If your first instinct is to scan her accompanying interview for lovey-dovey quotes about new beau The Weeknd, allow us to save you the trouble: There aren't any. Gomez declined to speak to the magazine about her rumored boyfriend, though she has a very understandable reason for not wanting to do so.
"When I ask Gomez about the romance," writer Rob Haskell notes, "she tells me that everything she has said about her relationships in the past has come back to bite her, and that she will never do it again."
Fair enough. Gomez, who executive-produced Netflix's upcoming 13 Reasons Why, did hint at ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, however. After greeting and taking photos with a group of young fans, she told Haskell that "somebody I used to hang out with would always get very frustrated with me [for indulging fans]. But I have a hard time saying no to children.”
But enough about those dudes. Gomez was most interested in discussing her 90-day stay at a Tennessee treatment center, where she underwent therapy to address personal issues last fall.
“Tours are a really lonely place for me,” she said of her decision to step out of the limelight and seek treatment. “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it — which, I think, was a complete distortion. I was so used to performing for kids. At concerts I used to make the entire crowd raise up their pinkies and make a pinky promise never to allow anybody to make them feel that they weren’t good enough.
"Suddenly I have kids smoking and drinking at my shows, people in their 20s, 30s, and I’m looking into their eyes, and I don’t know what to say. I couldn’t say, ‘Everybody, let’s pinky-promise that you’re beautiful!’ It doesn’t work that way, and I know it because I’m dealing with the same shit they’re dealing with. What I wanted to say is that life is so stressful, and I get the desire to just escape it. But I wasn’t figuring my own stuff out, so I felt I had no wisdom to share. And so maybe I thought everybody out there was thinking, This is a waste of time.”
She referred to her time there as "one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done," and seems to be enjoying the freedom of having a more relaxed work schedule.
“For a change,” she said, “it feels like I don’t have to be holding my breath and waiting for somebody to judge a piece of work that I’m doing. I’m not eager to chase a moment. I don’t think there’s a moment for me to chase.”