Selena Gomez on what really kept her out of the spotlight

Celebrity life may seem glamorous, but it can also be unbelievably difficult. Being in the limelight 24/7 can be exhausting at best. . . and take a toll on your health at worst. When Selena Gomez took a break and had a brief stint in rehab in early 2014, rumors flew all over the Internet that substance abuse was the reason for her absence. However, Selena took a break for a much different reason, the 23-year-old explained to Billboard recently. She’s had to overcome incredible obstacles in the realm of her health, and substance abuse had nothing to do with it — and now, she’s opening up about what she’s had to face.

“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy,” Selena told Billboard. “That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.”

When people used her break as fodder for gossip, Selena had to hold her tongue. “I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes,’” she admitted. “I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”

And now, she’s more than ready. Recently, Selena announced her Revival world tour, her first musical and creative endeavor since Stars Dance in 2013. And she’s channeled her frustration into the new album, she explained to Billboard. “I’m so f—ing nice to everybody, and everyone is so vile to me,” she said. “I’ve been working since I was 7. I’ve been a UNICEF ambassador since I was 17. It’s so disappointing that I’ve become a tabloid story. . . The hate motivated me.”

And when people compare her flourishing career to her ex Justin Bieber’s, she immediately shuts that down. “No,” she told Billboard. “This is my time. I’ve deserved this. I earned it. This is all me.” We absolutely love Selena’s confidence and drive. We are also in awe of her honesty. 

And this confidence was hard-earned — something that she developed after facing a ton of cruelty in the tabloids, especially regarding her body image. “I was in a bikini and got publicly ripped for being overweight,” Selena told Billboard. “That was the first time I’d experienced body shaming like that. I believed some of the words they were saying. When somebody else has your self-esteem in their hands.”

That’s exactly why she’s (almost) nude on the cover of Revival. It’s a statement to those haters: That she doesn’t care what they have to say, nor should she.

Besides her own self-confidence, she also is lifted up by her good friends, such as Taylor Swift. “Taylor makes me feel empowered, like I can trust new people,” she said about Taylor and her *squad*. “All of those girls are so dope. We ran around taking pictures, changing dresses, dancing — super-cliche girly stuff, but it rocked. The way she cares about women is so adamant. It’s pulling me out of my shell.”

Selena, we are so proud of you. Thanks for being an amazing role model for millions of girls all over the world, and while we are saddened to hear about the health troubles you faced we are so happy you are feeling well again.

Related reading: 

Selena Gomez gets honest about her body, refuses to change it for anyone

Justin Bieber finally opens up about his breakup with Selena, makes us tear up

(Image via Instagram.)

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