3 Times Selena Gomez Showed Us the Power of Being Vulnerable and Standing Up for Yourself

selena gomez
image via selenagomez/instagram

There’s something undeniably cool about Selena Gomez. She is the most-followed person on Instagram with more than 131 million followers, but despite her celebrity status, she does not shy away from being authentic. For Gomez, that means being open about her struggles with her mental health and body image.

Since a 2014 stint in rehab for extreme exhaustion, Gomez has been using her platform to spread positive vibes. Here are three memorable times she inspired us all.

1. 2016 AMAs

When Gomez accepted the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, she used her speech to reach out to her fans and offer a glimmer of hope in seemingly hopeless times.

“In 2014, this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically 100 percent honest with you,” she began her speech. “I think it’s safe to say that a lot of you know a lot of my life whether I liked it or not and I had to stop. Because I had everything, and I was absolutely broken. And I kept it together and I swore I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.” Selena continued, “I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore.” Addressing her fans directly, she proclaimed, “If you are broken, you don’t have to stay broken.”

2. Billboard Interview

In December 2017, Gomez was crowned Billboard’s Woman of the Year. In the interview, she was asked how she copes with the scar left behind from her kidney transplant, and her answer gives us all kinds of self-loving feels.

“It was really hard in the beginning. I remember looking at myself in the mirror completely naked and thinking about all the things that I used to bitch about and just asking, ‘Why?’ I had someone in my life for a very long time who pointed out all the things that I didn’t feel great about with myself. When I look at my body now, I just see life. There are a million things I can do – lasers and creams and all that stuff – but I’m OK with it. And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with [plastic surgery]. Cardi has been my inspiration lately. She’s killing it, and she is proud of everything she has done. So there is absolutely zero judgment on my end. I just think for me, it could be my eyes, my round face, my ears, my legs, my scar. I don’t have perfect abs, but I feel like I’m wonderfully made.”

image via selenagomez/instagram

3. Instagram Clap Back

Back in April 2015, pictures of Gomez on vacation in Mexico surfaced, and fat shaming ensued. In response to the haters, she posted on Instagram a picture of herself lounging in a bathing suit and giggling, with the caption of “I love being happy with me yall #theresmoretolove”.

Later, when a guest on “Ellen,” Gomez commented further on the incident, “Yeah, it was the first time I’d ever been called fat.” She continued, “But it was weird because it’s not just, ‘Oh, she’s fat.’ It’s like, ‘She’s a mess. She’s gone off the deep end.’ I’m like, because I’m on a vacation wearing a bathing suit? Actually, technically, that is a little too small for me, but I didn’t care.”

“Look, I don’t what them to win,” she explained. “It’s so annoying when I see it all over the place and everybody thinks they can bring me down. So my immediate response was, I’m gonna post a picture and I’m like, ‘I’m happy with me ya’ll,’ and that was gonna be the story the next day. I wasn’t gonna let that be the story. That wasn’t the story.”

The takeaway: control your story, ladies!

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Aylin Erman
Aylin Erman

Aylin is founder of GlowKitchen, a food blog with an emphasis on vegan and gluten-free fare. Aylin has been living in Istanbul, where she is founder and CEO of a cold-pressed juice and healthy foods company JÜS (www.jusistanbul.com).