Selena Gomez Opens Up

Selena Gomez has been in the spotlight since her career began on the set of Barney and from there she continued with Disney until she became a solo artist. Gomez is a role model for so many people who have watched her grow up and remained loyal followers throughout her career. These loyal followers have made her not only the most famous female popstar but most followed person on Instagram. While her every move is being watched, nobody suspected the possibility of inner turmoil she may be facing. That is, until she canceled her Revival tour and went MIA on social media.

Unexpectedly, Gomez soon revealed that she had been diagnosed with Lupus, a disease she has been struggling with her entire life.  Lupus is an autoimmune disease flares and can damage any part of the body.  This disease may act up or go into remission with varying symptoms.  She first shared her secret to a sick child on a visit to a children’s hospital and later retold the story to GQ.  The child felt a disconnection with the famous Selena Gomez, and in her determined efforts to get his attention she said, “Ask me anything you want,” and he replied, “Have you ever dealt with anything like this?”  She said “I have lupus. I was in the ICU for two and a half weeks. I was in the exact same room.”  Selena internalized suffering from Lupus because she did not want unwanted attention from media because they focus on negativity and manipulate the facts.  Regardless of striving to keep her personal life hidden, she knew she could connect with the child.

Selena Gomez’s uniqueness derives from the simple fact that she strives to find human connection, without a façade. Selena opening up about having Lupus and the side effects that come with it, shows people that there is so much more that goes on besides what is publicized. Once she opened up about it, people began to connect even more with the already empathetic artist.

Gomez experiences mental illness along with her flare up’s with Lupus. “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,” Gomez tells CNN.  She took a hiatus from her record breaking Instagram account and the rest of media to take time for herself. Mental illness can be portrayed as weakness and Gomez helps to destigmatize it by prioritizing self-care.

In 2016, Selena Gomez won Favorite rock/pop female artist at the AMA’s, and her acceptance speech she delivered was unexpected and inspiring. Gomez states in her speech, “I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down. I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram…I’m not trying to get validation nor do I need it anymore…if you are broken you do not have to stay broken…I care about people.”  This was her first public appearance back from her hiatus, and without further explanation into her lupus or personal issues, she spread a profound message to the world about how it is okay not to be okay. Her honesty is refreshing and inspiring and touched many of her fans and peers.

Lady Gaga, praises Gomez about her speech and ability to be open about mental health.  She stated, “You don’t always have to keep up a good face and a good front in order to succeed. What’s most important is that on the inside you’re OK because it’s your heart that matters.”  Celebrities advocating for mental health are creating a large community for many people to feel safe and validated.

With the growing rates of anxiety and depression in our society, messages about self-care and brokenness are important, especially from idolized celebrities. These celebrities are helping people step back from social media and the falsity of the ideal image, and focus on connecting on an authentic deeper level. So many people feel alone, which is debilitating for people prone to these disorder. Thanks to people like Selena Gomez, awareness will continue to spread, and one day it will break the stigma!