Selena Gomez, who has been very open about her struggle with lupus, recently talked about the criticism she dealt with when she gained weight as a result of the condition.
In an interview with Giving Back Generation, Gomez discussed how having lupus has directly impacted her weight.
“I experienced body image with my weight fluctuation for the first time,” Gomez said. “I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure so I deal with a lot of health issues. For me, that’s when I really started noticing more of the body image stuff.”
The 27-year-old singer said the side effects of high blood pressure and taking lupus medication caused her weight to fluctuate.
“It’s the medication I have to take for the rest of my life,” she explained. “It depends on the month, to be honest. I really noticed when people started attacking me for that.”
Gomez added: “In reality, that’s just my truth. I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life. It’s out of my control, and that got to me big time. I think, for me, that really messed me up for a bit.”
The Lose You to Love Me singer said comments about her weight caused her to briefly leave and re-evaluate her relationship with social media.
“I’m very happy with living my life and being present. Because that’s it. Similar to me posting a photo and walking away, for me, that’s it. I will do a red carpet, I will do whatever. I don’t need to see it. I participated, I felt wonderful, and that’s where the extent of it is. I don’t care to expose myself to everyone and hear what they have to say,” Gomez said.
The Hands to Myself singer said she wants to “people to have a good relationship with social media.”
“It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But knowing that real world’s in front of you and trying to pay attention to that is healthy,” Gomez said.
“When I make an effort to post on social media, it’s important for me to make sure it’s 100 per cent authentic. And once I post it, I post it. That’s it.”
She added: “I see so many beautiful girls and amazing different characters, and then they’re just demolished by an image they’re trying to chase. They’re wanting to be a completely different person, but that’s not what’s inside of them … I get it. I look at other people’s pages — or, I used to — and I’m like, OK, I need to fix myself.”
Gomez said she got through her struggles because of her faith and the support of her friends.
“My faith for sure ,” she said. “Yes, I think once I started to really understand my spirituality, and believing in something much bigger than myself was very important for me. Because I don’t believe that I can do this life alone. I know that we’re not perfect. I know that what I read in the word that I live in is all kinds of stories of pain and trials and redemption and restoration so I believe that so much, but it’s my friends, too. You guys help me through a lot of it and you walk through most of it with me.”
Gomez has also been very open about her struggles with mental health issues.
She spoke out about her mental health struggles and how she’s found peace in an interview with 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford for Harper’s Bazaar in February 2018.
“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,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.
“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,” she shared. “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 went to a treatment facility for two weeks in 2014 after being diagnosed with lupus. She returned to treatment in 2016 to manage anxiety, panic attacks and depression. She also completed a two-week treatment program in New York City for anxiety and depression in January 2018.
She released a statement in 2016 confirming that she was suffering from complications due to the autoimmune disease.
“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways,” she said in a statement. “I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.
“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off,” she continued. “Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone. By sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”
The disease causes fibrous tissue and the inflammation of internal organs, skin rashes and joint pain. It affects women nine times more than men. Organs affected by lupus include the kidneys, heart and lungs.
In October 2017, Gomez and her friend, Francia Raísa — who is also her kidney donor — opened up about the kidney transplant in an interview with Today.
“My kidneys were just done. That was it,” Gomez said. “I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life, and that was the day, when I came home, I found out she volunteered and did it.”
“You feel that Francia saved your life,” Today host Savannah Guthrie said to the It Ain’t Me singer.
“Because she did. That’s it,” Gomez said. “I guess I got to the point where it was really kind of life or death.”
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