Pop

Selena Gomez Shares 'Rare' Life Lessons About Self-Discovery & Mental Health

Selena Gomez
Ashley Osborn

Selena Gomez

The pop star/actress served as the keynote speaker at the 2020 Teen Vogue Summit.

Selena Gomez served as the keynote speaker at the 2020 Teen Vogue Summit, where the singer shared how she brings authenticity to everything she creates.

This year alone, Gomez notched another No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with her third studio set Rare, launched her Rare Beauty line, and came out with the HBO Max cooking show Selena + Chef. Inspired by the summit's theme of "creating together from the ground up" and her personal recollections of facing adversity, she talked about how bringing her passion and rareness to all of her acting, singing and business pursuits resulted in a major payoff.

"When I was younger, I was lucky enough to find my passion, and from that point on, I kind of had to go with it no matter what happened," she told Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner during the Dec. 5-dated Zoom panel. "And because of that, a lot of people told me 'No,' a lot of people said... that I wasn't capable. ... The theme of everything I do is good quality. I want to make sure the stuff that I have, whether it's all the business stuff to my work acting and singing, it's important for me to be authentic and to connect to something. Otherwise, it seems a bit pointless to me. It requires a lot of hard work. But the payoff is amazing."

Peoples Wagner serves on the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, which unites mental health experts from universities, organizations and companies to guide Gomez's Rare Beauty charitable mission. The multi-hyphenate star launched the Rare Impact Fund on her 28th birthday this year, which plans to raise $100 million to provide mental health services to underserved communities.

Gomez's album Rare championed vulnerability about her mental health issues and necessary loss for her own growth while coming out from underneath a glaring spotlight regarding her very public breakups. Over the course of 13 songs, Gomez tells the story of her trials and tribulations while ending on the dance-worthy triumph of knowing she's OK.

"The whole theme of my last album was a lot of self-discovery, a lot of being OK, being alone and being vulnerable, being OK with not looking like everything else, like everyone else," Gomez said about Rare in her keynote speech.

She provided another breath of fresh air when it came to the topic of mental health, one she hasn't shied away from because of the "sense of freedom I gained" once she opened up about it. "My journey personally has been all about my timing; when I felt like it was working, that’s when I suddenly became so obsessed with making sure that everybody I knew understood that sharing your emotions [was] great," Gomez shared. "How I’m a huge advocate for therapy. How I feel like there are support groups for everybody, and it’s OK... there’s no way that people aren’t feeling a certain way, whether they’re figuring that out on their own or not, we all need each other."

See highlights from the conversation below: