Today, we are mourning, for actress Kate Beckinsale has cleared all the posts from her excellent and weird as hell Instagram feed. Gone, it appears, are the selfies with her cat, the lip syncing videos, and always stellar captions, as well as her candid post about Harvey Weinstein; gone, as well, are her snarky responses to trolling commenters, especially in the wake of her romance with Pete Davidson.
Which brings us to the main subject: Why, exactly, has Kate Beckinsale deleted her Instagram posts? In most news stories, her move has been put in the context of her relationship with Davidson. When rumors began to circulate that they had started dating, flocks of trolls descended on the comments section of her (unrelated) posts to weigh in. For example, below a throwback photo of Beckinsale’s mother that she posted to her account, one user commented, “Dear heavens, Kate. Not Pete Davidson.” Beckinsale responded tartly, “No that’s my mother. Easy mistake.” Beside a selfie, another commenter chimed in, “Disappointed in your dating choices,” to which Beckinsale replied, “Fairly let down by your wonky beard but thought possibly rude to say.”
Certainly, dating Davidson immediately on the heels of his ill-fated engagement to Ariana Grande was bound to garner some outsize attention on social media, which could prompt someone to decide to log off indefinitely. Most recently, earlier this week, David Spade, comedian and The Bachelor fan, decided he needed to weigh in, commenting, “You like them young! ( now don't fight back and roast me just quietly stew and take the hit),” which, why would she? So she replied, “never gonna happen grandpa.” Then, by the end of the week, she had deleted all her previous posts, à la Reputation-era Taylor Swift.
But why not simply deactivate your account? Why scrub all your previous posts? Is there something more at stake? Are we simply reading way too far into this?
In any case, if her relationship with Davidson really is the reason (Beckinsale’s representation did not respond to People magazine’s request for comment), Hailey Bieber can empathize: “The problem...is kids become possessive over people and feel like if they think they’re hurt, they feel hurt for them and they’re hurt too, or whatever it is. They just think they know these people who are famous because their life is so exposed. And that’s what gets me, I think, the most frustrated,” she told Cosmopolitan in a recent interview. “You actually don’t know me. You don’t know him. You don’t know her, you don’t know these people for real. What’s really weird to me is they create scenarios in their head of what they think is happening or what they think should happen, and I’m just like, ‘This is just so dumb. It’s so dumb.’”