Admittedly, Selena Gomez is a "Bad Liar."
It's one of the many reasons why, in recent years, she's been open about her mental illnesses. Gracing the cover of Harper's Bazaar's March issue, the 25-year-old singer talks candidly with 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford about why she's finally making herself a priority 2018.
Focusing on her "health" and "well-being" is especially important to Gomez, who voluntarily completed an outpatient treatment program in New York after the interview was conducted.
"I've had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I've been very vocal about it, but it's not something I feel I'll ever overcome," says Gomez, who also revealed in October 2015 that she has been diagnosed with Lupus.
"There won't be a day when I'm like, 'Here I am in a pretty dress—I won!' I think it's a battle I'm gonna have to face for the rest of my life, and I'm OK with that because I know that I'm choosing myself over anything else. I'm starting my year off with that thought. I want to make sure I'm healthy. If that's good, everything else will fall into place."
Gomez released a few songs in 2017, including "Wolves," but music isn't her M.O. right now. "I don't really set goals 'cause I don't want to be disappointed if I don't reach them, but I do want to work on my music, too. My next album has been forever in the making. When people ask me why, I'm honest about it: It's because I haven't been ready. I mean, point-blank, I don't feel confident enough in where my music is yet," she says. "If that takes 10 years, then it takes 10 years. I don't care. Right now I just want to be super intentional with all of the things I'm doing."
The singer feels more "comfortable" than ever, particularly in Hollywood. "I'm not focused on the things that I used to be like, 'Do I look old enough? Do I look sexy enough? Do I look cool enough? Am I nice enough, graceful enough?' Those sorts of things would come into my mind, but now I feel a little more liberated," she says. Having spent half her life in the public eye, Gomez has accepted everything it entails—both negative and positive. "I've never wanted to be the kind of person who's like, 'Oh, I wish I had a different life.' This is just kind of how it worked out for me. I'm at the point where I know the value of my privacy, and I understand how the system works, and once I realized and accepted that part of it I've become a little bit more fearless," she says. "I view it as a small price to pay for being able to have the life I have now."
Gomez is one of the most popular stars on social media, but at the same time, she understands that it can have a negative impact on her self-esteem. "I have a complex relationship with Instagram, to say the least. It has given me a voice amid all the noise of people trying to narrate my life for me and allows me to say, 'Hey, I'm gonna post this, and this is gonna take care of the 1,200 stories that people think are interesting but actually aren't, and aren't even true,'" the singer says. "So it empowers me in that way because it's my words and my voice and my truth."
That being said, Gomez worries about "how much value" her peers place on social media. "It's an incredible platform, but in a lot of ways it's given young people, myself included, a false representation of what's important. So, yeah, it's a complex relationship. Probably one of my most difficult relationships." There are positives to being able to so easily communicate with people from all around the world, of course. "Thanks to the Internet, no matter who you are, you know you're not alone. Maybe a young boy or girl growing up in the South or wherever is confused and terrified to be who they are because they don't think it's right. Now they can see all around them people living free of pain, of hidden agendas, of secrets," she tells Harper's Bazaar. "I think secrets kill people, I really do. You end up trying to cover up so much of who you are for the sake of your family or whoever, and you think you're bad for being different."
"So it's powerful to see our generation breaking those boundaries and encouraging other people to do the same. There's a sense of freedom that past generations weren't able to have."