Selena Gomez says it was 'shocking and upsetting' to see how she treated her body in her early 20s

Selena Gomez will be opening up about her relationship with her body in upcoming documentary. (Photo: Getty Images)
Selena Gomez will be opening up about her relationship with her body in upcoming documentary. (Photo: Getty Images)

Selena Gomez is baring it all in her upcoming documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me premiering on Nov. 4 on Apple+. While Gomez is "genuinely proud" to be offering such an intimate glimpse into her struggles, she told Vulture that revisiting some of the difficult moments — in particular, one scene in which she discussed her body — was "shocking and upsetting."

"The things I was watching from 2016, 2017, 2018 — I can’t believe I was that girl. That breaks my heart. I’m grateful to be on the other side, but when I watched, for example, the first part of the film where I discuss my body..." she said.

Getting emotional, she told the interviewer that she was "completely upset with myself" revisiting how she treated and thought about her body. "I couldn’t believe the things I was aspiring to be. Which really aren’t possible unless you have a lot of money and you’re willing to spend it to do that to yourself," she said. "It really broke my heart. That’s not the feeling I want to give anyone. I hope I don’t. So watching it was a bit shocking and upsetting."

Gomez has reflected on the insecurity that she felt at the time, sharing in a video she did in 2021 with Vogue that it took time to come to terms with how her body had evolved as she matured. She even recalled the 2015 Met Gala to be a memorable moment in that process.

"I fluctuate a lot with my weight and I remember this night specifically, I didn’t feel good about my body. So what was really amazing was that I actually got a chance to work on the dress that fit my body," she said in the video. "I had such a beautiful time shaping this dress. I think that we came together and built something really beautiful and that fit me really well. That was one of the moments where I was like, I don’t have to be that 19-year-old body shape anymore because I’m not."

She's also gone on to speak more publicly and positively about her body in the face of body shaming that she's experienced throughout her career. In June she told Glamour UK, "It’s hard to feel comfortable when you feel like everyone is watching, judging, and commenting on the way you look. Self-confidence is still something I work on daily, but when I stopped trying to conform to society’s unrealistic standards of beauty, my perspective entirely shifted."

Despite how her relationship with her body has continued to change, Gomez told Vulture that seeing her younger self in a negative headspace was difficult. She also worries about the message that it might send to viewers.

"That’s not the feeling I want to give anyone. I hope I don’t," she said. "So watching it was a bit shocking and upsetting."

As the film's release is days away, however, Gomez is more sure of its purpose to show people all that she went through to get to where she is today. "I think it’s about discovering myself through my 20s; I had to do that in front of people, and I don’t know anything different. I think that Selena — and I hate talking about myself in the third person, I’m so sorry — is not a reflection of where I am now," she explained. "I don’t want people to think that I will forever live in this sad-girl world. Because that’s not true."

And although the process has been difficult, she's already seen a piece of the impact that her story can have on other people.

"I’ve had so many moments with people, real genuine moments, where women who are in their 40s tell me about their divorce or something they’re walking through. I can’t help but just love people for who they are, even when it’s frustrating and even maybe when I shouldn’t. I believe in people," she shared. "Ultimately, I sacrificed my story — which I don’t mind, it’s just a little weird — I hope it has a bigger purpose and can carry on as a conversation for people."

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