Selena Gomez Shows Raw Emotion and Honesty in New AppleTV Documentary

By Giovanna Brasolin

“December 19. I have to stop living like this,” said Selena Gomez in her documentary. “Why have I become so far from the light? Everything I ever wished for…I’ve had and done all of it. But it has killed me because there’s always Selena.”

On Nov. 4, AppleTV+ released Gomez’s documentary My Mind and Me and the celebrity gave her fans a gift to promote her new venture. By clicking a link she shared on a tweet, anyone could get a two-month free trial of the streaming service. The film gives fans a glimpse into Gomez’s mental and overall health as well as her insecurities about being in the public eye from 2016 until now in an honest way, not hiding anything. 

The AppleTV+ original documentary shares moments on tours and trips where the singer seems anything but happy. She had been in remission since her battle with the autoimmune disease, lupus, and even got a kidney transplant from her friend, Francia Raisa, in the past. However, she failed to mention the friend in the film, which sparked backlash and an unfollow from her dear friend. 

Additionally, Gomez talked about her break up with Justin Bieber in 2016 and how her song “Lose You to Love Me” was not about him per se. Rather, it’s about completely losing yourself and rediscovering who you are all over again, in her case, in the public eye. But by then, she wasn’t afraid anymore and the song got into Billboard’s Hot 100 list

The singer also opened up about being hospitalized at a psychiatric hospital in 2018, which was when she learned of her bipolar personality disorder diagnosis and had trouble coping with that. 

However, the biggest surprise to fans was how her feelings towards fame and starting in the industry so young are very nuanced. At some point in My Mind And Me, Gomez even says that she didn’t want to be famous and yet she is extremely grateful to have such a big platform to help others with. So, it sounds like the Wizards of Waverly Place star has found herself in a double-edge sword situation. 

She’s not the only one as we have seen other celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato struggling with fame and mental health. For that reason, I wasn’t surprised to see how Gomez was struggling, too. Fame comes with many pressures and a lack of privacy we can’t even fathom. The fact that she has kept most of her struggles to herself is admirable. 

After breaking her silence about her struggles with health and fame, Gomez went on the Jay Shetty Podcast with her mother for a very open conversation on the most important takeaways from My Mind And Me. Although this wasn’t her first of several promotional appearances since the documentary drop, it was the longest.  In it, she talked about her philanthropic ventures, most specifically going to Kenya, where she said she left part of her heart.

“I want to continue to travel the world and be able to spread some sort of message or bring change in some form,” said Gomez in the podcast. “And eventually, I do believe my life will end up being along the lines of doing the things that you [Jay Shetty] do, you know? I’ve got a few things to do first, but eventually, yes.”

The aspects I like the most about Gomez’s documentary are the rawness, honesty and relatability of the content. But if I’m being honest, I didn’t feel well for most of the day as some of the footage served as a mirror to me. Like the singer, I’m extremely self-critical, which is why the film made me cry more than once. 

That inner criticism can be sensed in her new song, “My Mind And Me.” I believe that the viewers will be moved and yet feel that if even Selena Gomez struggles with her life, their lives aren’t that bad after all. 

What I didn’t like about the documentary was seeing Gomez’s lack of strong emotional support. Apart from her mom, her cousin and a few other people, she doesn’t have people to turn to. Some of her friendships are toxic and the internet didn’t like that. Many fans are calling her friends out for being rude towards Gomez in her vulnerable moments. It feels like watching bullies kicking and punching someone who’s already down. I applaud the singer’s strength for showing such hurtful moments so fans have well-rounded insight into her life. 
“I am at peace. I am angry. I am sad. I am confident. I am full of doubt. I am a work in progress.  I am enough. I am Selena,” said Gomez in My Mind and Me.

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