The first public memory we have of Selena Gomez traces back to the nostalgic days of Disney when shows like Wizards Of Waverly Place was our choice of entertainment. From the colossal Disney stardom to dipping her toes in the music industry—she’s been an integral part of our lives subliminally. The Who Says singer has often used interviews to shed light on her experiences varying from the toxic nature of social media to her high-profile relationships. Her realness and transparency have perhaps paved a window through which we see a bit of ourselves in her. And that’s exactly why she’s the ultimate role model for the younger women of today’s generation. Here are five reasons why we love her.
1. Embracing Scars
In the age of photoshop and airbrush, Selena has veered towards staying raw. And a cursory glance through her Instagram serves as a testimony to the fact. The singer suffers from a chronic autoimmune disease called lupus which can harm her organs, tissues and other parts of the body. To combat it, she underwent a kidney transplant in 2017 with the help of her best friend, Francia Raisa. Following her surgery, she took to social media to post a photo of herself whilst embracing her scar rather than choosing to conceal it.
“When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar. 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,” she wrote on her Instagram.
2. Taking Breaks From Social Media
Unlike many others who religiously maintain their grid with updates, Selena has found solace in taking breaks from it. The actor realises the toxicity of the virtual world and has been very transparent about it with her jaw-dropping following in millions. Before an Instagram hiatus, she wrote: “As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember: negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings.”
3. Valuing Female Friendships
From performing on stage together, supporting each other’s merchandise, to standing up for one another—Selena and Taylor Swift’s friendship is one for the books. A relation that dates back to 2008, the two have frequently appeared in each other’s music videos, red carpets, world tours, to everything in between. “When your life changes, you become thrust into this really strange whirlwind where what your life is, is different from what other people think of it. Your life is commented on, is written about, fictionalised and all that. Both of us have kind of stuck it out and hung in there through all the different changes we’ve gone through. Longevity is something you really can find very precious and rare in friendships,” the Good For You singer shared in a statement.
4. Mental Health
While mental health is a topic that sends down ripples of silence amongst people, Selena chose to be open about her journey. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in April 2020, she became evidently vocal about her personal mental wellbeing. Igniting a conversation, especially in the music industry, she wished that “more people would talk about therapy.” Under Rare Beauty (her own beauty brand), she started the Rare Impact Fund, through which she raises money that will be used to increase access to mental health services in educational settings.
“People every day feel so many emotions they wish they could turn it off. But that’s not why we are here. We are here for relationships, for people just like us who feel worthless. Your purpose is to share, help, encourage. Remember that. Before you think of taking your life, think of all the lives you could save,” she shared on her Instagram.
5. Empowering Music
“Who says you’re not start potential?
Who says you’re not presidential?
Who says you can’t be in movies?
Listen to me, listen to me.
Who says you don’t pass the test?
Who says you can’t be the best?
Who said, who said?
Won’t you tell me who said that?
Yeah, who said?”
Inclining towards lyrics that focus the spotlight on self-confidence, kindness, positivity and more, her music runs parallel with empowerment anthems. From Who Says to Kill Em With Kindness, Selena has a deeper meaning attached to each song which is inspiring and motivating in its own right.
Photographs: Instagram, Getty Images