Selena Gomez is one of 12 young stars featured on Vanity Fair‘s 2023 Hollywood cover.
The singer speaks candidly about surviving social media, her new music, and more in the accompanying interview.
Gomez shares of being upfront about handing her social media accounts over to an assistant after struggling to deal with Instagram in particular: “I never got the chance to go to an actual high school. The world was my high school for the longest time, and I started getting inundated with information that I didn’t want.
“I went through a hard time in a breakup and I didn’t want to see any of the [feedback]—not necessarily about the relationship, but the opinions of me versus [someone] else. There’d be thousands of really nice comments, but my mind goes straight to the mean one.
“People can call me ugly or stupid and I’m like, ‘Whatever.’ But these people get detailed. They write paragraphs that are so specific and mean. I would constantly be crying. I constantly had anxiety… I couldn’t do it anymore. It was a waste of my time,” the “Only Murders in the Building” star continues.
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She goes on, “The only thing I have on my phone is TikTok because I find it to be a little less hostile. There are wonderful things about social media—connecting with fans, seeing how happy and excited they are and their stories. But usually that’s filtered through [for me now]. I created a system. Everything I do I send to my assistant who posts them. As far as comments, my team will put together a few things that are encouraging.”
As the reporter points out that Gomez has “called out Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook’s spread of disinformation and hate speech” in the past, Gomez is asked how she feels about Elon Musk’s controversial Twitter takeover and “the uptick in hate speech since.”
Gomez insists, “It’s dangerous. I don’t think I need to say anything because he’s getting [the feedback] that I feel. I don’t care about him, but about the [direction] of Twitter… It’s not my favourite app, for sure. I don’t know if it was [about feeling] cool that you own something. I just find it irresponsible and unsafe.”
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Elsewhere in the candid chat, the singer talks about the “happy” new music she’s been working on.
She shares, “If I had my way, I would probably write ballads my whole life, but I want to produce music that will make people smile.
“The music I’m doing right now is about real things that I’m walking through. It’s really powerful, strong, very pop. The theme generally is freedom—freedom from relationships, freedom from the darkness.”
Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue hits newsstands February 28.