Selena Gomez has opened up about dealing with public scrutiny regarding her weight on social media.
The “Love You To Lose Me” singer appeared on the premiere episode of “Giving Back Generation,” a new video podcast hosted by her close friend, Raquelle Stevens.
The 27-year-old revealed to Stevens that her relationship with social media has grown and evolved after experiencing tremendous criticism about her appearance.
“Most of the time I know how I’ll speak specifically to young girls with the pressure of this and this [gesturing to her face and body], It’s heartbreaking,” Gomez said of deciding what to share with her more than 160 million Instagram followers. “Because they’re so beautiful, and I see so many beautiful girls and amazing different characters and then they’re just demolished by an image they’re trying to chase. They’re wanting to be a completely different person, but that’s not what’s inside of them.”
Despite her success, she admitted that there was a period of time when she felt tremendous pressure to change her appearance to match what she saw online.
“I get it. I go online, well - I used to, and I’d think ‘Ok, I need to fix myself,’” she said.
Things took a turn for Gomez when she began receiving hurtful comments about her appearance.
At the time, she had yet to share the extent of her health issues with her fans, and was dealing with with coping with her changing appearance on a “month-to-month” basis due to medications she said she will need to take for the rest of her life.
“I experienced that with my weight fluctuation for the first time. I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure, so I deal with a lot of health issues. And for me that’s when I really started noticing more of the body image stuff,” Gomez said. “It depends on what’s happening in my life. That got to me big time... that really messed me up for a bit.”
In September 2018, Gomez announced that she was taking a break from social media.
“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,” she told fans. “Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”
A month later, it was reported that the former Disney-channel star had been hospitalized to receive treatment for depression.
“I’m very happy with living my life,” Gomez told Stevens. She explained that remembering to remain present, along with her faith and family are crucial to her well-being.
“I’ll do a red carpet, I’ll do whatever but I don’t need to see it,” she said of her relationship now with social media. “I did 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 about it.”
When asked what advice she would give young people using social media, Gomez’s answer was simple.
“Be honest, be very intentional of what you’re paying attention to,” she said. “Try to remove yourself from images that 99.9 per cent of the time are just images that aren’t necessarily real.”