had no idea, but apparently Mel B – who you may know by her Spice Girls nickname Scary Spice (which I just misremembered in my head as Crazy Spice for some reason) – has three children these days!
Parents.com reported that “Former Spice Girl and mom-of-three Mel B took to Instagram to share a pic of herself wearing a gold watch, a couple of bangle bracelets, and pretty much nothing else" as she posed in front of a mirror with her arms crossed over her chest, in an effort to promote body positivity.
Well, there’s something refreshing to get the Internet talking!
The famous singer and personality wrote,
“As a woman I embrace my flaws and I'm comfortable in my own skin.”
She continued, “Might as well I’m gonna be in it for the rest of my life. I’m the kinda girl that has absolutely no desire to fit in. Ladies we gotta love the skin we are in.”
The reaction from Parents.com? “YASSSS! Even though we have no idea what flaws the X Factor judge could possibly be referring to, we are totally feeling the girl power behind what could have been just another indulgent naked selfie. Zig-a-zag-amazing, Mel!”
10 Blac Chyna Keeping Up
So, there’s the brother of the Kardashian clan, Rob. His baby mama is Blac Chyna, who has been in the media quite a lot lately.
A 2017 piece at RollingStone.com details many of the nitty-gritty details of their relationship, including online feuds between the pair that included posting inappropriate pictures and accusations galore.
Before all of this, though, even, Blac Chyna was attracting quite a bit of attention.
Parents.com stated that she was “keeping up with her [then] fiancé’s sister Kim.”
And how was it that she was doing so at the time? Through the use of two things perhaps quite familiar to Kim K: 1) social media; and 2) nudity.
“The 28-year-old posed pregnant and completely au natural with her blooming tattooed belly on full display for the September 2016 issue of Paper magazine – the same publication that ‘broke the Internet’ after featuring Kim’s bare, champagne-covered bottom on [its] cover,” according to Parents.com. “Chyna posted a stunning outtake from the shoot over on Instagram…”
And then there’s the way that she decided to caption the shot. She wrote, “Blac Chyna, mogul, entrepreneur, a mother and a bad*ss b*tch.”
What did the people of the Internet have to say about it? Plenty.
Parents.com weighed in, “Modesty definitely does not run in this family—and why should it when you look this amazing?”
9 Alanis Morissette Moms It Up Underwater
Does this remind anyone else of that Nirvana album cover?
Whether the reference was somewhat intentional or not, there certainly was a baby here, floating in the water.
It was just still inside its famous mama’s uterus, is all.
Alanis Morisette was HUGE, as in hugely popular, in the ’90s, with her distinctively voiced pop songs gaining just so, so much radio play.
Parents.com explained that at the time, the singer was pregnant with her second baby, and her first little one had some insights to offer about motherhood.
“It’s like rain on your wedding day…. or, you know, going skinny-dipping when you’re pregnant,” the online version of the mag said. “While expecting her second child with husband Mario “Souleye” Treadway, singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette Instagrammed the most amazing picture of herself completely naked and submerged in water. Her hands are demurely covering her chest, but otherwise, the rocker’s stunning pregnant body is on full display as she serenely floats underwater like some kind of mermaid goddess.”
And what was it that Ever, the brunette’s son (who was 5 years old at the time) had to contribute? Morissette included his words in her caption for the post: “You have to be extra gentle around ladies because they are the most helpful people in the world ’cause they make persons.”
8 Tess Holliday Flaunts Her Figure
Tess Holliday, a model, has shared many a snap of herself to her followers on social media.
When she posted this picture, she added a little spice to it, reportedly firing back at those who chose to judge her online.
According to Parents.com, “Tess Holliday is anything but shy about showing off her famous figure. While expecting her second child, with fiancé Nick Holliday, the plus-size model stripped down for an awesome naked baby-bump selfie to hit back at all the critics who claimed they couldn’t tell she’s pregnant.”
And hey, maybe that right there is the secret to making the Internet buzz: doing something that sparks a very positive reaction from many and then also a negative one from others. Controversy equals drama equals views, and all of this leads to discussion and shares, I suppose.
The famous mama included this caption to go along with the image that she shared: “I will continue to live unapologetically, to thrive in this body, prove the naysayers wrong & laugh at the ignorance.” On top of this, she had a few little hastags to throw into the mix, as well: #babyhollidayontheway #37weeks #effyourbeautystandards #plussizepregnancy.
Parents.com voiced the opinion that it was a “stunning shot” and encouraged the mother, “Way to go, Tess! Haters gonna hate, so you just keep doing you.”
7 Kim K Post-Baby & Bare
You may have, if you are paying close attention, noticed a bit of a trend here. A few actually.
One is that when celebrities post pictures of themselves not wearing anything at all, or wearing just like, some jewelry, it attracts just a little bit of attention on the ole World Wide Web.
The other trend I’m wondering if you have noticed is that a good deal of times that the Internet exploded with discussion about social media posts involved… you guessed it… Kardashians.
I mean, maybe that’s sort of par for the course for people who make money off of having likes and follows and views.
Although some of the world still functions somewhat outside of this realm, and real life isn’t an online popularity contest, the trends can be somewhat clear online.
Kim K has a famous face, a famous figure, and a famous tendency to post images of them both online for anybody and everybody to see.
Parents.com pointed out one particularly noteworthy selfie that the famous reality show star shared:
“The queen of the ‘belfie,’ Kim Kardashian has embraced her post-baby body by sharing it with her over 69 million Instagram followers. The mom of two (son Saint joined daughter North on Dec. 5) even captioned one recent nude black-and-white photo with the hashtag ‘#liberated.’”
6 Kourtney Kardashian Keeps At It
Kim K is not the only one who can pose in the buff for black-and-white photos – oh, no…
Parents.com stated that “Like sister Kim, Kourtney Kardashian is a fan of the full-body black and white naked selfie. (And when you look like this, who can blame you?) More recently, the KUWTK star and mom of three Instagrammed a sunbathing photo of herself wearing a string bikini bottom and the caption ‘Sunday Funday.’”
The famous reality star, the oldest sister of the crew, sported very long dark hair worn down and reaching all the way to her rear end.
She posed with her back to the camera and one leg crossed in front of the other.
I always liked this member of the clan somewhat the best, as I recall, when I briefly watched some of one of the very earliest seasons of the long-running reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. But back when I was a viewer, things were seemingly simpler. The sisters ran their boutique store together, hung out in the kitchen of the family’s Southern California home, and shared with viewers some of the sillier times and the little dramas of their day-to-day lives….
That was then…
5 When Heidi Klum Can’t Be Contained
Victoria’s secret models..
For decades, they’ve been attracting plenty of attention and selling lots of bras, panties, and swimwear in the process.
Back in the day, Heidi Klum was one of the main Victoria’s Secret It girls.
Except for of course the lingerie company behemoth has its own name for such a person: an Angel.
In 2014, Klum decided to sport just panties, which perhaps she’s quite comfortable doing by now, after years and years spent modeling them, as she posed for a shot that she then shared to Instagram.
Parents.com put it quite, ahem, cheekily: “There's no fear of a [wardrobe] malfunction here.”
The model, host, and TV personality included the following caption with the image that she shared:
"@zac_posen ....I need something to wear for tonight's @projectrunway".
And guess what else? In case you didn’t know or didn’t remember, Klum has had four children.
The fellow covering up her chest area is of the designer she tags in her post, and so perhaps the story begins to make a little more sense.
According to Fashion.Telegraph.co.uk, the picture was posted “just a few months after Klum claimed she would no longer feel comfortable modeling underwear on the catwalk after hitting 40."
“I think that would feel, you know, a little uncomfortable maybe," the German star reportedly shared.
The Telegraph site noted her separation from Seal in 2012, and that she was dating 28-year-old art dealer Vito Schnabel at the time.
4 Windswept Jenna Dewan
Some things have changed since this photo was taken. The couple that the Internet loved to, well, see, is now separated, reportedly leaving fans and followers rather heartbroken.
But they’re keeping it super classy, as they say, with carefully worded messages posted to those who follow along with their lives on social media.
HuffingtonPost.com explains that the two met back in 2005 on the set of Step Up, the now-classic dance movie.
They were married for nine years before announcing that they were splitting up.
“Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now,” the two shared in posts, continuing, “There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best-friends realizing it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible.”
A few days ago, Tatum even used social media to publicly wish his baby mama a happy Mother’s Day.
I just felt that these crucial and recent updates had to be included while sharing this classic Jenna Dewan shot.
In her caption, she quipped, “I pretty much live my entire life with hair in my face.”
3 Gisele Bundchen Doing Work
Here’s yet another recurring theme… What attracts a lot of attention on the World Wide Web (now available 24-7 at our fingertips in many cases)?
Victoria’s Secret models, both past, and present.
Gisele’s uniquely recognizable face (and so much more) graced the pages of the lingerie company’s catalogs back in the day, and these days, she shares snaps of her life on social media.
As Parents.com puts it, “Check out the supermodel's Instagram feed and you'll see all sorts of images, from playful family candids and bikini shots to tasteful images like this one—paying homage to her day job.”
Gold bangles galore are stacked on her visible wrist, and abundant matching wrings and earrings are worn – and that’s pretty much it, as far as the camera can see.
Her long hair is worn down and in waves, with trademark light highlights in dirty-blonde hair displayed as she poses on crisp white linens.
Her makeup is done with peachy nudes, and a dark, smoky eye with heavy liner calls attention to the eyes looking directly at the camera.
I’ve personally been entertained by the images I’ve come across of the model and mom doing yoga out in nature or with her little one beside her.
2 All Of Alessandra Ambrosio
Continuing our supermodel theme – because clearly, supermodels are good at gathering attention on the Internet – let’s now turn to another Victoria’s Secret alum, Alessandra Ambrosio.
In one shot she shared, she was just bare as can be, leaning back against some rocks with dim sunlight glowing behind her.
The photo is taken from the side, so that neither the rear end nor the front portion are actually in view, and the chest is covered, or, well, cupped so that technically, nothing’s “naked” there either.
As included at Parents.com, Ambrosio is a mother of two, a daughter named Anja and a son called Noah, with Jamie Mazur.
After posing for some photos at a shoot in Malibu, California, she decided to go ahead and share one!
She provided a short caption for the shot that she posted: "Cali and Dreams," and that was all she wrote.
For fans and followers, I guess the image sort of spoke for itself.
The 37-year-old, you’ll find with a quick googling, actually has the mouthful of a name Alessandra Corine Maria Ambrósio. She is originally from Brazil, and she has both modeling and acting credits. She was actually the very first spokesmodel for Victoria’s Secret’s PINK line, which features pajamas, loungewear, bras, and underwear marketed toward a younger set.
1 Pregnant Sarah Stage Gets Specific About Numbers
The world, or, well, the Internet started paying attention to someone named Sarah Stage quite intensely when she was pregnant.
USMagazine.com said, “Sarah Stage is eight months pregnant with six-pack abs. And though the model doesn’t appear to have gained an ounce — she wants her 2.3 million Instagram followers to know that most certainly isn’t the case. Stage revealed on Tuesday, August 22, she’s added 18 pounds to her 5-foot-8 frame, putting her current weight at 137.”
On the very same day, she reportedly shared another shot of herself wearing a bikini.
Us Mag said that the pregnant mom to a toddler “showed off her unbelievable body” while she wore the white bathing suit.
Her caption for the picture was “#31weeks ?? baby is kicking like crazy!!”
As is reportedly the norm, “Stage’s post was flooded with comments ranging from ‘beautiful!’ to ‘quit lying you ain’t pregnant,’” the website noted.
With a 2-year-old little boy already and another boy on the way at the time, the mom “blasted trolls for saying she shouldn’t be working out.”
She had recently shared on Instagram, “Since I’ve announced my second pregnancy, I’ve had certain ‘Instagram medical experts’ tell me what I should and shouldn’t do… While I find some of the comments hilarious, I choose to only listen to my OBGYN and of course, I also listen to MY body. If something feels off, I don’t do it! I always do what’s best for my growing baby and put him first.”
The star of social media, based in L.A., became famous in 2015 after posting pics of herself with a six-pack and itty-bitty baby bump.
People.com said, “Instead of judging her, Stage has one request for her followers: ‘Positive vibes only.’”