Selena Gomez covers the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar. I was expecting this to be a total snooze where she would play coy word games about going back to Justin Bieber. As it turns out, there were not event any questions about Baby Biebz, and yet… this was a good interview. Selena chats about being a Millennial and Millennial stereotypes, how she wishes she knew more Spanish and a lot more. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
Whether she’s a shoe girl or a bag girl: “Oh, I’m both, and I always have been. Even when I was younger and wore backpacks, I was so excited to get a Betsey Johnson one. It seemed so much more exciting to me than clothes. And I absolutely love cool shoes. I always felt like what I wore didn’t matter unless I had a cool pair of shoes to go with it.
The Queen of Instagram: “I have a complex relationship with Instagram, to say the least. It has given me a voice amid all the noise of people trying to narrate my life for me and allows me to say, “Hey, I’m gonna post this, and this is gonna take care of the 1,200 stories that people think are interesting but actually aren’t, and aren’t even true.” So it empowers me in that way because it’s my words and my voice and my truth. The only thing that worries me is how much value people our age place on social media. It’s an incredible platform, but in a lot of ways it’s given young people, myself included, a false representation of what’s important. So, yeah, it’s a complex relationship. Probably one of my most difficult relationships.
Whether her Mexican heritage is important to her: “Extremely. I look at myself in the mirror every day and think, “Man, I wish I knew more Spanish.” I’ll never forget when I was doing my TV show [Wizards of Waverly Place]; I think I was 15 or 16. We would do these live tapings every Friday, and one Friday there was this single mother with her four kids. She was Latin, and she came up to me after, crying. Her kids were so excited, but I noticed the mom, so I gave her a hug and asked, “Hey, are you okay?” And she was like, “It’s really incredible for my daughters to see that a Latina woman can be in this position and achieve her dreams, someone who isn’t the typical, you know, blonde with blue eyes.” And I knew what she meant. When I was younger my idol was Hilary Duff! I remember wanting blue eyes too. So I think I recognized then that it meant something to people. That it matters. Even recently I’ve experienced things with my dad that were racially charged. Most of the time, though, I try to separate my career from my culture because I don’t want people to judge me based on my looks when they have no idea who I am. And now more than ever, I’m proud of it. But I still need to learn Spanish.”
Whether Millennials get a bad rap: “I think millennials are a hell of a lot smarter than we’re given credit for. We’re more aware than we let on, and more exposed to everything that’s out there in the world, just from growing up on the Web, which is a little scary to think about.
How Millennials distinguish themselves from Generation X: “Mainly I think it’s the freedom to express ourselves and be who we are in an unapologetic way. Thanks to the Internet, no matter who you are, you know you’re not alone. Maybe a young boy or girl growing up in the South or wherever is confused and terrified to be who they are because they don’t think it’s right. Now they can see all around them people living free of pain, of hidden agendas, of secrets. I think secrets kill people, I really do. You end up trying to cover up so much of who you are for the sake of your family or whoever, and you think you’re bad for being different. So it’s powerful to see our generation breaking those boundaries and encouraging other people to do the same. There’s a sense of freedom that past generations weren’t able to have.
“Mainly I think it’s the freedom to express ourselves and be who we are in an unapologetic way…” Millennials would be SHOOK to see the sh-t Generation Xers got up to in the 80s and 90s. I think about that sometimes, the sh-t we were talking about during that time, what the music sounded like, which celebrities we admired. Riot Grrls, grunge rock, AIDS crisis, all of that. I idolized Winona Ryder and, like, Kim Deal of The Pixies. But I get what Selena’s saying too – we hope that with each generation, people become more woke and more tolerant and the Millennials are trying. As for Selena wanting to be fully bilingual… girl, work on it! You’ve got time.
Covers courtesy of Alexi Lubomirski for Harper’s Bazaar.
She is one of those women that looks so young it has to be frustrating. I know, I know, she will be thankful later. But women like her and Arianna Grande just seem like children playing grown-up to me and they are, in fact, adults. One of my coworkers was mentioning how attractive he found Selena Gomez (he’s 31) and I all but recoiled like he was some pedophile before I realized that was fine! It must be hard to be perceived as much younger than you are
I’m 32, but get that I look 18, alllllllllllllllll the time. Actually, everyone always mistakes me for being Ariana Grande lol. I had it happen on a plane once. Super awkward! It’s very frustrating. I find it challenging to be taken seriously because everyone “assumes” I’m a child. I just want to be seen as an adult. Especially when it comes to being attractive and for potential relationships. Everyone says I should be thankful, but sometimes it gets to be too much.
I say side eye anyone, anytime who tells you to be thankful for something… Except your grandma, always listen to her
I feel ya. I’ve always looked younger that I am – and being short never helped. I’m 41 and it’s only been in the past 10 years or so that people at large have started treating me like an adult. I had to develop a big attitude to compensate LOL, or otherwise people would continuously talk down to me. I was a reporter covering the school district for a while and when I started, omg, when I’d go out to my car, every once in a while some random adult who was working there would ask me why I wasn’t in class. People say appreciate it, but it was really kind of irritating.
I have a hard time believing that is her when I look at that cover. She looks so different.
I’m 26 and look 17 and it can be frustrating. No one takes me seriously. I didn’t ask to look this way
I know exactly how you feel <3
As a Gen-Xer from the “slacker” era, I recommend a Spanish tutor. Or an online class. Or the local community college.
Right? Spanish is a relatively easy language to learn. If she has Spanish speaking family members, in addition to her resources, it should be a relative piece of cake.
If she didn’t have time, she could always try Rosetta Stone or even the Duolingo app, which I love. Learning a language isn’t that hard, but you need to commit to it.
She can take Spanish lessons. it will be easier for her since she already has the basics. Instead of talking about it she should just do it.
I think it should not be so difficult to learn Spanish. There must be enough downtime during shoots and filming. You can listen to tapes, plus she probably has enough money to hire private tutors.
Big side-eye from me (as as Spaniard), when Hispanice celebrities celebrate their origin (rightly so), but then neglect to learn one of the most important parts of your heritage, the language (i.e. Jennifer Lopez).
They don’t owe anyone language fluency to claim their heritage.
I was scolded by a cab driver in Mexico City for my poor Spanish and not respecting my heritage. I know enough Spanish to explain to him I’m not Hispanic but Native American. He apologized and switched to English. Even if I were Hispanic his comments still would have been rude.
Yeah they really need to know Spanish. J.Lo does seem to try though a bit so let’s cut her some slack.
Cardi’s Spanish is wonderful.
Yeah have you heard JLo’s new Spanish singles? Her fluency has improved.
I’ve heard Jennifer Lopez speaking Spanish. She seemed fluent in it.
Jennifer Lopez is 100% fluent in Spanish…she grew up speaking it.
“I look at myself in the mirror every day and think, “Man, I wish I knew more Spanish.””
There’s a very simple way to fix this, you know?
If it meant so much to see someone not blonde then why has she gone blonde?
I’m not going to judge her her for playing around with her hair color. She already went back to brunette. She should be able to play around with her look.
I will judge her for going to Bieber. I’ve always been a Selena apologist, but I’m so disappointed in her for this.
You’re right, I shouldn’t have been judgy. Just picking up on what she said. Bieber … yeah. He never seems like a good influence. On anything or anyone. That boy is lost.
Idk if it’s the hair color but she looks different in the cover photo.
Is this a two cover special? I’m subscribed to HB and I got the sky blue cover. I never read cover interviews though. Just flipping the magazine for fashion and accessories.
I’ve been learning Spanish and it’s hard but really rewarding to start to be able to be like, oh Despacito is kind of filthy, huh.
She has the money and the time to hire a language tutor, and for her sake I hope she gets one. I bet she’d have a good time talking to her Mexican relatives about the regional slang, too.
I have a…contentious relationship with my parents, but I am grateful they insisted I learn Spanish.
Too bad she lives in an era where there is absolutely no way to easily learn a second language! 🙄
I know, especially with all the money and resources she has. She could afford a private tutor and travel to Spanish speaking countries do I’m not buying it. Fake.
I am so glad to be from the Xennial generation. 🙂
“Empowerment” has to be the most overused word in the world right now. Tied with “inspiring”.
But the most meaningful word is
My parents wouldn’t allow me to speak French at home but Arabic and Amazigh and of course we would speak french outside. Then I took German and Latin for 3 years then English and Spanish for 6. Did my master in English, flew to the US at 25 and now I am just happy I can have wonderful conversations in Spanish with my friends and especially with their parents when it comes to history and every aspects of immigration (My parents immigrated from Morocco) Even though there are many words that mean the exact opposite, It is so much fun to go to Mexico and act like a local. Now I’m learning Japanese through youtube and then I’ll take advanced classes so that I can return to Japan and not feeling like i am missing out on what Japan has to offer. If Selena wants to speak Spanish she has family and money.. it’s that easy. Where there is a will there is a way.
I am about to start learning Spanish to better communicate with my patients who speak it and avoid the need for an interpreter, but I only have Rosetta Stone! She could easily have a private tutor. I’m envious.
Hilary Duff has brown eyes, not blue. And I find it a bit rich she specifically mentioned being different from blonde Caucasians, with bleached hair. Haha. I really like her, but she’s not very articulate.
Good on you for remembering Hilary Duff’s eye color. You also completely missed her point. As for her dyeing her hair blonde – she can dye it any color she likes. That doesn’t change her heritage. White people don’t own the market on blonde hair. Especially considering that only 2-16% are natural blondes themselves.
Is she a millennial? I thought she was younger than that, maybe I’m just old or it’s because Gen Z kids (like my nieces) like her. It’s not easy to learn a new language but it’s doable so if Ms. Gomez is ever truly troubled by it she has that option.
I’m not less Mexican/Hispanic because I don’t speak Spanish fluently. My parents came from an era when speaking Spanish in school would get you smacked and or in trouble…assimilate or else basically. Not till later in life did I realize how important it is to know it not only personally but professionally( great on resume) but again to say I’m not as Mexican as so and so is ridiculous. Same when ppl start saying someone is not “black or white” enough. If you honestly think you get to judge ppl because you’re the authority on whichever culture then judge away cause I don’t give a crap. As far as Selina wish she would use her voice when it mattered, black lives matter, politics, etc but whatever I’m sure she’s has important Justin Bieber stuff she needs to focus on
Bit of subtle racism there. Half-Latina’s like Cameron Diaz and Christina Aguilera aren’t taken seriously because they are blonde or have blue eyes. Also Selena, Hilary Duff has BROWN eyes not blue. Also Selena, you too are half white so why act like you are the ‘better’ Latina? She grates.
Oh please. That’s not at all what she said.
I am Latina with dark hair and blue eyes. We come in all colors, even black!
She could be conversationally fluent in 6 months if she actually wanted to learn the language.
True. Spanish is probably the easiest language in the world.
established technology is the only thing millennials have the upper hand at. let’s not pretend their wasn’t a back step in the 00s in social issues.
““Mainly I think it’s the freedom to express ourselves and be who we are in an unapologetic way”
My sister reminded me of the song “Hat 2 da back” from TLC the other day, and I watched the video for the first time in over a decade. It was such a good message! As a kid, I loved TLC for breaking the stereotypes of what women needed to do in order to be successful.
I don’t think she suits the blonde hair and I definitely don’t think she makes a good model. Ugh.
As a latina raised in this country, I can totally relate to wanting to be fluent in Spanish. I think my parents didn’t want me teased in the 80s. But girl, if you’re so proud of your heritage, why did you go blond? It looks so try-hard on a Latina.