Selena Gomez Outgrows Justin Bieber and Disney with “Revival”

Posing topless. Coping with autoimmune disease. Booking a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show gig. These are just a few things going on in the life of Selena Gomez as she releases Revival that prove she’s not the same little girl we remember from Wizards of Waverly Place.

Although this is Gomez’s second solo studio release, it may be her first truly “adult” release, as the New York Post observed. Like Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus before her, Selena Gomez is looking to shed her Disney image. Revival was released on Interscope Records (which boasts an artist roster including the likes of Eminem, Feist, Imagine Dragons, and The Rolling Stones) rather than the Disney-owned Hollywood Records that put out Selena’s debut solo album, Stars Dance, and all three albums she released as the lead of Selena Gomez and the Scene.

The first single released off of the new Selena Gomez album was “Good For You.” The song features rapper A$AP Rocky, and the video is far from kid-friendly. The three versions of Selena’s new video released by Vevo on YouTube have already combined for more than 200 millions plays, and, as Headline Planet points out, the single passed 1 million sales in the US just a month after being released.

Gomez has also released the single “Same Old Love.” The song features backing vocals by Charlie XCX and reached No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100. Given her break-up with Justin Bieber last year (more on that below), many speculate that this apparent break-up song is about the end of Selena’s relationship with the leader of the “Beliebers.” Although the mood of the music video is less sexually-driven than “Good For You,” the themes Gomez explores about love are yet another sign of the diva’s adulthood.

And taking after her good friend Taylor Swift’s example, Gomez will be promoting the new release at a very adult-themed event: the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. While Swift won’t be performing like she did the last two years, Selena will be in good musical company at the show, as The Weeknd and Rihanna have been confirmed for the event as well. The Weeknd is still in the midst of promoting the incredibly successful album Beauty Behind the Madness. It is expected that Rihanna will be debuting some much-anticipated new music.

But performing at the Victoria’s Secret show could be considered a tame move compared to the topless photo shoot Selena Gomez recently completed for the alternate cover photo of Revival. More than just a sexy image, the decision is perhaps another sign of the artist’s budding maturity. In response to the harsh things said about her and her bikini body earlier this summer, Gomez shot these body-positive pics to show she’s comfortable in her own skin, rather than over-reacting in a destructive manner.

This all comes at a time when Gomez is being forced to deal with possibly the most adult issue of her life thus far: chronic disease. Selena was diagnosed with lupus, as CNN reports, which resulted in her canceling tour dates in 2013 and taking some time off. When Gomez voluntarily checked into rehab in 2014, many assumed it was to deal with emotional issues (i.e. Justin Bieber) that so many young stars go through as they are thrust into the spotlight. But Selena actually needed time to recover from the chemotherapy she has received to help with her lupus.

And before you get any ideas about Bieber splitting with Gomez because of her illness, think again. As one of Selena’s friends told Hollywood Life, Justin would write songs for Gomez and sing them to her over Skype to help keep up her spirits while coping with the disease. When they both happened to be in LA, he would be over at her place, ordering her favorite foods from her favorite Beverly Hills eateries to be delivered to them at home. He was trusted with one of her most confidential secrets, and he proved himself trustworthy.

The next single from Revival that Selena Gomez is expected to promote is “Me & the Rhythm,” which currently has an audio-only video available on Selena’s Vevo YouTube channel.