Former teen star turns 30: Selena Gomez – first good, now "politically awakened"

Former teen star turns 30
Selena Gomez – first good, now “politically awakened”

Despite only turning 30 today, Selena Gomez has already known the ups and downs of life, fame and even the fear of death. She is known for her on-off relationship with Justin Bieber – and remains a mainstream star even after their final split. But she is also politically active now.

Last month, Selena Gomez was a guest on Britney Spears: At the singer’s wedding – after the end of her guardianship – Gomez smiled for the camera with Madonna, Donatella Versace, Drew Barrymore and Paris Hilton. The photo actually didn’t even need it to illustrate Gomez’s celebrity status.

The actress, who turns 30 on July 22, is at the forefront of the US entertainment industry. Selena Marie Gomez was born in Grand Prairie, Texas in 1992 and grew up in the Dallas suburbs. Her mother motivated her to act – and at the age of ten she appeared in the children’s series “Barney and Friends”.

As a teen, she became a Disney star on the sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place and vied with Miley Cyrus for the title of most innocent girl on US television. But while Cyrus reinvented herself in her early 20s with her hit “Wrecking Ball,” Gomez stayed on the good side and also managed number one hits with her albums “Stars Dance” (2013) and “Revival” (2015).

On-off relationship with Justin Bieber

But she probably got the most attention through her on-off relationship with fellow Canadian teen star Bieber. Between 2011 and 2018, the two were either a dream musician couple or separated. Bieber, who caused all sorts of scandals during the years with Gomez, was quick to console himself with a new love after the final split. Just a few months later he announced his engagement to model Hailey Baldwin and soon the two were married.

Gomez, on the other hand, initially withdrew from the public after the love-off. In 2017 she also had to undergo a kidney transplant because of the autoimmune disease lupus. “I’m very lucky to be alive,” she told The Wall Street Journal at the time. The operation was scheduled for two hours – but it took another seven hours due to complications. “Lupus is a big thing that happened to me and the scariest thing was you could really die.”

Gomez used the crisis for her third album “Rare”, on which she does what works: sing about Justin Bieber. The ballad “Lose You To Love Me” states: “I had to lose you to find me”. And: “I had to hate you to love me”. As an actress, she starred opposite Timothée Chalamet in the 2019 Woody Allen romance A Rainy Day in New York. Most recently, she was on the promo tour with the second season of the Hulu crime comedy Only Murders in the Building.

political awakening

For a long time, Gomez held back completely with political opinions. But last year, Vogue wrote that she was “in the midst of a political awakening.” A difficult act as a star in a divided USA, where the lowest common denominator between the camps is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Gomez used her reach to let others speak: she interviewed political activists or gave her Instagram account, which today has over 330 million followers, to spokesmen for the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

According to Gomez, 2020 also voted for the first time. “I just had no idea,” she tells Vogue. “Either I didn’t care or I just didn’t realize how important it is who runs our country.”

Most recently, she has repeatedly campaigned for an open approach to mental health – also from her own experience. In a video with US President Joe Biden, she said, “I had to work my way through things. I tried everything to get out of that feeling. So why pretend I’m in control?”

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