Selena Gomez held the title as the most followed woman on Instagram for almost three years, sliding into second place in 2019 after Ariana Grande surpassed Gomez’s 146.2 million followers with her 146.3 million. No matter how you look at it, that’s still a lot of eyes on Gomez, who is now opening up about the pain that comes with people feeling they have a right to comment on your life, with those comments leading to Gomez’s decision to take a break from social media.
Gomez has once again appeared on friend Raquelle Steven’s vodcast Giving Back Generation, this time opening up about the bullying she received over her weight fluctuations and her transition from being a Disney star to an entertainer with their own opinions and voice. The full episode is available on TaTaTu, with quotes provided by Elle.
Speaking about the changes in appearance, Gomez explained that her various health issues and the medications required to treat her Lupus and ongoing recovery from a kidney transplant continue to affect her weight. Adding that she suffers from high blood pressure and can see changes in her body from month to month, Gomez says that recent comments about her weight led to her feeling body shamed for the first time. “So, for me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that,” said Gomez. “I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life. Right [it’s totally out of my control], and that got to me big time. I think for me, that really messed me up for a bit.”
Deciding to step away from social media in an effort improve her mental and emotional health, Gomez explained that she’s more happy living in the moment than creating a smoke and mirrors facade, advice that applies to anyone who uses social media. “I’m very happy with living my life and being present. Because that’s it. Similar to me posting a photo and walking away; for me that’s it. I will do a red carpet, I will do whatever; I don’t need to see it; I participated; I felt wonderful and that’s where the extent of it is. I don’t care to expose myself to everyone and hear what they have to say.”
The singer also touched on the importance of connecting with others, including her fans and friends, who she says have been a major source of support. The singer, actor and producer also spoke about the importance of releasing negativity, possibly a nod to a famous ex and new hit song. “For me, the biggest lesson too is how to learn [with] the people that have hurt me the most, to forgive them, to continue to understand and have compassion for people.”
Gomez also spoke to Stevens about her shift from being a child star on Disney to becoming an adult with her own set of views and values. “Once I broke those walls down, because I think being a part of Disney—which, by the way, was one of the best experiences of my life—you do portray an image, and you are required in a way to have that image and to be a role model or whatever you call it, but the moment I started breaking those walls down, I felt very exposed, so I was very hesitant to share with people,” said Gomez, who said she had to understand that speaking her mind and letting go of fear of judgement was a gift. “I didn’t want people to know, but the life that I was given, I believe that I had to share it.”