When Lady Gaga performed at the Super Bowl a few weeks back, we saw a strange thing happen. Once people got over the initial debate about whether or not the show was meant to be political, a new debate seemed to arise, and this one was solely focused on Gaga鈥檚 physique.

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Lady Gaga performs during the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl 51 Halftime Show at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Given the nature of the sometimes not-so-kind internet, we weren鈥檛 necessarily shocked to see people critiquing the star鈥檚 figure, but it warmed our hearts to see the amount of people coming out in social media droves to not only defend her, but applaud her for baring her belly just the way it was. Instead of headlines about trolls ripping her body apart, we saw mostly pieces about her fans ripping the body shamers apart, and immediately felt aglow inside.

Yet, we felt a twinge of pain as well. Not for Gaga, per se, but for the 鈥淕agas鈥 that came before her 鈥 the stars that only saw the negative side of the social media sword. Take Britney Spears, for instance. Though it happened 10 years ago, it still seems like yesterday that Brit-Brit took the stage at the VMAs looking鈥 a little less like Britney than usual. Looking back on the photos today, we struggle to find fault with them: Girl has better abs in them than most of us will ever have, and gave birth to not one, but two children both years prior. Beyond that, she was embroiled at the time in a very public mental health and addiction crisis. Yet, despite everything, people chose to tear her appearance apart.

LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 09: Singer Britney Spears performs on stage during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards held at The Palms Hotel and Casino on September 9, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Just the day after Spears鈥 performance, headlines were comprised of things such as 鈥淟ard and Clear鈥 (The New York Post) or embellished with lines like 鈥淭he bulging belly she was flaunting was SO not hot鈥 (E!). Where was the outrage then? Where were Spears鈥檚 鈥渓ittle monsters鈥 standing up for her when she needed it most? Where Gaga鈥檚 fans supported her to a level that she felt empowered enough to address the haters, saying that she was 鈥減roud of her body and you should be proud of yours too,鈥 Britney reportedly felt so ashamed following that now infamous show that she ran offstage yelling, 鈥淥h my God, I looked like a fat pig!鈥 Simon Cowell even went so far as to claim that 鈥渟he could have killed her career.鈥

It got us thinking: Is this a sign of how far we鈥檝e come as a society? Have we really become that more accepting in the past 10 years than we were back then? Mayyyyybe: Britney鈥檚 fans were certainly quick to interject this past weekend when fellow pop star Katy Perry seemingly mocked her more difficult days of yore on the Grammys red carpet 鈥 particularly her head shaving incident.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Katy Perry attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

Not only were journalists like Emily Nussbaum and Matt Stopera (who penned an entire piece documenting Katy鈥檚 apparent obsession with the event entitled, 鈥淒ear Katy Perry, Please Just Stop鈥) not on board with the 鈥渏oke鈥 鈥 fans didn鈥檛 appear to be either, and flooded Katy鈥檚 Instagram with messages of disapproval and snake emoji. It certainly would appear that we鈥檙e in the midst of a positively changing tide, then, no?

And yet鈥 a part of us remains slightly skeptical. In the aforementioned instances of defense, the stars in question were in society鈥檚 鈥済ood graces,鈥 if you will. We collectively like Gaga. We feel good about her performance, and so we鈥檙e outraged by the critiques against her appearance. Britney, too, has found her way back into the brighter side of the spotlight (and society鈥檚 hearts), making her big comeback at last year鈥檚 VMAs.

But what about the stars that have fallen into the shadows? The ones, who, while once on top, have seen the tides begin to turn against them? Would the same champions defending Gaga and Britney today be so quick to defend someone like Taylor Swift (who all but saw the world turn against her in 2016) if she were carrying a few extra pounds? Or would we all point and laugh? What about someone such as Lindsay Lohan, who, despite her best efforts, has yet to fully shake her party girl image? Did former UFC champ Ronda Rousey, who suffered her second straight loss at the hands of Amanda Nunes earlier this year, actually have it right when she told The Mirror, 鈥淧eople want to see people rise, because they want to rise, but they want to see people fall, because they want to feel like they鈥檙e human, like they are?鈥

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke perform onstage during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for MTV)

Perhaps we should ask Miley Cyrus. These days, she鈥檚 one half of everyone鈥檚 unexpected favorite couples, but just four years ago in 2013, her image wasn鈥檛 *quite* so squeaky clean. And while people didn鈥檛 necessarily criticize her physique, she was certainly slut-shamed for showing it off during her MTV VMAs performance with Robin Thicke.

If we鈥檙e going to stand up for the Gagas of the world, we NEED to stand up for the pre-comeback Britneys too. If we鈥檙e going to cheer on body positivity for ladies such as Ashley Graham (AKA the first plus-size model to ever walk for Michael Kors 鈥 yay!), we also need to accept gals like Miley Cyrus who feel comfy enough in their bods to bare them to the world. No one鈥檚 body is 鈥渂etter鈥 or more 鈥渁ppropriate鈥 than another鈥檚, and that fact shouldn鈥檛 change based on our personal feelings toward the person inhabiting them at any given time. If we ever want the shaming to stop 鈥 really, and truly 鈥 we can鈥檛 be part of the problem. We can鈥檛 only defend those that we like, for the moment, or when it suits our needs.

We鈥檙e all in this together, and we need to not be hypocrites. We鈥檝e come a long way, to be sure, but we can do even better. Here鈥檚 hoping we will.

Do you think our society has evolved or that there鈥檚 something to our theory of celebrity favoritism? Share with us @BritandCo.

(Photos via Al Bello, Neilson Barnard, Christopher Polk + Kevin Winter/Getty)