In a new interview with Allure, Selena Gomez reveals the struggles she went through early in her career.
‘I felt very trapped’
Gomez spoke with writer Jessica Chia and discussed how lucky she feels that someone discovered her in Grand Prairie, Texas, and helped launch her career through the children’s TV show, “Barney,” and eventually the Disney Channel.
The future superstar played the role of Gianna on “Barney” alongside Demi Lovato, whom she met during auditions in 2002.
“I was extremely blessed to get picked out of Texas and chosen to become a part of one of the biggest machines in the world,” Gomez tells Chia. “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.”
Gomez has said before that “Barney” taught her pretty much everything she needed to know about acting. But when she moved onto Disney Channel to star as Alex Harper on “Wizards of Waverly Place,” she began to charm more fans than she ever had before.
Tabloids wouldn’t stop talking about her personal life, interviewers asked questions that felt too intimate, and fans even followed her around.
“My personal life was out everywhere,” she says. “It felt very claustrophobic and just…I felt very trapped.”
Selena also has lupus, an autoimmune disease, and recently had to go through two surgeries, including an urgent kidney transplant. Her weight changed, and critics teased, roasted, and shamed her for it.
“I was dealing with a lot of medical problems, so I fluctuated in weight a lot,” she says. “It was just unfair for someone to handle.”
‘I just did things that weren’t really me’
Gomez continues to explain how the pressure to be perfect all the time bled into her music. For her 2015 album Revival, Gomez said she felt people wanted her to act more “adult.” She was 23 years old at the time of the album’s release.
“I just did things that weren’t really me,” she says of the album’s creation. “There was pressure to seem more adult…[I felt] the need to show skin… I really don’t think I was [that] person.”
Now, Gomez is taking greater control over her personal life and her creative projects. The 28-year-old is more confident and ambitious than ever before.
Her most recent album, Rare, came out on January 10 of this year. It quickly became her third number-one album to top the Billboard 200 charts. The first four tracks are quite telling of the new place she’s found herself at in life, standing tall despite her ups and downs:
- “Dance Again”
- “Look at Her Now”
- “Lose You to Love Me”