The former Disney golden-child has been making headlines recently thanks to her happy and healthy self image. After years of publicly struggling with both Lupus and depression and anxiety, the star has got her health back on track. In the past few years, she's released the best music of her career, helped revive Coach from beyond the grave and produced one of the most talked about shows of the year - 13 Reasons Why.
Things weren't always so sunny for the Wizards of Waverly Place star. She explained candidly to Business of Fashion how the public eye made her reconsider her life in the spotlight.
"I started getting known for things that weren’t [related to] my work...That’s when my passion started to really feel like it was going further and further away. And that scared me. When I was younger, it was all fun to me. When I did state fairs and 100 people would show up, I would be stoked. That was the best feeling in the world. But when I got older, I started to become exposed to the truth behind some stuff and that’s when it flipped a little bit."
"I realized that, ‘Oh this is actually really hard, and kind of slimy in certain areas,’ and I didn’t realize that certain people wanted certain things from me. My confidence went through a lot with that."
Selena recalls first being targeted by the media about her body image from a a young age. "I remember just feeling really violated, even just being on the beach. I was maybe 15 or 16 and people were taking pictures—photographers," she recounted. "I don’t think anyone really knew who I was. But I felt very violated. I didn’t like it or understand it, and that felt very weird, because I was a young girl and they were grown men.
"I didn’t like that feeling. Then, I would say the last season of my show, I was probably 18 years old, is when I felt like the flip happened. I didn’t feel like it was about my art as much. I was on the fourth season of the show, and I felt like I was outgrowing it. I wanted something different and obviously I fell in love [with Justin Bieber] for the first time. There was all this stuff that was happening, and I didn’t know what to do."
Selena reveals that when she was touring for her comeback album Revival she suffered a breakdown. "[I would ask myself] Do I really love this? Is this worth it anymore? I would look at my crowd on tour and think, ‘Yes, this is worth it, right?’ But then I would look at myself in the mirror and I just felt like ‘I’ve had enough, I don’t know if I can go on anymore.’ And I stopped it for a second. But it didn’t mean that I didn’t love it, I just had to find what I was going to do with it. As long as I’m healthy and happy in my mind, I’m all about it."
Gomez is now an open advocate for mental health and wellness, since sharing a beautiful speech with her peers at the 2016 American Music Awards saying, "I think it’s safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life, whether I liked it or not, I had to stop. Cause I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore. But if you are broken, you do not have to stay broken."