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Selena Gomez has built a reputation on being open and honest with her fans. Throughout her career, the singer, actor, and now producer has built a loyal fan base thanks to her willingness to share her personal struggles with her millions of fans, including dealing with depression and anxiety, heartbreak, and health scares.
It’s a tradition of transparency that Gomez has adjusted to over the years, learning the balance of when to share with fans and when to keep some parts of her life to herself. In the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Gomez sat down with 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford to talk about everything from when her new music is coming out, what a typical Saturday night looks like for the super star, and how she feels now about her journey with depression and anxiety.
On feeling more comfortable in the entertainment industry than ever before.
“On a personal level, having done this since I was seven, it’s probably the most comfortable I’ve ever felt. Even in auditions I feel like I’m way more confident than I would’ve been in the past. I’m not focused on the things that I used to be like, ‘Do I look old enough? Do I look sexy enough? Do I look cool enough? Am I nice enough, graceful enough?’”
On keeping her style low key.
“Definitely casual. Even if I’m not working out, I look like I’m working out.”
On her complex relationship with Instagram, a platform that counts Gomez as its most followed user.
“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.”
On a typical Saturday night.
“I like going to nice restaurants, but I’m also into Chili’s. I love going to Chili’s and having queso and chips.”
On being a Latina role model on TV at a young age.
“When I was younger my idol was Hilary Duff! I remember wanting blue eyes too. So I think I recognized then that it meant something to people. That it matters. Even recently I’ve experienced things with my dad that were racially charged. Most of the time, though, I try to separate my career from my culture because I don’t want people to judge me based on my looks when they have no idea who I am. And now more than ever, I’m proud of it.”
On how the current generation is different from its predecessors.
“I think secrets kill people, I really do. You end up trying to cover up so much of who you are for the sake of your family or whoever, and you think you’re bad for being different. So it’s powerful to see our generation breaking those boundaries and encouraging other people to do the same. There’s a sense of freedom that past generations weren’t able to have.”
On how she sees her mental health in 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. I’m starting my year off with that thought. I want to make sure I’m healthy. If that’s good, everything else will fall into place.”
On taking time with her new music.
“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.”