Entertainment

Dreams Come True Thanks To Selena Gomez

WATCH: Little girl with a rare bone marrow disorder performs an incredible song & dance rendition of Selena Gomez’s ‘Love You Like A Love Song Baby.’ Gomez was so impressed that she even replied and requested a potential duet!

Posted by Good Morning America on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

CREDIT: ABC NEWS / Facebook

“You are beautiful, like a dream come alive, incredible”

Little Audrey Nethery, a 6-year-old with Diamond-Blackfan anemia, danced and sang her heart out to “Love You Like a Love Song” and just got a shout-out from none other than Selena Gomez!

In her video, Audrey has no semblance of being sick, in fact, she’s full of energy and dances and sings just like her idol. She does it so well that she’s gotten more than 33 million views on Facebook.

One of those views was definitely from Selena Gomez who left a comment saying:

Selena Gomez comment

Now that’s a duet we want to see. Make it happen, Selena!

READ: This Girl With a Rare Disease Jams to Selena Gomez to Give You All the Motivation You Need to Get Through the Day

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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

Entertainment

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

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

Facebook Wants To Add Latinas In Tech To Their Teams And Offer Them A Slice Of Their Big Salary Earning Pie

Things That Matter

Facebook Wants To Add Latinas In Tech To Their Teams And Offer Them A Slice Of Their Big Salary Earning Pie

While creating an idyllic work atmosphere can seem nearly impossible, there’s no doubting that a diverse work environment can help push companies closer to achieving this. Time and time again, research has proven that diversity in the workplace is essential. Not only can having people from different backgrounds and walks of life drive creativity and productivity it can also foster education and empathy. One of the most influential companies in the world right now has recently, fortunately, decided to take a step back, survey its employee landscape and add diversity to it.

In the latest big move from social media giant, Facebook has announced its plans to diversify its existing workforce within the next five years.

On July 10th, the social media giant released its latest job numbers and explained where it hopes to see itself in the near future.

Twitter / @FBnewsroom

In its sixth-annual diversity report, Facebook disclosed that it has had little success hiring from what it refers to as “traditionally underrepresented groups.” Since 2014, the social media company has worked globally to hire more employees who are Black, Latino, Indigenous and Pacific Islanders as well as disabled employees and veterans. It has also focused on hiring more women around the world.

This year, Facebook claims that its workforce breaks down to  63.1% male and 36.9% female. Also, 44.2% of its employees are white. The remaining employee population amounts to 43% Asian, 5.2% Latinx and 3.8% Black. An added 3.1% of its employees report being from two or more backgrounds while 0.7% were marked down as “other” — mostly consisting of Indigenous people and Pacific Islanders.

However, it seems the company has its work cut out for themselves because they have only shown minor improvements in these categories in the past year.

Twitter / @flashrecruiter

“We’ve made some progress increasing the number of people from traditionally underrepresented groups employed at Facebook but we recognize that we need to do more,” Facebook admitted in its report.

This year’s stats find only a .6% increase in women employees over last year’s percentage. Senior leadership has also changed from 70% male to 67.4%. Additionally, its efforts to improve its racial diversity has also proved to be a slow process. Over year, it increased 1.6% in Asian employees, .3% in Latinx employees and .3% in Black employees. Facebook only increased their representation in their “other” and “two or more” categories by .1% each.

Though the numbers appear disheartening, Facebook is confident to expand upon what little progress they’ve achieved.

Twitter / @DigiCrimRMIT

In a Facebook blog post, the company states:

“Since 2014, we have increased the number of Black women at Facebook by 25X and the number of Black men by 10X. And importantly, even as we have grown, we have worked very hard on making Facebook a more welcoming, respectful workplace.”

While these numbers sound impressive, considering the small percentages their diversity breaks down to, it is still nowhere close to where a huge company like Facebook should be. Still, they have big goals for increasing these numbers — both globally and nationally — over the next five years.

Their blog post goes on to say:

“We envision a company wherein the next five years, at least 50% of our workforce will be women, people who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islanders, people with two or more ethnicities, people with disabilities, and veterans. In doing this, we aim to double our number of women globally and Black and Hispanic employees in the US. It will be a company that reflects and better serves the people on our platforms, services, and products. It will be a more welcoming community advancing our mission and living up to the responsibility that comes with it.”

Though this is an ambitious push for more company diversity, some critics point out that Facebook has, so far, failed Black and Latinx women.

Twitter / @jguynn

As a technology journalist for USA Today, Jessica Guynn covered this failure last year when Facebook released its fifth-yearly diversity report.

In her piece, she reported:

“The sharpest deficits in Silicon Valley are African-American and Hispanic women, who make up 1 percent or fewer of workers, while across other industries they are represented at much higher rates consistent with their proportion of the overall U.S. population.”

Guynn goes on to point out the lack of intersectionality in diversity hiring:

“Allison Scott, chief of research at the Kapor Center, says the diversity conversation in Silicon Valley mostly focuses on race and ethnicity or gender, not both. And efforts made by tech companies to close the gender gap have boosted the fortunes of white women while hobbling progress for women of color.”

Failure to recognize that marginalized people can also have privilege has benefited white women in diversity hiring. Also, not seeing that a marginalized person can occupy more than one category has failed Black women and women of color as well as female veterans and disabled women.

Twitter / @marcboxser

Though their slow growth can be discouraging, it’s a start. More companies need to embrace a more diversified workforce that reflects the true dynamics of our society. Until that is achieved, these organizations will miss out on amazing employees simply because of outdated hiring processes.

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