Selena Gomez is coming to terms with her body, in spite of the constant criticism she experiences in the public eye.
On Monday, Gomez appeared on her close friend Raquelle Stevens’ Giving Back Generation video podcast (or “vodcast”) and opened up about grappling with body image and self-doubt while living with lupus. During the vodcast’s final episode, Gomez, who opened up about her struggles over the past year, discussed the negative impact that social media can have on one’s own self-perception — hers included.
“I see so many beautiful girls and amazing different characters and then they’re just demolished by an image that they’re trying to chase,” Gomez said, revealing that she felt demoralized when critics went after how her body changed while dealing with lupus.
According to the singer, who has publicly grappled with body-shaming in the past, this is one struggle that maintains an ongoing grip on her mental health. “That really messed me up for a bit,” she told Stevens.
“I experienced that with my weight fluctuation for the first time,” she said. “I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure so I deal with a lot of health issues, and for me that’s when I really started noticing more of the body image stuff.”
When Stevens suggests that lupus was the cause of her weight changes, Gomez describes a combination of factors, from the medications she takes to manage her symptoms to the regular stresses of living with a lifelong autoimmune disease. “I really noticed when people started attacking me for that — in reality, that’s just my truth,” she said. “I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life.”
Gomez was diagnosed with lupus in 2015 and remains candid about how the disease has influenced every part of her life, including her mental and emotional wellbeing. Lupus is a chronic condition that impacts the body’s immune system, causing inflammation that can be managed (though not typically eradicated completely) through medication and lifestyle changes. In the years since her diagnosis, she’s continued to advocate for the power of personal positivity amidst often-cruel treatment from the outside world — particularly as a public figure.
“I’m very happy with living my life,” Gomez told Stevens in the episode. She emphasizes the importance of being present, especially on social media; now, the act of “posting a photo and then walking away — for me, that’s it. I’ll do a red carpet, I’ll do whatever, I don’t need to see it. I did it. I participated. I felt wonderful and that’s where the extent of it is. I don’t care to expose myself to everyone and hear what they have to say about it.”