October 12, 2018 02:30 PM

From body-shaming to Justin Bieber to growing up in the spotlight and getting in touch with ~*who she really is*~, these are all the times Selena Gomez stopped being polite and started getting real.

“I’m surrounded by people who are supposed to guide me, and some of them have and others haven’t. They pressure me. There’s so much pressure. You’ve gotta be sexy, you’ve gotta be cute, you’ve gotta be nice, you’ve gotta be all these things … They tell me what to wear, how to look, what I should say, how I should be.

Until recently, I had given into that pressure. I lost sight of who I was. I listened to opinions of people, and I tried to change who I am. Because I thought others would accept me for it. And I realized I don’t know how to be anything but myself.”
— in a speech at WE Day California in 2014

“People piss me off so much. I’m half Mexican. I’ve got the fire in me for sure.”
— on her previous record executive trying to keep her in a box, to Elle in September 2015

“I’ll forever support [Justin Bieber] and love him in a way that … We grew up together. I think people want it to be different. We’re too young for that. Nobody was married. There was no … I respect him. And I think he respects me, in a healthy manner.”
— to Elle

Source: Selena Gomez Instagram

“I’m growing up. I’m not saying, ‘This is it: I’ve got life figured out, everybody.’ I’m going to fall on my face continuously. But I’m excited to have this sense of control of my life.”
— on the message behind Revival, to Elle

“I’m so f—ing nice to everybody, and everyone is so vile to me. I’ve been working since I was 7. I’ve been a UNICEF ambassador since I was 17. It’s so disappointing that I’ve become a tabloid story. It took away everything I loved about this business.”
— on the constant negative gossip, to Billboard in October 2015

“No. This is my time. I’ve deserved this. I earned it. This is all me.”
— on whether she took any inspiration from Bieber’s career reinvention for Revival, to Billboard

“I hated the quiet moments. I feel like I could’ve lived with my parents forever.”
— on why she lived with roommates after moving out of her mother and stepfather’s house in 2014

Source: Nine Zero One/Instagram

“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assh—.’ But I was angry I even felt the need to say that. It’s awful walking into a restaurant and having the whole room look at you, knowing what they’re saying. I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”
— on the rumors about being in rehab when she was actually undergoing treatment for lupus

“I felt like I’d lost everything. Just because it’s not plastered everywhere doesn’t mean I didn’t have my rock bottom. I’ve had my moments, and it’s almost unsafe for me to even talk about them, because I’ll be taken advantage of.”
— to Billboard

“I was in a bikini and got publicly ripped for being overweight. That was the first time I’d experienced body-shaming like that. I believed some of the words they were saying.”
— on being body-shamed by the media during a trip to Mexico in 2015

“I think people really wanted to see me fail. I’d sit down in an interview and get the most harshly asked questions. Of course I got my heart broken. Of course I was pissed about it. There, everybody has it. I was so disappointed, because I never wanted my career to be a tabloid story.”
— on the tabloid response to her breakup with Bieber, to Refinery29 in October 2015

Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

“People have seen most of the choices that I’ve made in my life. And I love every choice that I’ve made. Because now I understand how to apply that to my music. This is who I am. I’m glad my life was never perfect.”
— on how her music reflects the ups and downs of her life, to Rolling Stone in January 2016

“Once Disney was over, I was like, ‘Oh, s—.’ I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I had to learn to be myself.”
— to W, in February 2016

“I’m so exhausted. I honestly am so done. I care about his health and wellbeing. But I can’t do it anymore.”
— on talking about Bieber

“It’s either of two extremes. Either you’re going to succumb to it and be surrounded by all the noise and enjoy it and get the rush from it, or you’re going to be so far off of it because you don’t trust anyone or think any of it’s genuine. That’s the girl that I am.”
— on the way she views fame, to GQ in April 2016

Cindy Ord/Getty

“First off, this is something that everyone always wants to fixate on. I got diagnosed with lupus. My mom had a very public miscarriage. So I had to cancel my tour. I needed time to just be okay … It’s really frustrating, because I am 100 percent allowed to have that, but I think people just want to have some sort of — I understand what you’re asking, but I’m just saying, I don’t think it really matters.”
— on why she doesn’t want to address the rehab rumors anymore, to GQ

“There was this kid that wouldn’t look me in the eye at all. And I wear my emotions on my face, as you just have witnessed. And I don’t care, that’s who I am. I wanted to get his attention, even though maybe it was too much. So I just said, ‘Ask me anything you want.’ And he was the first person that I told, besides my best friend and family, because he asked me, ‘Have you ever dealt with anything like this?’

And I said, ‘I have lupus. I was in the ICU for two and a half weeks. I was in this exact same room.’ And it was the first time that he looked at me.”
— revealing that the first stranger she told about being diagnosed with lupus was a patient that she was visiting at a children’s hospital, to GQ

“I don’t ever really like to sit and dwell on what that experience was. Was it fun? No. Is it fun to have it? No.”
— on getting treated for lupus, to GQ


“We’re easy targets. Every single kid who was brought up like this is an easy target. It’s disgusting, because it’s interesting to grown adults that these kids go through weird things because they’re figuring out, ‘Do I like this? Do I love this? Maybe I love this person. Oh, I’m exposed to this, people are reporting my every move and this and that because of Instagram and Twitter, and you can find out everything.'”
— on the effects of growing up in the spotlight

“Because it’s, I don’t know, fun, maybe? It’s like watching a car crash as you’re driving past it. You want to watch it.”
— on why people root for child stars to go off the rails as they grow up

“I think it’s safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life, whether I like it or not. I had to stop, ’cause I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.”
— tearfully accepting the 2016 American Music Award for Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock after taking a break from the spotlight

“People so badly wanted me to be authentic, and when that happened, finally, it was a huge release. I’m not different from what I put out there. I’ve been very vulnerable with my fans, and sometimes I say things I shouldn’t. But I have to be honest with them. I feel that’s a huge part of why I’m where I am.”
—to Vogue in March 2017


“Tours are a really lonely place for me. My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it — which, I think, was a complete distortion.

I was so used to performing for kids. At concerts I used to make the entire crowd raise up their pinkies and make a pinky promise never to allow anybody to make them feel that they weren’t good enough. Suddenly I have kids smoking and drinking at my shows, people in their 20s, 30s, and I’m looking into their eyes, and I don’t know what to say. I couldn’t say, ‘Everybody, let’s pinky-promise that you’re beautiful!’ It doesn’t work that way, and I know it because I’m dealing with the same s— they’re dealing with.

What I wanted to say is that life is so stressful, and I get the desire to just escape it. But I wasn’t figuring my own stuff out, so I felt I had no wisdom to share. And so maybe I thought everybody out there was thinking, This is a waste of time.”
— on what pushed her to cancel her tour and enter treatment for depression and anxiety

“You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls, real people who couldn’t give two s—s about who I was, who were fighting for their lives. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done.”
— on undergoing treatment in Tennessee


“My mom gave up her whole life for me. Where we’re from, you don’t really leave. So when I started gaining all this success, there was a guilt that came with it. I thought, Do I deserve this?”
— on becoming so famous at such a young age

“I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.”
— on the decision to be open about her mental health struggles

“Look, I love what I do, and I’m aware of how lucky I am, but — how can I say this without sounding weird? I just really can’t wait for people to forget about me.”
— on struggling with balancing her private nature with being a celebrity

“Everything I cared about, I stopped caring about. I came out, and it felt like, ‘OK, I can only go forward.’ And there are still days. I go to therapy. I believe in that and talking about where you are. But I’m in a really, really healthy place.

I was in the countryside and never did my hair; I took part in equine therapy, which is so beautiful. And it was hard, obviously. But I knew what my heart was saying, and I thought, ‘OK, I think this has helped me become stronger for other people.'”
— opening up about her time in treatment in Tennessee, to InStyle in July 2017

“That’s what I work on in therapy the most. Because of social media, because of all the pressure that girls have, it’s so difficult. It’s good to be connected, to see things, and to get a sense of what your friends are up to. But it also allows people to think they need to look or be a certain way.

I remember when I had my Disney show, I was just running around and not caring and making kids laugh. I was all over the place. And now it feels more zoomed-in — you have ugly people trying to get negative things from you, and the energy makes you feel bad about yourself. You can’t help it. It’s very hard to find out who you are during all that mess and pressure.”
— on battling insecurity as a result of her social media presence

“I had a choice to let it drive me crazy and tear me down or just allow myself to have real conversations with people. So I came to a place where it’s like, I have this platform, and I can still do what I love and connect to people who feel like they grew up with me. I won’t share things that I don’t want to.”
— on deciding to be open and honest about her struggles

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

“I don’t depend on one area of my life to make me happy. It’s really important for me to love and nourish my friends and family and to make sure that I never get influenced by a guy. I’ve wanted to be in a strong headspace for years, and I really wasn’t. Before, I was so young and easily influenced, and I’d feel insecure. You want someone to add to your life, not to complete you, if that makes sense. I’m lucky because he’s more of a best friend than anything else.”
— on her relationship with The Weeknd

“For me, personally, I really liked the mental aspect of [Good Time], because I’ve done a lot of those exercises that you put in. So, the beginning of the movie stuck with me because I actually … I’m very open, it’s not really a secret, but I for sure have talked about that, and I’ve done a lot of those exercises.”
— moderating a Q&A for the film Good Time in August 2017

Selena Gomez Instagram

“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you.”
— on Instagram, in September 2017

“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”
— on Instagram, in September 2017

“After undergoing so many tests to monitor my kidneys my doctors told me I have lupus nephritis, one of those complications from lupus. They said I would be needing a kidney transplant … Maybe I wasn’t necessarily really good at knowing what that meant so it actually got to a point where it was life-or-death. Thankfully, one of my best friends gave me her kidney and it was the ultimate gift of life. And I am doing quite well now.”
— at the Lupus Research Alliance Annual Gala, in November 2017

Lester Cohen/Getty Images For Billboard

“Honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful for the position that I’ve been given in my career from 7 to 14 to now. I want people to know that I respect the platform that I have so deeply because I knew that I wanted to be a part of something great, I wanted people to feel great,”
— receiving the Woman of the Year award from Billboard, December 2017

“I think Francia should be getting this award. She saved my life … I feel incredibly lucky.”
— about the Woman of the Year award from Billboard

“Something that I’m really proud of is that there’s such a true friendship [between me and The Weeknd]. I truly have never experienced anything like that in my life. We ended it as best friends, and it was genuinely about encouraging and caring [for each other], and that was pretty remarkable for me.”
— on her split from the Weeknd to Billboard, in December 2017

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“I’m 25. I’m not 18, or 19, or 20. I cherish people who have really impacted my life. So maybe before, it could have been forcing something that wasn’t right. But that doesn’t mean caring for someone ever goes away.”
— on her reunion with ex Justin Bieber, to Billboard

“The home I grew up in, from birth to 13 … I visit this place every chance I get. In many ways it very well could have been better than my life today, but I’m grateful for a voice that can enable change today. Even when I don’t know how to do it well or actually want it.”
— on visiting her childhood home in Grand Prairie, Texas, on Instagram, in January 2018

“I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it’s not something I feel I’ll ever overcome. There won’t be a day when I’m like, ‘Here I am in a pretty dress — I won!’ I think it’s a battle I’m gonna have to face for the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that because I know that I’m choosing myself over anything else.”
— on her battle with mental illness, to Harper’s Bazaar in February 2018

Selena Gomez/Instagram

“My next album has been forever in the making. When people ask me why, I’m honest about it: It’s because I haven’t been ready. I mean, point-blank, I don’t feel confident enough in where my music is yet. If that takes 10 years, then it takes 10 years. I don’t care. Right now I just want to be super intentional with all of the things I’m doing.”
— on releasing new music, to Harper’s Bazaar

“I have a complex relationship with Instagram, to say the least. It has given me a voice amid all the noise of people trying to narrate my life for me and allows me to say, ‘Hey, I’m gonna post this, and this is gonna take care of the 1,200 stories that people think are interesting but actually aren’t, and aren’t even true.’

So it empowers me in that way because it’s my words and my voice and my truth. The only thing that worries me is how much value people our age place on social media. It’s an incredible platform, but in a lot of ways it’s given young people, myself included, a false representation of what’s important.

So, yeah, it’s a complex relationship. Probably one of my most difficult relationships.”
— on Instagram, to Harper’s Bazaar

Selena Gomez/Instagram

“The beauty myth- an obsession with physical perfection that traps modern woman in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of flawless beauty. I chose to take care of myself because I want to, not to prove anything to anyone.”
responding to bikini bodyshamers on Instagram

“I enjoy my life. I don’t really think about anything that causes me stress anymore, which is really nice.”
— on stepping back from the spotlight after her kidney transplant, to Good Morning America

“I’m not on the internet. I haven’t been on the internet in months. I have no apps on my phone, no photo editing apps. I have Peak, a brain game … The reason why is, it’s not real to me … I know my voice is very prominent, but I’m not careless with it. I’m selective.”
— on her digital cleanse, to ELLE

“I enjoy my life. I don’t really think about anything that causes me stress anymore, which is really nice.”
— on stepping back from the spotlight after her kidney transplant, to Good Morning America

“Update: taking a social media break. Again. 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. Obvi.”
— announcing her time away, on Instagram

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