Selena Gomez Gets Super Candid for Interview Cover Story: 'People Were Taking Away My Narrative'
Selena Gomez is once again proving she’s an open book.
In the cover story for Interview Magazine’s April 2020 issue, the star, 27, candidly discusses her life and career — from childhood fame to overcoming her struggles with depression and releasing her new album, Rare — with pal Amy Schumer.
“My intention was never to become a tabloid,” Gomez said. “So when things kind of happened that way, it got out of control. And then I was like, ‘Wait, none of this is true.’ The way the media has sometimes tried to explain things has made it sound really bad, when in reality there’s nothing wrong with the fact that I needed to go away or that I fell in love. I had to start opening up because people were taking away my narrative, and it was killing me.”
Gomez’s contentious relationship with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, as well as her mental health, have long been the subjects of headlines. While in conversation with Schumer, Gomez said the public attention “got out of control” when she was still “super young.”
“I think it showed people that I was weak in certain moments and that I had troubles,” she said. “Some people just get off on building people up and then trying to bring them down.”
Though Gomez most recently disclosed her bipolar diagnosis on Instagram Live with fellow Disney Channel alum Miley Cyrus, her public journey with her health dates back to 2013, when she took a break from her Stars Dance tour to undergo treatment for the autoimmune disease lupus.
She then canceled her Revival tour in 2016 to “focus on maintaining my health and happiness” after suffering from “anxiety, panic attacks and depression,” side effects of lupus, she told PEOPLE in a statement at the time.
In 2017, Gomez’s mettle was tested again after she had to undergo a kidney transplant. She posted on Instagram that she was taking a “step back” from social media, writing, “Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember—negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings.”
A year later, she again sought treatment for anxiety and depression and completed a two-week program in New York City as a result of complications from lupus.
In January, Gomez returned with Rare, her first album in five years. The album’s debut single, “Lose You to Love Me,” earned Gomez her first No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
“I wrote it at the beginning of last year and had just gotten out of treatment,” Gomez told Schumer of the track. “It was a moment when I came back, and I was just like, ‘I’m ready to go into the studio with people I trust and start working on songs.’ There was an air around it where people were very happy, because it was like I was going to finally be me.”
“But I didn’t necessarily see it that way at the time,” she added. “When I wrote the song, I was basically saying that I needed to hit rock-bottom to understand that there was this huge veil over my face.”
Since the album’s release, Gomez said she hasn’t paid much mind to critics.
“I’ve read a few [reviews], especially because I hadn’t released an album in four years,” she said. “My friend sent me a couple of good reviews, and it felt amazing, because not all of my albums have been seen that way. I didn’t go beyond that because I know what happens to me. Getting into an internet spiral? I can’t do it.”
In addition to music, Gomez has been hard at work on her new makeup brand, Rare Beauty, which is expected to launch at Sephora this summer.
“I wanted to start a conversation about how can you make yourself feel great,” Gomez said. “It’s not necessarily about needing these things to make yourself feel beautiful.”
“People of my generation have all this pressure to look a certain way, and I wanted to make a line that took away a bit of that pressure,” she continued. “I use real people in the campaigns. I have 48 shades of foundation and concealer.”
Interview’s April 2020 issue is available on newsstands on April 14 in New York and April 21 nationwide.