Selena Gomez is opening up the choices she’s proud of making in her career — and one she regrets.
The Only Murders in the Building star, 29, sat down with Amy Schumer, Bridget Everett, Molly Shannon, Quinta Brunson, and Tracee Ellis Ross for The Hollywood Reporter’s comedy actress roundtable, where they chatted about the unique challenges of being a woman in the industry.
Schumer pointed out that Gomez, who first appeared on Barney & Friends and later starred on the Disney Channel as a tween, was sexualized at a young age.
Calling the situation “unfair,” Gomez spoke about feeling insecure about the creative decisions she made during a photo shoot that ultimately left her feeling oversexualized.
“I actually did an album cover and I was really ashamed after I did it,” the “Hands to Myself” singer explained. “I had to work through those feelings because I realized it was attached to something deeper that was going on. And it was a choice that I wasn’t necessarily happy that I made.”
Gomez — who appeared nude but covered up on the cover of her second studio album, Revival — added that she is “not an overly sexual person.”
“Sometimes I like to feel sexy,” she noted, “but [that]doesn’t mean it’s for somebody else. It could be for me.”
Gomez also shared that she no longer goes on social media — something she has spoken at length about before — because it gives her unrealistic expectations of what she should look like.
“The biggest part of that is you’re seeing all of these other people and I can’t … I can’t look that way,” she shared. “It’s impossible. It’s just not … I don’t find it attainable.”
The Wizards of Waverly Place alum was also complimented by Schumer for speaking out on a number of issues, including fighting misinformation online.
“I definitely feel that having this responsibility and platform that I’ve been given, it was kind of trained in me to understand that I had a responsibility,” Gomez explained. “But I just .. why else be here? I want to be remembered for the things that I’m doing as Amy said. That made my whole day. You know, I feel like what’s the point if I can’t speak my truth?”
Gomez added that when there is an issue she doesn’t feel equipped to weigh in on, she uses her influence to pass the mic to someone who can.
“There are certain things I can’t speak on and I need the right people to say what is proper … I can’t just post a pic and say, ‘I understand. I gotcha,’” she said. “It’s like, no, not at all. It’s not helpful.”
One thing that Gomez is confident about speaking about is mental health. The actress, who has long been candid about her own struggles, including her bipolar diagnosis and anxiety, appeared at the Mental Health Youth Action Forum alongside First Lady Jill Biden last month to encourage young people to take control of their mental health.
“The mentionable becomes manageable,” Gomez said during the event. “Just to throw in a little bit of my journey, I felt like once I found out what was going on mentally … there was more freedom for me to be OK with what I had because I was learning about it … It sets the example that it’s a topic that can and should be discussed freely and without shame.” ♦