Latin Grammys 2018

Selena Gomez on Friends, Fame & More: 6 Things We Learned From Her 'Business of Fashion' Cover Story

"I feel like I know everybody but have no friends."

Selena Gomez opened up about her personal life and what it’s like to struggle with mental health in the spotlight in a Business of Fashion cover story that might be one of her most revealing yet. The interview was done via FaceTime rather than in person, but Gomez didn’t hold back in this candid conversation. 

Here are six things we learned from the feature: 

On crediting her mom with surviving through the early years of her career:

“I’ve been doing it since I was 7. To be honest I don’t think I know anything different. It was good training, but I’m going to give the credit to my mom, because she was very aware, for some reason, of what could happen to me. She always said to me that I should have fun, and if it wasn’t fun or if I wasn’t learning something or I wasn’t growing as a person, she wanted to take me out of it. She said, 'This entire industry is going to tell you you’re perfect and you’re great, and I’m going to tell you that you’re no better or bigger than anyone. You are the person that you are, and you are very lucky.' That’s something that’s always been replaying in my head."

On the dark side of fame:

“I remember just feeling really violated when I was younger, even just being on the beach. I was maybe 15 or 16 and people were taking pictures — photographers. I don’t think anyone really knew who I was. But I felt very violated and I didn’t like it or understand it, and that felt very weird, because I was a young girl and they were grown men. I didn’t like that feeling. Then, I would say the last season of my show, I was probably 18 years old, is when I felt like the flip happened. I didn’t feel like it was about my art as much. I was on the fourth season of the show, and I felt like I was outgrowing it. I wanted something different and obviously I fell in love for the first time. There was all this stuff that was happening and I didn’t know what to do.”  

On finding support from people you respect rather than just anyone:

“I asked teachers, coaches, managers, people that I respected [because of] the way they’ve lived their life. I asked them, 'How did you get to this place? What were you like when you were 25? What were the things that you were thinking about?' And then from there, being with like-minded people. You are who you surround yourself with -- 100 percent. If you’re around people who think that stuff is dumb, that think it’s ridiculous --'You’re crazy! You’re fine!' -- but you don’t feel that way, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate that. It’s a lonely journey to really figure out where all this stuff is coming from. And to detach from it. It becomes an addiction, it becomes a habit, retraining your mind to not go to these negative places when you say something wrong, do something wrong, when you wear a certain thing or represent a certain culture. But it is lonely, I had to lose a lot of people in my life to get there.”

On having a small social circle that are trustworthy and respect boundaries:

“You have to figure out the people that are in your circle. I feel like I know everybody but have no friends. [Laughs] I have like three good friends that I can tell everything to, but I know everyone. I go anywhere and I’m like, “Hey guys, how’s it going?” And it feels great to be connected to people, but having boundaries is so important. You have to have those few people that respect you, want the best for you and you want the best for them. It sounds cheesy, but it’s hard.”  

On struggling with mental health issues, regardless of her fame:

“I think I would have all of the same issues. I think mine are amplified just a little bit only because of the public aspect, but I do think they’re very similar. When it comes to the internal stuff -- the insecurities, growing up, friendships, family, mental health, all of that stuff.”

On her Instagram fame:

“I don’t even understand it, no. I really don’t. I love the app, and that’s all that happened. I think I was probably too vocal on it. Maybe too real, and have gotten myself into a little bit of trouble occasionally, but I think people liked the authenticity that I represented -- poorly sometimes. I don’t have a formula, I don’t really think about it. Maybe that’s why, because I don’t think about it.”