Selena Gomez: Speaking Up On Mental Health

La joven cantante y actriz estrena un documental que refleja su experiencia personal con la ansiedad y la depresión. Su sincero testimonio resulta de gran utilidad para dar visibilidad a una pandemia, la de los problemas de salud mental, que está asolando a millones de jóvenes en todo el mundo.

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Sarah Davison

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Lately, more and more celebrities have been revealing the profound mental health struggles they go through on a regular basis. From Meghan Markle to Jennifer Aniston, to Bella Hadid and now Selena Gomez, public figures are telling us that they too are human. However, it is alarming that these days the human condition is so widely plagued with anxiety and depression. It appears that we are going through a pandemic of mental health struggles that preceded Covid but has been exacerbated by it.

her mind & her

Selena Gomez is the latest celebrity to open up. In her new Apple TV documentary My Mind & Me the singer, actress and film producer talks about her struggles with the chronic autoimmune disease, lupus. But these are not the main reasons for her suffering: in the documentary, she speaks candidly about how overwhelmed she feels by being constantly on the move, ever since she was extremely young. She says she craves the warmth of living somewhere that feels more like a community, says she wishes she could just be a mum, “normal”, and how she loves her art, but feels the constant pressure to satisfy the market. In a promotional interview for Apple TV, Gomez explained that the film’s lenss hifted  from its original focus

Selena Gomez (American accent): We started to film my trip to Kenya and we thought maybe we could just do a quick little short on this adventure that we’re going on and this experience. Then I had to go straight to London and Paris, and I quickly realized that all of this stuff that was going on in my life it all started with me. It all started with how am I feeling? How am I navigating through all of these different things that are going on in my life. How am I surviving. And ultimately, we realized it was going to be a story about my mental health journey, it’s not going to be necessarily a puff piece. It’s gotta show every part of me, and that’s the good, the bad, the ugly and the real.

ALIENATED YOUTH

One might be led to think that someone as wealthy and successful as Gomez would not be able to inspire empathy or be relatable. However, the singer’s struggles resonate deeply with those of young people everywhere: constantly on the move, working for lower wages, and paying higher rents. Most young people do not share Gomez’s wealth, but they do share her feeling of alienation. 

Selena Gomez: I had been so inundated with comments about my body. I had been told [that] I needed to look better, that I needed to dress cooler. And I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. And I think that is abusive. And I realized that watching that back, I’m never going to let anyone ever again make me feel that way. And I gained my strength back when I realized, actually no, that girl wasn’t lame, that girl didn’t need a better body. I was meant to be exactly who I am. And once I was released from a voice in my life, I did not fall, I actually rose up

INTRUSIVE PRESS

In the documentary, Gomez also makes clear that the celebrity press are not only intrusive, but also fabricate stories. Not long ago, she was photographed with her ex’s (Justin Bieber) new partner, Hailey Bieber, revealing a supposed vitriol between the two women that was entirely invented by a few media outlets for personal gain. Gomez opening up to the public about her mental health issues is yet another voice telling us what normalcy actually feels like, something which should have us worried.

Selena Gomez: I don’t mind being the person who is a voice of mental health, because it’s my life and it’s a part of who I am. And I want people to start becoming more and more comfortable with that conversation. And I want it to stop being this label that terrifies people, or people don’t believe in it, or think it’s not a real thing. If I would have released this documentary before the pandemic, people may would have thought I was crazy. So it was really interesting to hear people react to this movie and actually saying “Oh, I did not know I had that, but I did struggle with that as well.” If I am able to help one person with this, I am on cloud nine forever. But I hope I that am remembered by my heart, and I’m remembered by simply wanting to see people for who they are and love them authentically, truly, and as purely as I possibly can.

449 ESP Cover January 23

Este artículo pertenece al número de Enero 2023 de la revista Speak Up.

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