Selena Gomez Opens Up About Being Body Shamed for Gaining Weight Amidst Lupus Battle
Selena Gomez has been through some seriously challenging times over the past few years. On top of high profile break-ups with on-again, off-again boyfriend Justin Bieber, the 27-year-old has also struggled with mental health, taking frequent breaks from the spotlight and social media.
Notably, Gomez was also diagnosed with lupus, a long-term autoimmune condition causing inflammation to the joints, skin and other organs, according to the National Health Society (NHS). While there is currently no cure for lupus, symptoms can improve if treatment starts early. Gomez ultimately had to undergo kidney transplant surgery after suffering from a series of health complications from her condition, including kidney failure.
The singer has since made a comeback and has been traveling the country doing interviews to promote her new music and upcoming album. Most recently, she spoke with the vodcast Giving Back Generation about the impact her health struggles have had on her on a personal level. (Related: Selena Gomez Shares How She's Embracing Her Post-Transplant Scars)
In the interview, she opened up about having to go on medication to treat her lupus, which ended up affecting her weight. “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,” she explained.
What's more, while she was struggling to come to terms with her changing body privately, people were "attacking" her appearance on social media without knowing she was actually sick, she explained. (See: Selena Gomez Had the Best Response When People Body-Shamed Her Bikini Pics)
“It’s the medication I have to take for the rest of my life—it depends on even the month, to be honest,” she said of her weight fluctuation. “So for me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that. And in reality, that’s just my truth. I fluctuate. It depends on what’s happening in my life.”
Turns out, these body-shaming comments are what actually caused Gomez to briefly leave social media at the time, she admits. "That got me big time," she said. "That really messed me up for a bit."
She's since returned but says she barely glances at the comments anymore.
"I'm very happy with living my life and being present," she said. "Because that's it. Similar to me posting a photo and walking away; for me that's it. I will do a red carpet, I will do whatever; I don't need to see it; I participated; I felt wonderful and that's where the extent of it is. I don't care to expose myself to everyone and hear what they have to say." (Related: Selena Gomez Gave a Powerful Speech About How She Worked Through Her Mental Health Struggles)
Gomez hopes that her decision to not take social media so seriously will inspire other younger more impressionable women to do the same. "So many beautiful girls and amazing different characters are being demolished by an image that they're trying to chase," she said. "They're wanting to be a completely different person, but that's not what's inside of them." (Related: How Celebrity Social Media Affects Your Mental Health and Body Image)
Even still, Gomez will be the first to tell you that not caring is much easier said than done. "I get it, I look at other people's pages—or I used to—and I'd be like, 'Okay, I need to fix myself.'"
But when she finds herself in that negative space, she says she relies on her faith and best friends, saying: "I don't believe that I could do this life alone."