Selena Gomez talks about her mom’s influence and what it means to be strong

Selena Gomez’s interview is part of TIME Firsts, a multimedia project featuring 46 groundbreaking women. Watch the rest of the videos at Buy the book at the TIME Shop.

There are so many reasons to love Selena Gomez — not only is she a style icon and adorable pop star, but she uses her platform to raise awareness on issues that are important to her. She has never shied away from being open with her fans about her struggles, and in this latest video for TIME, Selena Gomez talks about her mom’s influence on her and what she thinks it means to be strong.

Selena’s willingness to share a part of herself and be vulnerable with her fans is not only endearing, but it helps to empower those who look up to her as well. Selena discusses how she feels that she has a trust with her fans that helps her feel grounded in an industry that can cannibalize the young.

Selena Gomez takes a look back at her life’s work and the people who have affected her life profoundly – none more so than her mother.

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Selena’s mom was only 16 when she had her, so they grew up together in a way.

"Everything that I am has kind of become a little bit of what my mom has gone through. She had the ability to make me feel like I was still capable of doing anything I wanted."

When Selena was getting her start in show business, her mom was there every step of the way. She credits the woman she is with everything her mom has gone through for her.

Selena Gomez also talks about what being strong means to her.

She says:

"Strength doesn't mean putting on a façade, strength is being vulnerable."

We couldn’t agree more.

Selena’s message of hope and her goal of connecting with people is possible because she’s so willing to be vulnerable and open up to her fans. She’s an inspiration to so many, and it’s a treat to hear her talk about her life and work in the context of how it’s shaped who she is.

You can buy the book at the TIME Shop, here.

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