Why Selena Gomez Took 4 Years Off Instagram: ‘It Was the Most Rewarding Gift’

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Why Selena Gomez Took 4 Years Off Instagram: ‘It Was the Most Rewarding Gift’ featured image
Getty Images / Neilson Barnard / Staff

Selena Gomez has the most followers of any woman on Instagram at a staggering 429 million, but that doesn’t mean she’s an active social media user herself. At the 2024 TIME100 Summit in New York City on Wednesday, April 24, the 31-year-old singer, actress and entrepreneur opened up about her tumultuous relationship with Instagram—and how taking a break from the platform benefited her.

“I took four years off of Instagram, and I let my team post for me for those years,” she told TIME senior editor Lucy Feldman, who asked about her current social media habits. “I felt like it was the most rewarding gift I gave myself. You’re sitting there so focused on what looks wonderful when everything that’s meant to be wonderful to you is not from here,” she continued. “I was more present—I was happier.”

“I find it frustrating,” she continued, referring to social media as a whole. “Then I get a little mouthy, and I want to defend the people I love. It’s important to take breaks. I don’t really pay much attention; I’ll just do things here and there.”

The Rare Beauty founder has been candid about her mental health journey through the years. In her 2020 documentary, Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me, she openly discussed her bipolar diagnosis with viewers, touching on it during her TIME interview as well. “All these confusing things were happening,” she said. “Once I finally found the answer, it wasn’t ‘Oh, I have this problem.’ It actually made me feel better to know and understand what was happening in my mind.” 

Rare Beauty is an extension of her mission to destigmatize mental illness and provide resources for young people’s wellbeing—much like the help she received. To streamline this goal, one percent of the brand’s sales go to its Rare Impact Fund, a mental health-focused non-profit and community aiming to raise $100 million over 10 years through philanthropic partners.

“I didn’t want to really enter the cosmetics world without a mission,” she told the moderator. It was actually a dream that kind of happened within this brand, and on top of it we were able to make hopefully decent products.”

Seeing her vision brought to life brings her immense fulfillment. “That is what makes me happy every night when I go to sleep because it’s mission-driven,” she said.

Getty Images / Stefanie Keenan

Gomez remains humble about Rare Beauty’s $2 billion valuation success since its 2020 founding, dismissing rumors of selling the company. “I don’t think I’m going anywhere. I am enjoying this a little too much,” she said.

Most recently, Only Murders in the Building actress introduced Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush, a radiant and silky formula that’s been described as a hybrid of two brand bestsellers: the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush and Positive Light Silky Touch Highlighter. Gomez even recently unveiled Rare Beauty-themed dog toys and, this past December, a body-care line.




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