Selena Gomez is well aware of what it is like to be under constant scrutiny. She first appeared on TV when she was 11 as an actress in the children’s show Barney & Friends. At 15, she was the star of the hit Disney show Wizards of Waverly Place. And today, she has an eye-watering 371 million followers on Instagram.
“Being exposed to media attention from such a young age certainly brings a lot of pressure,” she explained in a 2021 interview with EL PAÍS, when she presented her beauty brand, Rare.
And the constant comments about her weight have only increased the pressure. “I hear on a daily basis, that I’m not sexy or cool enough, so I wanted to make a brand to encourage each and every person to be who they are and to try to get rid of all that unwanted pressure,” she told EL PAÍS, when explaining her motivation for starting Rare.
The singer and actress from Texas has always spoken openly about her mental health (she is bipolar, a condition she talks about in the documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me), and stood up to the criticisms about her weight.
On January 11, Gomez was once again the subject of criticism, when she appeared at the Golden Globes. In an Instagram live, the actress, who was nominated for her role in the show Only Murders in the Building, responded to the online trolls: “I’m a little bit big right now because I enjoyed myself during the holidays”
Gomez’s fans also rushed to defend her. “To everyone who’s talking about her weight. You do remember she’s had a kidney transplant because of lupus, right?” said one follower.
In 2017, Gomez had an emergency kidney transplant as part of her fight against lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy tissues. In 2019, the actress explained that her lupus medication also affected her weight.
“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,” Selena explained “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,” Selena explained on the video podcast, Giving Back Generation.
Recently, a viral TikTok video claimed that Gomez was “always skinny” while dating singer Justin Beiber. She and Beiber were in an on-off relationship for 10 years, which ended for good in spring 2018. The singer surprised followers by responding to the video, commenting: “He prefers models. I’m just too normal.”
In an earlier video, Gomez also talked about her weight battles.
“So I be trying to stay skinny,” she said in a viral TikTok video in April last year. “But I went to Jack in the Box and I got four tacos, three egg rolls, onion rings and a spicy chicken sandwich.”
She continued, “Honestly, I don’t care about my weight because people bitch about it anyway. ‘You’re too small,’ ‘you’re too big,’ ‘that doesn’t fit.’ ‘Meh meh meh meh.’”
Gomez doesn’t shy away from the criticism, but rather tries to highlight society’s unrealistic beauty ideals.
“I try to stay skinny but I went to jack-in-the-box and I got four tacos, three egg rolls, onion rings and a spicy chicken sandwich” — Selena Gomez pic.twitter.com/LdDMR3S7al— Selena Gomez Source (@GomezSource) April 11, 2022
“The beauty myth – an obsession with physical perfection that traps modern woman in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of flawless beauty. I chose to take care of myself because I want to, not to prove anything to anyone,” she posted on Instagram in 2018.
When asked about her decision to make the raw documentary, Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me, Gomez, she replied: “Because I have the platform I have, it’s kind of like I’m sacrificing myself a little bit for a greater purpose.”
Meanwhile, the actress is keeping busy: she is working on her beauty brand, preparing songs for her next album and shooting the third series of Only Murders in the Building, where she stars alongside Meryl Streep.
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