Entertainment

Selena Gomez Opens Up About Her Depression And Why She Has A Love Hate Relationship With Instagram

On first glance, it might appear that success has filled Selena Gomez’s life with the kind of freedom and fulfillment that all artists seek from their work. But for 24-year-old Gomez, success created an emotional prison from which she couldn’t escape.

When Gomez realized that she could no longer live up to being the Selena Gomez everyone knew, she decided to make a change.

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SELENA GOMEZ / INSTAGRAM

Gomez spoke to Vogue about the anxieties that come when you’re always expected to be at the top of your game. Constantly burdened by thoughts of inferiority, Gomez told Vogue, “Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything.”

Gomez continually found herself overwhelmed with bouts of anxiety and panic attacks before and after shows. “I’ve cried onstage more times than I can count,” Gomez told Vogue. Gomez even cut one tour short so she could check into a mental health facility.

When so much has been sacrificed to find the kind of success Gomez has worked for, it would be hard to justify walking away. Unfortunately for Gomez, the burden of it all had finally caught up to her.

To find the peace she had been lacking, Gomez stopped performing and stepped away from her record-breaking Instagram account.

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SELENA GOMEZ / INSTAGRAM

For starters, Gomez has put up a healthy boundary between her and her Instagram account. She told Vogue that the app isn’t even on her phone, an idea that would have been unthinkable months ago. “As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” Gomez told Vogue. “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict.” She added, “I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram.”

And it’s not just a separation from social media that has helped her find healing these days. Gomez gets even further into the details of how she’s finding peace these days, which include learning Spanish, cooking, and sharing her life with non-celebrity friends.

Gomez’s entire interview is worth checking out, especially if you’ve dealt with anxiety and depression.

[MORE] Selena Gomez on Instagram Fatigue, Good Mental Health, and Stepping Back From the Limelight

READ: Selena Gomez Finally Let Us In On Everything She Was Silently Battling

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Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

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Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

selenagomez / Instagram

Selena Marie Gomez (born in Texas in 1992) has been in the public eye for as long as she can remember. She has been a role model for young girls as a singer and an actress and now is involved in more risqué films such as Spring Breakers, a delirious film by indie filmmaker Harmony Korine. Besides having a strong onscreen persona, Gomez has been in relationships with the likes of Justin Bieber, which of course turned the paparazzi attention and cameras to her. Suddenly, when she was barely a teenager her every move was being followed. Her life was sort of predestined to be great when she was named after the great late Selena Quintanilla. However, she has had to deal with divorce (her parents separated when she was five-years-old) and with weak health, as she was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease, which ultimately forced her to get a kidney transplant. She found strength in her mom. Gomez has said that her mother “was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me, sacrificed her life for me.” That must provide so much strength for a woman of barely 26 but who has gone through more in her lifetime than many 50-year-olds.

This must not be easy for anyone, even more so for a Latino woman. Gomez knows that she has a microphone and that she can get to other girls and women. “The older I get, the prouder I am to be a woman in the industry. When I was younger and running around all the time on tour, I don’t think I took the time to notice how being a woman in my position is really a gift. I want to make sure I utilize all that power,” the young Latina star told Into the GlossShe has used this position of privilege to raise awareness on mental health issues, including suicide prevention, both as a celebrity and as a producer. She is also a supporter of associations such as Make A Wish (which grants children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions), the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. 

Selena Gomez fights for friendships above anything else: girl power.

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Gomez values friendship and spreads the word. She has such loyal friends that one even donated a kidney when Gomez needed a transplant. She says: “People are put into your life for seasons, for different reasons, and to teach you lessons”: Selena, we couldn’t agree more.

She gets politically enraged when it matters.

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Gomez knows that a lot of mental health issues concerning young women are related to the policing of their sexuality and reproductive rights. She gets political when she feels the need to, particularly with issues concerning the mental health and general wellbeing of young women like herself. 

She asks her fans to be strong, but to also look for help when needed.

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Her advice: “I’ve learned there’s power deep down inside yourself, and you can find it when you don’t give up on yourself and when you ask for help.” This is so real it hurts: even someone like her, who in the eyes of her fans might seem to have it all, needs to be humble and honest in reaching out to others when the world seems bleak. There is always someone who cares if you are OK. 

She stands up for migrants.

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Gomez doesn’t get political often, but when she does she always stands up for the minority communities. She has been a vocal advocate for migrant rights and the rights of women. She even wore a 1973 necklace as one of very few Latina celebs speaking up for abortion rights.

She even takes a stand from DACA recipients and Dreamers.

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She has used her social media accounts, which have followers in the millions, to call her fans to action. She is clearly showing the world that she does care and she is paying attention. 

She delivers a message of self-acceptance, which led her to produce 13 Reasons Why.

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Gomez’s mother, Amanda, had her when she was just 16, and then raised her by herself. She was also the one that gave Gomez the book on which the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is based. The show was controversial because it spoke about mental health issues and suicide, topics that are fundamental to discuss with young vulnerable populations but that remain a taboo. However, Gomez’s message is optimistic. She has said: “I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful.” Preach! 

13 Reasons Why put mental health issues at the forefront of public media debate.

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“I get it all day, every day, that I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted… I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard,” she said in an interview for the Huffington PostAnd this is exactly the message that she conveys in her project. Taking on Jay Asher’s literary world, she and the series creative team were able to show mental health and suicide from all possible angles. 

She takes fame with a grain of salt.

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She has been famous for a big portion of her life, but she knows that todo es pasajero, and that at the end who you are does not depend merely on adulation: “You are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a ‘Like,’ by a comment. That does not define you.”

Body positivity is her mantra.

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“I feel very empowered and confident and comfortable with where I am. And I think it took me a long time to get there because, you know, the past year was so interesting because I’ve never been body-shamed before… I did gain weight, but I don’t care,” she said at On Air with Ryan SeacrestThis is a great, positive message for someone who is followed by millions of young women throughout the world, particularly in a day and age when standards of beauty are twisted and self-love is hard to achieve. 

She is an active advocate of girl power.

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Perhaps following the example of her mother, who basically raised her alone while holding down as many jobs as necessary to make ends meet, Gomez says: “I don’t want to become little or hurt or a victim. I want to be strong for girls…I just want them to know that there is an option of standing up for yourself.” Additionally, she was named a United Nations Ambassador in 2009, and in this role, she has worked particularly in empowering vulnerable children by helping provide clean water, education, and medical services. 

You learn from your mistakes.

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Perhaps most importantly, she knows that many see her as a role model and that this brings a huge deal of responsibility. “I’m human, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, but I guess my job is to keep those mistakes to myself, which I’m already fine doing and just try to be the best I can be for those kids,” she told E! Online.

READ: “13 Reasons Why” Does Much More Than Glorify Suicide, Selena Gomez Explained

This Body Positivity Activist Is Jessica Torres And You Need To Listen To What She Says

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This Body Positivity Activist Is Jessica Torres And You Need To Listen To What She Says

Maybe we all deserve hundreds more Jessica Torres to remind us that this world and its fashion isn’t just for las flacas. Jessica Torres is a plus-size model and body positive activist who isn’t going to be shamed for hiding her nalgas or accentuating the “right” curves. We have all the curves which means they’re all right.

Jessica Torres is keeping it real and combatting fat shaming by just straight up loving her self and her body. She’s calling out magazines every time they reshape a woman’s mind to cover their belly or show it off. She’s posting images of the “most unflattering outfit for [her] body type” to prove a point to the fashion industry. Fashion for plus-size women shouldn’t be about how to best cover and mask their bodies. It should be about fashion. If Jessica Torres isn’t the most fashionable chingona from the Bronx, we don’t know who is. I said it.

Her journey towards crop tops wasn’t out of self-love, but rather a love for fashion.

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She started her plus-size style blog to show off her outfits and inspire other plus-size women to live “fashionable fat lives,” she writes for HipLatina. Her blog was meant to be a stepping stone to get a job in fashion. 

Torres essentially became a body positive advocate by accident.

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“Any plus-size body that grows a following on social media and takes full body pictures is instantly labeled a self-acceptance warrior,” she said. She was just wearing bright colors and modeling off the clothes that inspire her, and a social media following just naturally happened.

Still, she didn’t love her body.

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But she did notice that she was holding herself back from embracing a diverse range of fashion because of her “body type.” Magazines love to dress women like they’re fruit: pear shapes, apple shapes, etc. Instead of dressing women for fashion, the clothes are meant to hide certain parts of their bodies.

Once she realized she was holding her fashion style back because of the “hate” she had for her body, she knew she needed to change.

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Like so many of us, she didn’t walk outside in a crop top and a skirt for the first time feeling confident and gleaming with body positivity. But you fake it till you make it, and now, Jessica Torres identifies as a self-acceptance advocate.

For every outfit she was afraid to wear, she had the courage to open up about it on social media.

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She started sharing stories of being fat-shamed at the doctor and saw the comment threads as a communal space of support and inspiration for other ladies living while fat. When she was afraid to wear a two-piece for the first time, she wrote about that, too, and found other women who gained the courage to do the same in solidarity.

As her following grows, she’s also experienced fat-shaming within the body-positivity community.

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Her body was always being compared to Ashley Graham’s or Iskra Lawrence. When Torres went up a single size in pants, she noticed how society still only accepts certain curves that are deemed beautiful. Meanwhile, others promote obesity. 

Torres is staying present to the hypocrisies and to her self.

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Caption: “Throwing it back to that time I was butt nekkid and wet and Kelly told me to sit on her lap.”

Being a social media influencer hasn’t made her any less real.

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Torres has partnered with Mod Cloth, Dove, and JcPenney to promote body positivity. She’s sharing her insider tips for strapless bras with the thickest, most comfy straps. She’s also still a person who tells publicists she farted. 😂

She’s not playing like her life is all together.

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While this would be very disappointing for all our mamis to read, it is deeply comforting to us all who have been traumatized by Saturday limpias. Where’s the link, Jessica?

Jessica Torres is the boss of all of us, and that’s how we like it.

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Tell me more about how I can all parts of myself, not just the ones that make me look like an hourglass. Who chose hourglasses as the epitome of sexiness anyway? All we know is that self-hate is a time thief and we’re done robbing ourselves of love, time and fashion, thanks to Jessica Torres.

READ: This Latina Tries On A Thong For The First Time And The Results Are Relatable

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