The successful career of Selena Gomez seems perfect: she appears on red carpets in stunning outfits, she does popular movies and series, her songs are at the top of all charts. But the young girl could have easily been broken by all the negativity from the social media.
Impresionante is going to tell you the success story of Selena Gomez that had to deal with health issues, but she didn’t give up and accepted herself for what she is.
“I haven’t even touched the surface of what I want to do.”
Selena Gomez’s acting career started in 2002, when she appeared in an American children’s television series Barney & Friends (2002-2004). And she became really famous after the role in a fantasy teen sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-2012).
She wasn’t going to stick to just one area, so she stormed into the music industry in 2008 with a pop rock band, Selena Gomez & the Scene. The band released 3 studio albums, 7 singles, and 9 videos. Gomez has also recorded 3 solo albums, the most recent being Rare, released in 2020. It topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Selena also appeared in movies and has worked with famous directors: she was in Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York, and Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die. She is also the executive producer of several Netflix and Hulu projects, such as 13 Reasons Why, Living Undocumented, and Only Murders in the Building.
For her contribution in the music industry, in 2017, Billboard named Selena Woman of the Year, and in 2020, Time included her on the Top 100 Most Influential People. In 2021, Selena was the fifth most-followed celebrity on Instagram. The number of fans is constantly growing: she has over 300 million subscribers on Instagram. The US population is around 336 million people.
She is not going to stop and says that she’s ready to show everyone what she’s capable of, “I haven’t even touched the surface of what I want to do. I can’t wait for the moment when a director can see that I’m capable of doing something that no one’s ever seen.” Now, she wants to focus on her acting career and finish her music career.
“I’m not going to hide in my room and be depressed.”
But a successful career and popularity didn’t save Selena Gomez from body-shaming on social media. She had a lot of hate because of her appearance and body. The negative comments started to appear in 2015 after she posted a photo in a swimsuit. She even heard ugly things about herself at airports, “I’d land at the airport and people would yell out, ‘You’re fat!’ It was awful.”
So, Selena decided to get therapy and not let the hate break her, “Each year, I’m becoming more who I am. I have a little more self-awareness. I feel confident and free. I’m not going to hide in my room and be depressed.”
She had to stop using her phone and social media in order not to read the negative comments about herself, “You fixate on the [negative] ones. They’re not like, ‘You’re ugly.’ It’s like they want to cut to your soul. Imagine all the insecurities that you already feel about yourself and having someone write a paragraph pointing out every little thing—even if it’s just physical.”
But the hate didn’t affect Selena’s love for fast-food. She still eats cheeseburgers and other high-calorie foods, “Honestly, I don’t care about my weight because people are going to judge anyway.”
Her appearance changed due to health problems, and the body-shaming she had to deal with was very upsetting, “I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure, so I deal with a lot of health issues, and for me, that’s when I really started noticing more of the body-image stuff.” In 2014, she was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease when the body attacks its own healthy cells. She had a course of chemo, and in 2017, she had a kidney transplantation.
“I’m actually grateful for who I am.”
After the transplantation, her life has changed for the best. She didn’t only feel better, but also became more confident. Selena keeps saying, “I’m actually grateful for who I am.” She has returned to her comfortable weight, she eats healthy food, and does special exercises.
She’s no longer ashamed of the scar on her leg, after the kidney transplantation, “I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up. Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through… and I’m proud of that.”
Selena said that she was constantly working on her self-esteem because being in the spotlight from a very early age is tough, “Self-confidence is still something I work on daily, but when I stopped trying to conform to society’s unrealistic standards of beauty, my perspective entirely shifted.” Thanks to therapy, self-improvement, and her friends’ support, her views have changed, “I only wanted to be myself — that what made me unique was also what made me beautiful.”
The body-shaming situation really affected Selena, and she is afraid that her young fans may also be going through something like this. She thinks that in this case, it’s important not to be silent, and always remain honest, not publishing unrealistic photographs, “Social media has really been terrible for my generation… It just scares me. I see these young girls, I’ll meet them at meet-and-greets or something, they’re just devastated dealing with bullying and not being able to have their own voice.”
“Being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness.”
Selena has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The actress said that she has never been happier, “It made me really happy because I started to have a relationship with myself, and I think that’s the best part.” Her diagnosis inspired Selena to create the Wondermind mental health project.
Selena does what she likes, makes her fans happy with new projects, and doesn’t neglect her psychological and physical health. She’s chosen a path of love and self-acceptance, “Being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness.”
What would you do if you had negative comments about your appearance?
Photo credit: Getty, East News, Instagram