Selena Gomez is speaking up on the subject of body positivity and mental health. In the latest episode of Apple TV’s Dear… docuseries, Gomez dives deep into body image, and how online criticism of her body affected her, despite the strong front she put forward publicly.
“I lied,” Gomez said. “I would go online and I would post a picture of myself and I would say, ‘It doesn’t matter. I’m not accepting what you’re saying.’
“All the while, being in the room posting and crying my eyes out because nobody deserves to hear those things.”
Gomez, 30, was diagnosed with lupus in 2014. Lupus is a chronic illness that attacks the immune system and organs, causing painful inflammation and organ damage. At just 24, she underwent a kidney transplant after her condition developed into lupus nephritis, which causes the kidneys to stop functioning.
Lupus and the medications taken to manage it can cause weight to fluctuate. Gomez explained in a TikTok livestream that in her case, her medication causes her to gain weight.
“[When I’m taking it, I] tend to hold a lot of water weight, and that happens very normally. When I’m off of it, I tend to lose weight,” said Gomez in the live. “I just wanted to say and encourage anyone out there who feels any sort of shame for exactly what they’re going through, and no one knows the real story.”
This comes after Gomez announced a break from social media in February, amidst coverage of the supposed feud between her and Hailey Bieber (who is married to Gomez’ ex-boyfriend). This further highlights how a toxic environment online can effect the people at the center, something Gomez wants us to examine further.
In the newest episode of Dear…, Gomez explains why she hid behind body positivity when faced with comments about her weight gain.
“Though I was posting these things saying it doesn’t bother me, because I didn’t want it to bother other people who are experiencing the same thing, getting shamed for what they look like, who they are, who they love,” she said. “I just think it’s so unfair. I don’t think that anybody deserves to feel less than.”