November 25, 2020

Selena Gomez: How beauty can influence our mental health

3 min read

We are constantly bombarded with images and social media posts that make people feel like they need to achieve perfection, which is unattainable. I have been open about my own personal mental health struggles and how I have felt “less than.”

Growing up in the public eye is a lot of pressure. It’s hard enough for anyone during those early years but imagine it with the world judging you and commenting on every aspect of your life and choices. Sometimes I do think it made me have a thicker skin and I don’t regret growing up the way I did. It’s an understatement to say I feel incredibly lucky to have a platform where I know I can make a difference. But that does not mean I haven’t had difficult times. I decided to be open about what I was experiencing, and because of this I have heard from so many people over the years who struggle with their own mental health. It is an issue that has become very close to my heart. I try to use my voice to help reduce the stigma associated with talking about mental health, and to encourage people to celebrate their uniqueness.

Not alone
There are so many unrealistic expectations for women in our society and a pressure to look and act a certain way. Social media has definitely influenced our idea of “perfect,” and we often turn to these platforms for validation and comfort. But in the end, this also makes us all feel a bit lonelier.
For anyone who is struggling with mental health issues or is simply having a difficult time, I want to tell you that you are not alone. I’m actually a big advocate for social media detoxes. I’m still connected and like to see what’s going on, but it’s important for me to take time away from scrolling. I try to remember that everyone is usually sharing a highlight reel and only their best photos, and that I don’t need to feel bad about not looking the same way.

I’m also a strong advocate for therapy. It helped me answer a lot of questions about why I was feeling a certain way and helped me overcome some obstacles. At the beginning, it wasn’t easy for me to be open with the fact that I was struggling with depression and anxiety. I felt like there was a pressure to be perfect, as so many people looked up to me. But after I made the decision to seek help and be open about what I was feeling, it was such a relief. I think admitting I am a human being, and not perfect — nobody is — was actually more beneficial to the people that looked up to me.

Beauty for the future
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the best makeup artists in the world. I love the art of makeup and experimenting with different looks and how they can totally change a character. Two years ago, I decided to create a brand that changed the conversation around beauty. I felt this was something that was needed in the industry and isn’t discussed enough.

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