Who Won These 5 Celebrity Breakups of 2014? Let's Compare Their Instagram and Twitter Feeds to Find Out!
Since the dawn of time, all love stories have ended in one of two ways: with both of you dying by each other's sides, after decades of adoration and devotion; or with bleak loneliness, ill-considered new haircuts, and a sacred vow that you will win the breakup at any cost. The basic elements of trying to win a breakup — that is, scheming to make sure that your ex knows that you are happier, more successful, and better-looking than ever — have also been around since the beginning of recorded history, and have remained surprisingly static through it all (see: Adam trying to win his breakup with God by starting human civilization, etc). But luckily, we now have a few tools in our breakup arsenal that our ancestors didn't (I'm not talking about showers, although those help, too), as New York Magazine's Maureen O'Connor pointed out in her essay "Winning the Breakup In the Age of Instagram."
I'm talking about social media. Today, we don't have to rely on inefficient technologies like gossip and "accidentally" mailing your ex an invitation to your wedding to show them that you won. While in the past you needed vast reserves of time, money, and energy to properly win a breakup, now you only need one thing: Instagram. With a carefully edited social media presence, regular photos of you enjoying refreshing brunch mimosas can be tagged, edited, and dispatched with a merciless efficiency, crushing your ex every time he or she logs online to water their crops on Farmville. With social media, the only thing you need to win a breakup is a relentless, bloodthirsty need to destroy the person you once loved (and a forward-facing camera).
I can speak from personal experience that social media has drastically changed the breakup-winning game. And while I'd love to use my own exes as examples, I can't (something about "poor taste" or "completely illegal" or whatever — honestly, I wasn't really listening). However, we can still analyze this year's most high-profile celebrity splits on social media, and find out who won this year's Taylor Swift Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Winning Your Breakup (Online Edition). So let's check out the year's top five celeb splits, and see whose hate has given us the most to "like."
5. NIKKI REED VS. PAUL MCDONALD
The Twilight actress and the guy whom I definitely thought was Phillip Phillips until, like, right now, married in 2011, after only knowing each other for a few months. Their reign as the high-profile version of that couple in your social circle who make you think "Huh, this is gonna end badly...oh, no, I guess they know what they are doing...no, wait, it's going to end badly...no, wait, is it actually going okay?" came to an end this past March, when the pair split.
So which of these two people whom I had completely forgotten about is winning the breakup?
Translation: "I not only have sex with Ian Somerhelder, we also find time to fit in adorable lovey-dovey couples activities (in between bouts of sweaty, animalistic humping)."
Translation: "Oh, don't worry about me, I'm great! I'm just doing my thing, hanging out with some friends...I mean...you don't have to keep asking...why does everyone keep asking me if I'm okay?"
Winner: Nikki. Nikki pulled the classic "Oh, didn't mean to post this cutesy update about how in love I am, I am just SO IN LOVE" move, which is a classic for a reason: because it CRUSHES.Put This Technique to Work in Your Own Life: Eschew that tacky makeout pic for shots of you and your new main squeeze doing all sorts of fun stuff. Your ex now knows that you're having more fun than you ever did together — and trust me, they will start picturing you and your new paramour engaging in bouts of sweaty, animalistic humping, don't worry.
4. LANA DEL ReY VS. BARRIE JAMES O'NEILL
Though Lana Del Rey has been America's Moody Ex-Girlfriend since the release of her debut album, Born to Die, in 2012, she was also someone's actual girlfriend for a few years: noted Lana Del Rey ex-boyfriend Barrie James O'Neill. I'm kidding (kind of) — O'Neill was also in a Scottish band called Kassidy, but after hooking up with Del Rey, he seemed to take that on as his full-time pursuit, even allegedly quitting his own band in February of 2014 to spend more time around Our Lady of Perpetual Sullenness. But the pair split in the summer 2014, with Del Rey referring to him as a "dark character" in an interview at the time. So even if life is pain and existence is sadness and flower crowns are over, which of these dark characters is winning the breakup?
Translation: "This 'who's winning the breakup game' stuff is really silly, and I am above it."
Translation: "That is because you are totally losing the breakup."
Winner: Lana. As Barrie's game of "I have nothing to prove" social media chicken here proves, you can only crow about how you have nothing to prove if you genuinely have nothing to prove.
Put This Technique to Work in Your Own Life: When you are genuinely doing this much better than your ex, you don't need a technique. Your life is doing the winning for you. Instagram yourself eating a calzone in sweatpants every night for a week and you're still winning, bruh.
3. RITA ORA VS. CALVIN HARRIS
Singer/DJ Harris and pop diva/nice-hair-haver Ora were an item for a long time, and despite initial reports that their breakup was amicable and mutual, it turned out that, like all breakups, it was neither amicable nor mutual. Harris prevented Ora from singing a song he wrote and produced during August's Teen Choice Awards; Ora has been too classy to say much publicly, but has presumably had some choice shit to talk to her girlfriends over brunch. So who's singing the saddest song in this breakup?
Translation: "I am being validated by millions of people!"
Translation: "I am being validated by Tom Ford."
Winner: Rita. Rita and Calvin both tried to pull the "my career is doing great since you left me!" And while Rita's career is maybe not going perfectly in the real world, this isn't the real world: This is social media, where just a few carefully made editorial decisions can erase your foibles and make it look like your life is perfect. I mean, everyone knows that validation from one Tom Ford equals the validation of billions of civilians.
Put This Technique to Work in Your Own Life: If you're duking it out with an ex on the battlefield of your careers, go for quality, not quantity. Focus on shots of you dressed up for a mysterious gala. Instagram your conference name tag. Trick Uma Thurman into standing in the background of your selfie. Anything that hints at success, rather than outright states it, will be more powerful.
2. WIZ KHALIFA VS. AMBER ROSE
Rapper Khalifa and model turned singer turned School Dance actress Rose were one of the most solid things going in showbiz. They hooked up in 2011, and seemed for all the world like two adorable schoolkids in love. They were engaged in 2012 and gave birth to baby Sebastian in February 2013, which was followed by a wedding in August of 2013...which was followed by a split in September 2014. The pair broke up under a cloud of rumors that Rose had hooked up with School Dance director/Mariah-ex Nick Cannon. So now that we officially know that love is dead, let's at least get a read on who is faring better in this breakup:
Translation: "I am a businesswoman, I am serious, I am getting on with my life! Now, who wants to look like Geordi La Forge?"
Translation: "I don't need to sell you on my career, because you already know I have a good career. But did you know I am also a good dad? Turns out that I am good at LOTS OF THINGS."
Winner: Wiz. Shifting focus to how good you are at caring for family and friends is a fantastic post-breakup strategy for those who already have a solid reputation as partiers.
Put This Technique to Work in Your Own Life: Sure, everyone knows you can hold your own at Tequiza Shooters Tuesday. But did everybody ALSO know that you spend three afternoons every week helping Granda MeeMaw crochet dog sweaters? Yup, you contain multitudes. Play up the softer sides of your persona on social media, and let your ex know they were so, so, so very wrong about you.
1. PAULA PATTON VS. ROBIN THICKE
America's greatest love story turned cautionary tale about the perils of dancing on Miley Cyrus's butt, the breakup of high school sweethearts Paula Patton and Robin Thicke earlier this year left us all looking at some very blurred lines of infidelity accusations and weird self-promotional desperation. Patton filed for divorce in October, and though I think we can all tell who won this one without dipping into anyone's social media, the Patton-Thicke split provides a good example of one of the most brutal post-breakup win techniques known to man: the "total annihilation."Patton deactivated her Instagram account in February 2014, and while never a prolific tweeter, hasn't tweeted since April. This technique makes the strongest statement of all — "I have won so hard, I don't even need to prove that I won."
And it's true —while Thicke himself has stopped Instagramming after using the platform in July to promote the song "Get Her Back" (which obviously did not succeed in getting her back), he's still tweeting on occasion, while Paula Patton is off doing cool things we can only imagine.
Translation: "I know I overreacted with all those crazed public declarations of love before, so now I'm just acting real normal, because I'm just feeling real normal, everything is SO VERY VERY NORMAL."
Translation: "And I'm like, 'I just, I mean this is exhausting.'"
Winner: Paula. There's no breakup that's easier to win than one that you genuinely don't give a shit about.
Put This Technique to Work in Your Own Life: The only way to truly win a breakup by not giving a shit is to have suffered through a relationship so exhausting that by the end, you're out of love, out of tears, and really would prefer to never see or hear from your ex again. If you've just gotten out of such a relationship, I do suggest you take a page from Paula: Get off social media and go do whatever actually makes you happy. Maybe find a nice model/Crossfit instructor to give you a sunscreen rubdown away from all our prying eyes. Hey, if you're not even doing it on Instagram, who's gonna judge ya?
Images: Giphy (3)