“My Mind & Me”
With her career taking off when she was just seven years old, actress, musician, and CEO Selena Gomez grew up in the public eye, never losing her grace and connection with supporters. Something that has always set Selena apart from other celebrities is that even as her status rose, she remained open about her struggles and story. The world knew all her problems in sensitive subjects like bipolar disorder, lupus, her industry, etc., and her instinct was to accept the role of someone who made it okay to struggle if you coped healthily. She’s made sure through everything to exemplify that it’s possible to be good enough even as a “work in progress.”
Due to her approach to stardom, the news that she’d be releasing her own documentary with AppleTV+, Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me, left no one doubting that it would go above and beyond.
Empathetic, as always, to the fact that some people without AppleTV+ might want to hear her story as well, Gomez shared a link to redeem a free two-month subscription; more than enough time to finish the 95-minute film, but not enough to process it.
“If somebody sees me like this then they won’t feel alone, now.”Selena Gomez in Selena Gomez: My Mind & MeSelena Gomez
Selena Gomez’s diagnosis with lupus in 2014 is something she’s been open on to help others with the disease feel less alone. Measuring her blood pressure between tour performances, she showed the world that autoimmune disease wouldn’t stop her if she took the appropriate preventative measures.
Furthermore, Selena opened the conversation of physical health up to the intersection of physical and mental health. While she was focused on living with lupus as her career advanced, she’d opened up that her illness had a strong impact on her anxiety and depression, even cutting her Revival tour short due to panic attacks.
During this period in Gomez’s lupus journey, her friends and family struggled to understand why she was suddenly so numb and lifeless and found that she didn’t know how to pinpoint it either. After years of this pain, Gomez’s mother had to hear about her 2019 lupus hospitalization-driven psychotic break from TMZ because she was transported from hospital to mental hospital in the public eye. Having lost herself completely, Selena credits her support system’s understanding her deeply enough to see through this as a large aspect of her recovery.
Due to her closely tied physical and mental health struggles, Selena’s 2019 hospitalization also provided her clarity on her mental health when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Gomez and her support system were extremely relieved to understand the cause of her pain, making this diagnosis one of the key things Selena expresses gratitude for throughout the documentary. She emphasizes the impact that learning and understanding your emotions has on your healing journey with both her words and her actions.
After taking a trip to Kenya’s WE college to speak with students about mental health, Selena found passion in her work and didn’t feel like she was done yet. She opened up to the WE team about wanting to continue the conversation about mental health by creating a bill that implements emotional intelligence into the core curriculum. Gomez’s first-hand experience with struggling to navigate mental health made her a voice for why preventative mental health can save lives, and the world would benefit greatly by seeing her idea for a bill materialize.
“The more you learn about it, the less you’re gonna be afraid of it.”Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez’s career started strong, with no rough patches for the length of some people’s entire careers. Starting Barney at just seven years old, Selena moved to LA to work full-time at eleven. She loved her career and felt she was living the dream of getting her mom and herself out of their small town and odd jobs, but enough years in the industry had her questioning her identity. She began feeling cheap, vain, and like a product after being a celebrity for so long and was afraid people would always see her as an immature child star.
From being associated with the childlike nature of Disney for so long to branching out into a solo music career, she was constantly in her head about her performances looking “young” and “Disney.” Even though her reputation was positive, Gomez was terrified of failing her attempt to grow past a child star, because that meant that was all she’d ever be. She was terrified the industry would never take her seriously because of this image, which was oftentimes confirmed when interviewers asked her about romance instead of her story and brushed over her passion for philanthropy.
“Everything that I’ve gone through is gonna be there, I’m just making it my friend now.”Selena Gomez
Despite the challenges of navigating through the industry, especially as a young woman, Gomez found a place for herself and undoubtedly achieved her primary goal to save lives and provide a voice to the underrepresented. Feeling disconnected from both the outside world and her own mind made Selena feel disconnected from her life, which is where she found the biggest takeaway from her whole story; connection is what makes her happy. Being grounded and able to resonate with others is how Selena has continued to thrive past all her struggles, so connecting her story to others will always be a key aspect of her life and career.