Selena Gomez on Her and Hailey Bieber’s Viral Photo, Finding Herself, and Living in NYC
Ahead of her Apple TV+ documentary My Mind and Me‘s release this Friday, Selena Gomez opened up to Vulture about a myriad of topics, from how she sees herself now at this point of her mental health journey to her very brief thoughts on her viral photo reunion with Hailey Bieber, the wife of her ex-boyfriend, Justin Bieber.
Regarding the photo, when Vulture‘s Rachel Handler asked Gomez for the story behind the photo and said, “I thought it was powerful of you guys to publicly be like, ‘We’re moving on,’” Gomez replied briefly, saying, “Thank you. Yeah, it’s not a big deal. It’s not even a thing.”
Notably, Gomez revealed she’s living in New York City now (“I am so happy and lovely here in New York”) and that she does have new music in the works. Here, the highlights from their chat, which you can read in full here.
On seeing the documentary’s original cut, which documents her mental health journey over six years, including during some very low points
“I think it brought me back to a time. The things I was watching from 2016, 2017, 2018 — I can’t believe I was that girl. That breaks my heart. I’m grateful to be on the other side, but when I watched, for example, the first part of the film where I discuss my body—I don’t want to cry now, but I was completely upset with myself. I couldn’t believe the things I was aspiring to be. Which really aren’t possible unless you have a lot of money and you’re willing to spend it to do that to yourself. It really broke my heart. That’s not the feeling I want to give anyone. I hope I don’t. So watching it was a bit shocking and upsetting.”
“But I feel genuinely proud. I’ve had so many moments with people, real genuine moments, where women who are in their 40s tell me about their divorce or something they’re walking through. I can’t help but just love people for who they are, even when it’s frustrating and even maybe when I shouldn’t. I believe in people. Ultimately, I sacrificed my story—which I don’t mind, it’s just a little weird—I hope it has a bigger purpose and can carry on as a conversation for people.”
On how she now feels about her past diary entry, “It has killed me, because there’s always Selena [her fame persona].”
Gomez shared the diary entry in the film. She also revealed in her response that she was now living in New York City.
“I think it’s about discovering myself through my 20s; I had to do that in front of people, and I don’t know anything different. I think that Selena—and I hate talking about myself in the third person, I’m so sorry—is not a reflection of where I am now. I don’t want people to think that I will forever live in this sad-girl world. Because that’s not true. [Documentary director] Alek [Keshishian] has said this, and it’s very true, that when people say, ‘What’s the end of the movie?’ The end of the movie is where I am now. Living in New York, and just being. That’s all I want to do.”
She added, “I can now [separate myself from that fame persona]. Thank God I can. I am so happy and lovely here in New York. I love living with the older generation, so I’m on the Upper East Side. It’s very nice for that. I’m currently in a little cave and it’s so lovely and private.”
And on where her upcoming album stands:
“We’ve actually been working for years on this new record, only because I want to be able to grow through my music. I am the person who’s terrified of what will happen once it’s out, so I want it to be really well done and representative of where I am. There is a bunch of fun stuff that I’m so eager to leak, if I’m being honest. I shall not. But I’m so excited. It’ll be fun and refreshing, I think.”
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.