In our culture of striving for likes, friend requests, and photoshopping our images to make ourselves look ‘perfect,’ Selena Gomez is speaking out about mental health, stepping away from the superficial, and is explaining why she’s finally putting herself first.
Selena Gomez, 25, is on the September 2017 cover of InStyle and in her most revealing interview ever, she’s talking about “going away” for 90 days and returning to the spotlight feeling happier and healthier than ever. “Last year I canceled my tour and went away for 90 days, and it was the best thing that I ever could’ve done. I had no phone, nothing, and I was scared. But it was amazing, and I learned a lot,” she told the magazine. “Everything I cared about, I stopped caring about. I came out, and it felt like, ‘OK, I can only go forward.’ And there are still days. I go to therapy. I believe in that and talking about where you are. But I’m in a really, really healthy place.”
Selena has been in the spotlight since she was a small child on Barney, so she’s had almost 20 years of people critiquing her every move. “I think it is really dysfunctional to be in this industry at a young age where you’re figuring out who you are. I don’t recommend it.” I LOVE that she’s speaking out about putting her health and wellness first. I think we are in a vicious time in our society where there is an immense pressure on everyone to look, act, and BE perfect at all times. Since it seems like everything is documented on social media, there is so much less freedom to “figure out” who you are and to make mistakes that shape you. I am so fearful of when I have children and what the world will be like for them. I am 31, so Facebook only became popular for me in college, and Snapchat and Instagram were non-existent. I did my fare share of stupid things when I was young, and I’m glad they only exist in close friends’ memories and not on film.
Selena continued: “I was in the countryside and never did my hair; I took part in equine therapy, which is so beautiful. And it was hard, obviously. But I knew what my heart was saying, and I thought, ‘OK, I think this has helped me become stronger for other people.’ When I came out, I was asked to go to the American Music Awards, and everyone around me was like, ‘Do whatever makes you comfortable.’ I didn’t want my fans to have a negative view of taking care of yourself, so I just went in head-on, and I’ll tell you, the first time stepping on that carpet was so overwhelming.” I can identify with Selena in the fact that it’s hard for me to disconnect. My life and career are tied around the internet and social media. I have gone on very expensive vacations and found myself scrolling through Instagram in the bed of my 5-star hotel. It’s a goal of mine to work hard and reach my career goals, but also to take the time to re-connect with myself and my family when I’m home or on vacation.
Selena has spoken about her own insecurities in the past and said, “That’s what I work on in therapy the most. Because of social media, because of all the pressure that girls have, it’s so difficult. It’s good to be connected, to see things, and to get a sense of what your friends are up to. But it also allows people to think they need to look or be a certain way. I remember when I had my Disney show, I was just running around and not caring and making kids laugh. I was all over the place. And now it feels more zoomed-in — you have ugly people trying to get negative things from you, and the energy makes you feel bad about yourself. You can’t help it. It’s very hard to find out who you are during all that mess and pressure…I want to use my voice to be a part of things and to speak out, whether it’s about health or happiness or charities. If I have this platform, why wouldn’t I use it?”
I literally couldn’t say it better. I think mental health and happiness is SO important. I do think people are starting to focus more on happiness-boosting workouts and meditation since, like me, they probably feel overwhelmed much of the time. I applaud Selena for talking openly about her therapy and hopefully taking away any stigma from getting more intense treatment, if you feel you need it. I think she is brave and a great role model for girls and women, encouraging them to try to be healthier and happier.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Selena Gomez’s therapy openness is inspiring?