Selena Gomez opened up about what growing up in the limelight was like during an interview with Allure for its October issue. She explained that it was difficult having so much attention on her at such a young age. She quickly grew tired of people prodding into her private life — specifically her romances. The public was obsessed with her on-again, off-again relationship with Justin Bieber during her teenage and young adult years, and at times, she found the poking unbearable.
She also has been fighting both physical and mental health issues since a young age. While she only recently found out that she is bipolar, she was diagnosed with lupus and underwent chemotherapy for it in 2013. This attributed to extreme weight fluctuation, which became another tabloid hot topic.
“My personal life was out everywhere. It felt very claustrophobic and just…I felt very trapped…I was dealing with a lot of medical problems, so I fluctuated in weight a lot. It was just unfair for someone to handle.”
She also expressed that she was uncomfortable with the amount of pressure that was put on her to objectify herself— particularly in her music career. Not only did she feel it was inappropriate for her age, but it didn’t feel authentic to her.
“I just did things that weren’t really me. 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.”
While many of her Disney Channel counterparts struggled after spending their childhood years, Selena has maintained her image and didn’t let the pressures of the famed life knock her down. Unlike many of the former Disney Channel actors who have spoken negatively of their time there, Selena remembers those days fondly. She believes that starring in The Wizards of Waverly Place shaped her into the performer that she is today.
“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.”
Unlike some other child stars, Selena was the one who pushed her parents to take her to auditions and not the other way around. She was her own “momager” as she claims she picked out all of her own outfits for auditions and was self-motivated to learn lines all on her own. She was fine with foregoing the traditional high school experience and spending her teenage years at Disney channel.