By Hayden Wright
Last year, Selena Gomez abruptly ended her Revival Tour to seek treatment for anxiety and depression. In a new Vogue interview, she opened up about the pressures that led to her mental health crisis and what her life is like today.
The already-shy performer says shifting demographics at her shows made it hard to connect with fans.
“Tours are a really lonely place for me,” she explained. “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically, I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it—which, I think, was a complete distortion. I was so used to performing for kids. At concerts, I used to make the entire crowd raise up their pinkies and make a pinky promise never to allow anybody to make them feel that they weren’t good enough. Suddenly I have kids smoking and drinking at my shows, people in their 20s, 30s, and I’m looking into their eyes, and I don’t know what to say. I couldn’t say, ‘Everybody, let’s pinky-promise that you’re beautiful!’ It doesn’t work that way, and I know it because I’m dealing with the same shit they’re dealing with. What I wanted to say is that life is so stressful, and I get the desire to just escape it. But I wasn’t figuring my own stuff out, so I felt I had no wisdom to share. And so maybe I thought everybody out there was thinking, This is a waste of time.”
In treatment, Gomez says she was able to shed the trappings of fame to focus on getting well.
“You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls,” she says, “real people who couldn’t give two s—s about who I was, who were fighting for their lives. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done.”
Over the last few months, Selena says she’s retreated from the Hollywood scene in lieu of church, therapy, and a few key friendships. She remained mum on her relationship with the Weeknd, but insists she’s tried to stay out of the spotlight.
“I think seventeen people have my phone number right now,” she said. “Maybe two are famous.”
Despite her active Instagram presence through 2017, Gomez insists that she’s gone “under the radar” on the social media platform where she’s the most-followed user.
“As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” Gomez said. “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit.”
Through it all, Gomez said she’s interested in anonymity.
“Look, I love what I do, and I’m aware of how lucky I am, but — how can I say this without sounding weird? I just really can’t wait for people to forget about me.”
Read the full Vogue profile here.