We totally get it, Selena Gomez.
When it comes to looking back at your former self, who doesn't cringe over an outfit that seemed like a great idea at the time and not so much 10 years later? In that regard, the 27-year-old songstress is certainly just like all of us. In a newly published interview for Dazed's Spring 2020 issue, the "Rare" star covered virtually every topic, from the first CD she owned (Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time) to the scariest part of releasing her own album after a years-long hiatus.
While answering questions from her famous colleagues, she was faced with one from Finneas O'Connell, Grammy-winning older brother of Billie Eilish, who asked, "As a musician who has now been performing professionally for over a decade, what is one thing you look back on in your early career and love—and what makes you cringe?"
"For the first part of the question, I would say that (I love) my innocence," Gomez responded. "For the second part—my style. My style of music and my style in general. It was just not a great combination. I'm proud of all the music I released, of course, but it was just such a different time that sometimes when I hear it, I'm like, 'Oh no!'" she continued with a laugh. We'll remind you that Gomez got her start in music with her debut single, "Tell Me Something I Don't Know," in...drum roll please...2008.
While she's certainly no longer a music industry newbie, Gomez still had major nerves about her latest work. When asked "What was the scariest part of releasing an album after four years," Gomez said, "That no one would like it and my career as a singer would be over."
She elaborated, "I genuinely thought that. I worked so, so hard on this album. It could have come out and completely flopped, and then it's like, well, where do you go from here? I would have questioned everything because I doubt myself and that's where I would have ended up—in a spiral. So I'm glad that it's doing well. But I did everything I could to make it as personal and real (as possible)."
Another scary element of being back in the spotlight was returning to social media. When asked if she would hit a button and get rid of Instagram entirely, Gomez answered, "I think I'd have a lot of people not liking me for saying yes. If I could find a balanced, happy medium that would be great, but I would be lying if I said that it isn't destroying some of my generation, their identity. It's a huge part of why I named my album Rare—because there's so much pressure to look the same as everyone else."
The performer continued, "It was scary going back on—the first four days I was like, 'No, there's no way I can do this.' What I do now is to only go on it when I feel like I need to, and then I'll just log off, I won't take time to explore or look at anything else."
Now, nearly two decades into her Hollywood career with a new decade ahead, the multi hyphenate is setting boundaries and leaving some things behind, including "leaving behind that girl who was just, you know, very timid, weak, abused and silent. And now I'm stepping into who I'm meant to be; I'm leaving that girl behind. I'm giving her a hug. I am who I am."
Who she is—without regrets. "I mean, there are certain things which I wish hadn't happened to me. But without them I wouldn't have been the voice I am for people who have gone through the same thing," she responded when asked if she had regrets.
"You know, going through the lupus thing and the kidney transplant, I was dealing with fame and with being run-down, dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues that I had. It was all a bit confusing. When 'Lose You to Love Me' came out, I stood back and had this moment, like, 'Oh... this is a huge reason why I've pushed myself through this. This is why,'" she Gomez recalled to the magazine. "I was able to release a song that hopefully helps to heal some people, or just lets them know they are not alone. I was actually letting it go personally and when that happened something inside of me just left. And that's why I am grateful for the chapters of my life. I'm not saying that it's gonna be easy from now on, but I have a lot more strength and a lot more courage and a bigger voice to stand up for what I deserve."