For anyone who feels a sense of insecurity when scrolling through perfect pics of online influencers and filtered photos of famous faces on social media, Selena Gomez wants you to know you're not alone.
The actress and singer says even celebrities like her confront those same feelings of not measuring up to impossibly high standards.
“I experienced that with my weight fluctuation for the first time,” the 27-year-old revealed in a new interview for the Giving Back Generation videocast. “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.”
Gomez explained that “a combination” of factors contributed to her weight changes, including the medications she is taking for the rest of her life, following a kidney transplant in 2017.
“That's just my truth, I fluctuate,” she added.
But it wasn’t only her health issues that got to her during recent ups and downs. It was also the unkind comments from body-shamers that synced up with the changes.
“For me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that,” she said.
And nothing about her fame or success made that experience any easier to navigate.
“That got to me big time,” Gomez continued. “I think for me, that really messed me up for a bit."
And she fears the impact these types of experiences can affect her young fans.
Over the summer, during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, Gomez said, “Social media has really been terrible for my generation … It just scares me. I see these young girls, I’ll meet them at meet-and-greets or something, they’re just devastated dealing with bullying and not being able to have their own voice.”
She hopes they'll speak up one day. Until then, she’s using her voice to raise awareness.
Her advice for young people on social media? "Be honest. Be very intentional at what you’re paying attention to. Try to remove yourself from images that 99.9 (percent) of the time are just images that are not necessarily real."
After all, as she said during the interview, “Being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness.”