Selena Gomez Felt 'Pressure' to Be Sexual Early in Career: 'I Did Things That Weren't Really Me'
The singer said there was "pressure to seem more adult" for her 2015 album Revival, which included songs like "Hands to Myself"
Selena Gomez is reflecting on the pressures she faced as a budding pop star.
Speaking with Allure for the magazine's October 2020 Best of Beauty issue cover story, the "Lose You to Love Me" singer, 28, opened up about dealing with expectations early in her music career to be more sexualized.
"I just did things that weren't really me," said Gomez. "There was pressure to seem more adult on my album, Revival. [I felt] the need to show skin ... I really don't think I was [that] person."
Gomez released Revival in October 2015 when she was 23 years old, and the album included hit songs like "Hands to Myself," "Same Old Love," "Good for You" and "Kill Em with Kindness." The album's cover art featured a black-and-white photo of Gomez nude, sitting cross-legged with her hair down.
Today, the singer — who debuted her latest album Rare in January and recently launched a brand-new beauty brand under the same name — added that she doesn't Google herself. "I haven't done that in years. I honestly can't," she explained. "I'm strong in a lot of ways, but I think I just have way too much of a sensitive heart."
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Gomez also looked back on the start of her career as the star of Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place, which ran from 2007 to 2012. The performer said she was "blessed" to be cast in the series.
"I was extremely blessed to get picked out of Texas and chosen to become a part of one of the biggest machines in the world — it was my high school," said Gomez. "I think the female characters on Disney Channel have a lot of strength. And my comedic timing, my improv skills, everything I experienced made me a better actress."
Prior to landing the lead role, however, a younger Gomez was a regular on Barney & Friends from 2002 to 2004 — and the star said she was inclined to be an actress for as long as she can remember.
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"My mom did a lot of theater, and I was just fascinated by her. I was an only child, and very, very dramatic — which I still am to this day," Gomez told Allure. "I just loved performing ... I think it was just something I felt like I was born to do. My mom let me dress myself for the auditions. I learned the lines by myself."
"I have always had so many different emotions and I didn't know how to control them quite well. It was complicated. But I think I'm happy to understand it," said Gomez. "Once I did find out more about who I was, I was proud. I also felt comfortable knowing that I wasn't alone, and I was going to get through it. So I will always be passionate about that. It's something I will continue to talk about."
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.