Selena Gomez is leaving behind ‘that girl who was… very timid, weak, abused & silent’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle continue their Australia/ New Zealand Tour

Selena Gomez is still promoting her new album, her first album in four years. While I have not heard the album, I’ve of course heard the top singles from the album and for one terrible day, I had “Lose You To Love Me” stuck in my head. That’s the one which is clearly about Justin Bieber, especially with the line “Sang off-key in my chorus/’Cause it wasn’t yours.” Which, as a lyric designed to spill some tea AND inform, is very good. The promotion for this album has been one big subtweet to and about Justin Bieber. Selena has spent a lot of time in therapy, she says she feels like a victim of abuse, and she also says that she feels like Justin didn’t give her proper closure when he ran off and married Hailey Baldwin. She wants Justin to listen to her album and, like, understand what he did to her. As several smart commentators noted, Selena is still trying to get a reaction out of him and that… isn’t particularly healthy either. Why am I talking about this? Well, Selena made some additional references to all of this in her latest Dazed cover story. Some highlights:

Whether she feels like she’s representing Latinos: “One thousand per cent. I’m always very vocal about my background, as far as me talking about immigration, and my grandparents having to come across the border illegally. I wouldn’t have been born (otherwise). I have such an appreciation for my last name. I’ve rereleased a lot of music in Spanish as well, and that’s something that’s gonna happen a bit more. So there’s a lot more I would love to do because I don’t take it lightly, I’m very honoured.

How she balances conversations about immigration: “It’s definitely frightening, but I think sometimes you have to do the things that scare you in order to shake people up. My goal was to simply humanise my people, because they were being called aliens, criminals, and I can’t even imagine what these kids being separated from their families are going through. It’s something that is going to traumatise them for the rest of their lives. And it just seems animalistic; it is scary but I think it needs to be talked about, so that’s where my heart was coming from when I signed on to do a project (Living Undocumented) that addressed such a big issue.

Whether she has regrets: “… When (2019 single) ‘Lose You to Love Me’ came out, I stood back and had this moment, like, ‘Oh… this is a huge reason why I’ve pushed myself through this. This is why.’ I was able to release a song that hopefully helps to heal some people, or just lets them know they are not alone. I was actually letting it go personally and when that happened something inside of me just left. And that’s why I am grateful for the chapters of my life. I’m not saying that it’s gonna be easy from now on, but I have a lot more strength and a lot more courage and a bigger voice to stand up for what I deserve.

What she’s taking away from the 2010s: “The decade? Just leaving behind that girl who was just, you know, very timid, weak, abused and silent. And now I’m stepping into who I’m meant to be; I’m leaving that girl behind. I’m giving her a hug. I am who I am.

[From Dazed]

Do you think her music will help women stuck in toxic relationships? I don’t know. As I said, her lyrics are so specific, it’s hard to separate the music from the artist and make “Lose You to Love Me” into some kind of anthem which supports women or victims of abuse. I don’t know, about all of this. But I thought Selena’s words about immigrants were very interesting, and I didn’t know that her grandparents came here “illegally.” She’s right that there needs to be a human face on what’s happening.

Selena Gomez attends the world premiere of "Dolittle" at Regency Village Theatre on January 11, 2020 in Westwood, California © Jill Johnson/

Cover courtesy of Dazed, additional photo courtesy of WENN.

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34 Responses to “Selena Gomez is leaving behind ‘that girl who was… very timid, weak, abused & silent’”

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  1. Astrid says:

    The Bieber stuff is getting kind of creepy.

  2. detritus says:

    I thought the singing off key in my chorus lines were excellent as metaphor.

    I find her music super catchy, and I must admit if we’re picking sides musically (yummy? Gross), I’m on team Selena.

    Also, her comments about silence and abuse, she still hasn’t really said what happened has she?

    • Erinn says:

      I vaguely remember her saying something about emotional abuse? But I don’t think she ever really went into deep details. I think she’s partially being gracious about it all, but also probably doesn’t want to go back into it.

      They were quite back and forth for a while, though, weren’t they? I’m guessing that was when the worst of it was happening. I can imagine he was probably emotionally manipulative/ maybe controlling. But that’s just me speculating.

      I had some hope for his music career, but that Yummy song – yikes. I liked the more chill music he was putting out fine enough (not a fan, but I didn’t MIND it), but I just find her music more enjoyable for the most part.

      • WriterMarie says:

        The new music he’s put out is just ugh… yikes is right lol. The Yummy song is so annoying. Although, I do have to admit I’ve never really been a fan of his music. I have been of Selena’s though. She has a lot of catchy tunes, but the “lose you to love me” is not her best.

  3. SomeChick says:

    Those pink pvc minnie mouse gloves are hilarious! Nice touch.

    It can take a really long time to get over a bad relationship, and she’s still so young. I can’t criticize her for dealing with it through her music. Not one bit.

  4. Allz says:

    I think it’s really unfair to say this whole album is one whole subtweet to J Biebs. It’s just that one song, and she said she included it so people knew her side of the story. Do I think she’s talented? Not really. I think she’s famous for the people she hangs around, but the same could be said about Taylor, Harry Styles, Justin, basically young Hollywood. I think Selena should stay in tv, because she has really great comedic chops.

    • Bash says:

      I actually think it’s fair to say the album is about Beiber. The comparison to Justin, Harry and Taylor is pretty far off in my opinion. Justin plays multiple instruments, is a talented vocalist, dancer, and I think he grew up playing guitar and singing and got discovered for his talent. Taylor is also a songwriter and guitarist, etc while Selena struggles to sing in key on 100% manufactured songs. I think Selena uses drama and connections to stay relevant far more than any other artist out there currently. I agree that she should stick to tv !

  5. MC2 says:

    I got divorced after a 20+ relationship that had turned toxic & I related to the song. The part about singing off key in her chorus, I took to mean someone making everything about them, even when it’s not, & diverting attention to themselves, rather than focusing on their partner & letting them shine….oh, and fyi, you suck at it too.

    • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

      @Mc2 I hope you’ve come through it well, and are back to your strong fabulous self. Good luck.

  6. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Whateves. She is really is making her whole album about the Biebs which is the opposite of someone who has moved on. But her music is mediocre at best so she has to drum up interest in some way, I guess.

    • Michelle says:

      Slow clap here. I wish her nothing but the best, I really do, but move TF on.

      • horseandhound says:

        I feel like this is the last one she’ll make about her feelings for him. I understand her. that relationship was a big deal for her. she’ll move on. also, I think her songs are very cool. I’m not into pop that much, but if I wanted to listen to pop, I’d go for her songs. very catchy, nice melodies. she’s got good writers writing for her.

      • lucy2 says:

        Same here Michelle. She needs to truly put him in the past and move forward. I hope she does it!

  7. Sass says:

    Oh I feel you on that song getting stuck in your head for a whole day. My dance instructor currently uses it for our cool down and I can’t handle it. It’s been months. I need a new song. That mess every week for months on end is too much. I didn’t even know it was Selena Gomez until you said so. 😂 I’m just so tired of hearing it. But I like the lyrics.

  8. Daisy says:

    She had all this buzz for her comeback, a number 1 single and yet that album just came and went. It really surprised me, it barely made any noise. Same thing with Justin’s own album. Both really underperformed for the level of fame and fans they apparently have.

    • ME says:

      Justin’s last album was much better. Also, I think their fans are “over it”. Do something fresh and stop talking about your on again/off again/now dead relationship.

    • Jenna says:

      He is married and he isn’t as famous as he used to be. I think even Selena is not as famous as she used to be. (Both are, of course, still very well known.)

      I don’t think their music is catchy enough to sell on its own.

  9. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    She’s been coming through it for…a long time, hasn’t she? It would be good if she could concentrate on social advocacy rather than, well, Justin bloody Bieber

  10. ME says:

    This is just my opinion, so don’t attack but…Selena doesn’t speak fluent Spanish so how authentic can her Spanish music be? Someone tells her how to pronounce the words and she repeats. Now Jennifer Lopez singing in Spanish is amazing. She’s better at singing in Spanish than English!

    • Sass says:

      You have a fairly uninformed opinion. Many immigrants refuse to teach their children their native language because they sadly recognize that the whiter you are in the USA the better your chances. You see this especially among Asian American families where the parents refuse to even acknowledge their children if they try to speak to them in say, Korean or Cantonese. They have an “English only” rule. Selena and many like her are still tied to their Latinx culture and heritage and wish to embrace it. It’s much harder to learn a language if you’re over the age of 10. She is clearly passionate about where she came from and is working on leaning in to it. And as a white person it’s not really my business how much of a culture any POC chooses to ingrain within themselves after the decades of oppression they’ve all faced for trying to do exactly that. We wanted to whitewash them and now we are going to criticize them for not being “Spanish” enough? They can never win. We suck.

      • ME says:

        I’m not saying that. I just think maybe she should learn to speak Spanish fluently before making Spanish music. It would be much more authentic that way and probably sound a lot better too. Also, who is “we”? LOL I’m a poc so…

      • Sass says:

        @Me that’s actually what you said. I’m not trying to attack you, but instead explaining to you why what you said is incorrect. As for “we”, I mean our country the USA. POC can be racist against other POC too, I’m sure you’re well aware. So maybe examine your privilege in this instance. Something to consider.

      • Ariela says:

        Did she ever say she identifies as a POC? I’m a latina by the way, and like Antonio Banderas once famously said “I learnt I wasn’t white when I first went to the States”. I am considered white everywhere else, including in Europe, where I live, but in the US, one look at my place of birth and I’m a POC. I am truly puzzled about how this works.

    • Luv Spaghetti says:


      I know what you’re saying but I think Jennifer Lopez is not a good example. I’m 1st generation American, meaning my parents were immigrants, so my sibs and I speak excellent Spanish and I remember when JLo was first coming up and she did that song with Marc Anthony and came on the “Cristina” show. Her performance and her interview in Spanish were atrocious! She can barely speak Spanish properly herself and since she’s not much of a singer anyway, her songs in Spanish sucked too. Maybe she’s improved since then bc she went on to marry Marc Anthony? I kinda doubt it tho.

  11. Ada says:

    So tired of the drama….

  12. Lucy says:

    I’ve noticed an interesting? behaviour pattern in her, and other starlets: they go through something, then after a while they talk about how strong and empowered they feel in the present time, then a year later they talk about how they had lost themselves completely the year before (you know, back when they had said they were feeling stronger than ever). Then they repeat it over and over again. I just…I don’t get it. Regardless of the bad moments (which I don’t doubt she’s had), it seems like she’s addicted to drama and everything it ensues.

  13. Jensies says:

    Can we talk about that cover image though? It is CRAZY.

  14. Lizstarsnstripes says:

    @SASS Actually, in my experience the exact OPPOSITE of what you said is true. Growing up Korean American I can tell you the vast majority of second generation Asian Americans are actively encouraged to speak to our parents in their native tongues. I was born and raised in the South and growing up my parents made me go to Korean School on Saturdays so I’d learn to read and write in Korean (they also teach you Korean traditions, culture, history, music, dance, etc.) and there’s Chinese School and Vietnamese school as well. They do this because of their love for heritage and they don’t want us to forget our culture and identity. Actually, most Korean parents I know enforce a “only Korean at home / at the dinner table” policy. And I’m so grateful mine did because being bilingual is pretty amazeballs, lol!

    • Sass says:

      @liz that is your personal anectdotal experience. In my profession we study this. There are whole documentaries on it as well if you’d like to look in to it. I’m tired of this now. Everyone is so performative about everything and nobody is willing to learn from anyone because it’s not what THEY have personally experienced so the person they suddenly see as an enemy must be wrong.

      I might be a real d bag on this site but I do know wtf I’m talking about and I won’t stay silent to make y’all comfortable. Don’t believe me? Look in to it yourself, and consider you’re getting worked up because another POC who happens to be famous is being judged for making Spanish language music because she’s not “Spanish enough”. And one of y’all got politely called out and better informed on it and what do you do? Freak out and do what you accuse white women of doing.

      And @Me for the record I’m actually a good chunk NA but I don’t talk about it because I was raised outside of the culture. And I don’t talk about it because of exactly what some other POC seem to think is appropriate to say about other POC whose lives are different from their own so it’s ok to say they have no business participating in the culture because they didn’t grow up in it and that is 100% BS. So I call myself white and move on. Is that what you’d like Latinx people who don’t speak Spanish to do to conform to your idea of what’s correct?

      • Lightbringer says:

        Look everyone, it’s Sass, a white person who, after saying ‘we suck’ regarding white people, felt it was appropriate to go on an unhinged rant at a Korean American right here, for a friendly, personal addition to the conversation.

        Telling her she doesn’t know anything about racism because she is not as edumacated on it as Karen here.

        My god, I just had to read that with my own two eyes.

        Should I go through Karen’s post in a point by point legal format to shred the abusive screed I just had to read? Should I just link to a page of logical fallacies and anti-racism so everyone can follow along with the gaslighting caucasity of it all?

        I’m sorry Bernie is going to lose, Karen, but you can take that very particular communication style, and dump it into Lake Superior.

  15. Lizstarsnstripes says:

    @Sass um… ok? Thank you for teaching me.

  16. Anna says:

    She is a narcissist. She is all about imagine and trying to steer/manipulate how people (especially JB) perceive her. SO. TIRED. OF. HER. DRAMA.

    • Bash says:

      Agreed. She seems petty and manipulative and tries to hide behind this goody-two-shoes victim image while constantly stirring up drama and obsessing over Bieber. Over her.

  17. Maggie says:

    So… is she leaving behind her drug problem?