Selena Gomez isn’t holding back.
The 25-year-old pop star spoke with InStyle for the magazine’s September issue and gave an in-depth Q-and-A that touched on everything from her early Disney days to her current relationship and her recent 90-day stint in a treatment facility. She also opened up about the controversy that surrounded the Netflix show she produced, “13 Reasons Why.”
Gomez, who first got her start on when she was featured on “Barney and Friends,” talked about starring in Disney’s “The Wizards of Waverly Place” from 2007-2012.
“I think it is really dysfunctional to be in this industry at a young age where you’re figuring out who you are,” she told InStyle of her early fame. “I don’t recommend it.”
She said during her Disney days she cared a lot about the feedback she got from fans.
“When I was on Disney, it was like, ‘Oh, they didn’t like it?’ It hurts your feelings,” she recalled.
Now, she’s realized, “My livelihood can’t depend on ‘Am I liked?’”
Gomez mentioned the word “emotional” more than once when describing her fans and her experiences on social media. She talked openly about heading to a treatment facility in 2016 to tackle some of her mental health issues.
“I kind of wish numbers didn’t exist sometimes, because I feel like I’m 15 some days, and then other days I wake up and I’m 40,” she mused. “It’s so weird, how one year can change everything. Last year I canceled my tour and went away for 90 days, and it was the best thing that I ever could’ve done. I had no phone, nothing, and I was scared. But it was amazing, and I learned a lot.”
After her rehab experience, she said, “Everything I cared about, I stopped caring about. I came out, and it felt like, ‘OK, I can only go forward.’ And there are still days. I go to therapy. I believe in that and talking about where you are. But I’m in a really, really healthy place.”
Gomez said she is “happy” with boyfriend The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye.
She called their relationship “great” and described him as her “best friend.”
“I don’t depend on one area of my life to make me happy. It’s really important for me to love and nourish my friends and family and to make sure that I never get influenced by a guy,” she added. “I’ve wanted to be in a strong headspace for years, and I really wasn’t. Before, I was so young and easily influenced, and I’d feel insecure. You want someone to add to your life, not to complete you, if that makes sense. I’m lucky because he’s more of a best friend than anything else.”
She also delved into the controversy that surrounded “13 Reasons Why,” a show she produced about a teen’s suicide. Many slammed the show and claimed it was promoting suicide.
For Gomez, the strong reaction to the show was unexpected.
“I didn’t think it would even remotely blow up the way that it did, both positively and, obviously, controversially. So in Season 2, we answer a lot of the questions that were brought up. And I think if our show is able to start a conversation at the dinner table, even if it’s just ‘That’s terrible’ or ‘That was great,’ it’s still starting a conversation. It scared people, but it’s really important.”