Selena Gomez is getting candid about how critiques of her physical appearance have impacted her career and mental health. Speaking with Allure for the October issue’s cover, Gomez reflected on negativity she experienced amid her lupus diagnosis, which she revealed in 2015. “I was dealing with a lot of medical problems, so I fluctuated in weight a lot,” she said of a period that included a kidney transplant, high blood pressure, and a second operation due to complications in the first. “It was just unfair for someone to handle,” she added.
Professionally during this time, Gomez was debuting her second album Revival, which included songs such as “Good for You,” “Hands to Myself,” and “Same Old Love.” She told Allure that there was “pressure” to appear “more adult” in music videos and wear more revealing outfits. “I just did things that weren’t really me,” Gomez admitted to the outlet, which noted she was “choosing her words more deliberately,” as she continued. “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.”
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Gomez ended up cancelling the remainder of her Revival tour back in 2016, telling People in a statement: “As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways. I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges. I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off.”
She also hinted at a disconnect between herself and her music in a July 2016 Instagram post. “Tonight I felt extremely unauthentic, unconnected to both myself and my music,” she wrote after her Indonesia concert. “I’ve never really felt like my materials, wardrobe or a video could define me. I act on a moment and fear something that hasn’t happened. I’m stagnant, I stay still and don’t just sit with myself first and ask ‘is this where I am, whole heartedly?’ I’ve always told the truth. I’m always true to my word, I’ve shown who I am but I need to rethink some areas of my life creatively and personally. Had to get that out.”
Gomez appears to have a new lease on herself and her work, as evidenced by her latest album Rare and new cosmetics line Rare Beauty. “I had always wanted the name Rare,” Gomez told Allure. “[The word] has become the identity of my brand and who I want to be, which is showing people that being diverse and different, whatever was happening, I wanted it to feel like you were included.”
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