Often it can be easy to forget that major celebrities; music stars, athletes, actors are real people, just like everyone else, and therefore struggle with many of the same day to day issues as as we all do. Admittedly, some things, like grocery shopping and holidays are probably made a lot easier by fame and money (presumably you could just get someone else to do the logistical stuff for you). However, it is not too much of a stretch to suggest that, on the other side of the coin, certain problems can be magnified by the spotlight, or at the very least not made any easier.
It would be easy to perceive Selena Gomez’s life as as close to perfect as it is possible to get; a wildly successful music career, millions of adoring fans and all the trappings of a happy, prosperous life well lived. No-one, though, is free from problems, and Gomez has been forthright in talking about her own issues in the April issue of Vogue Magazine, speaking with frank detail about her own mental health issues.
Last year, Gomez checked into a rehab facility, cancelling the remaining dates on her Revival tour, citing mental health issues that had arisen as a side effect of lupus.
Speaking to Vogue, the 24-year-old opened up about her time in rehab and the events that led up to her recognising that she needed some help to deal with mental health issues.
“Tours are a really lonely place for me” she explains, “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting on stage or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt like 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.”
As a result of these feelings, she decided it was time to enter rehab and checked into a centre in Tennessee, which she shared with six girls. The experience, she says, was exactly what she needed, “You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls. Real people who couldn’t give two s**ts who I was, who were fighting for their lives.”
She attributes part of the problem to social media, which the 24-year-old says she had become addicted to, explaining that it was crushing her self-esteem, “As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out” Gomez says, “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about.”
Social media addiction is fast becoming a recognised problem in our society, and with mental health problems being spoken about more than ever, it is excellent to hear such an iconic figure speaking about her own problems in the hope that it will help others.
Gomez comes across as strikingly self-aware in the Vogue interview, as well as forthcoming in talking about her own issues. Indeed, the wildly popular singer is looking forward to a day when she will no longer be one of the most instantly recognisable faces on the planet. “Look, I love what I do, and I’m aware of how lucky I am, but – how can I say this without sounding weird? I just really can’t wait for people to forget about me,”.
It seems unlikely that the 24-year-old’s 113 million Instagram followers are going to forget about their idol for a while, though I feel sure that the singer will have gained many more admirers for her candid and sensitive comments on the delicate subject of mental health.