Selena Gomez opens up about weight gain from medication: ‘I would rather be healthy’

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Selena Gomez must get body-shamed a lot because she seems to feel that she constantly has to justify and explain her weight/appearance, which really sucks. She recently posted a TikTok where she talked about how her medication causes her to gain weight and retain water weight. Alongside her explanation, Selena had an encouraging message for fans that they shouldn’t feel shame about their bodies, but rather feel healthy and take care of themselves.

Selena Gomez is opening up about how lupus medication affects her body.

In a clip from a recent TikTok livestream that’s since been shared on Twitter, the 30-year-old singer and actress told fans that her taking the medication often causes her to gain weight and vice versa.

“[When I’m taking it, I] tend to hold a lot of water weight, and that happens very normally. When I’m off of it, I tend to lose weight,” said Gomez on the video-sharing platform. “I just wanted to say and encourage anyone out there who feels any sort of shame for exactly what they’re going through, and no one knows the real story.”

The Only Murders in the Building star continued, “I just want people to know that you’re beautiful, and you’re wonderful. Yeah, we have days where maybe we feel like s—, but I would rather be healthy and take care of myself. My medications are important, and I believe that they’re what helps me.”

Gomez then spoke further about her experience with body image. “Not a model, never will be. And I think they’re awesome, mind you. I’m just definitely not that,” she added. “I just wanted to tell you I love you guys, and thanks for supporting me and understanding. And if not, go away, ’cause honestly I don’t believe in shaming people for [their bodies] or anything.”

[From People]

Selena definitely gets unfair body-shaming criticism like many female celebrities do, and she clearly feels very self-conscious about it because she gives it a lot of oxygen when she makes videos like this. It sucks that she’s being criticized and made to feel bad about normal body fluctuations. But while Selena has an explanation for it — the medication she takes for her lupus or bipolar disorder — weight gain/loss/fluctuations are completely normal and that’s where I feel her message is a little bit off. Yes, her medications are important and necessary and help her physically and emotionally and that goes with her whole “My Mind & Me” messaging, but the whole “I gained weight because of my meds, thanks for understanding” just irks a bit. Her holiday indulgence comment last month was better. She doesn’t have to justify or explain her weight gain at all, but I think the message should just be a blanket “don’t body shame people or talk about their weights at all.” I think that would be the kinder message, and isn’t her whole thing about being kind?

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23 Responses to “Selena Gomez opens up about weight gain from medication: ‘I would rather be healthy’”

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  1. Jo says:

    She is just stating facts. Being bloated from medication probably looks different than just weight gain and she wants to speak her truth. She is not implying that gaining weight because you are eating more is bad. On the contrary she is saying she’ll never be a model and that everyone is beautiful.
    It’s like we’re living in Ancient Greece where the person who had the better, most beautiful and most eloquent speech was taken as truthful. Sometimes people aren’t thinking of ALL the implications of what they’re saying. Also I am pretty sure that somewhere someone is happy that Selena frigging Gomez is having the same issue as them.

  2. Busylizzy1011 says:

    She doesn’t have to justify herself at all. Medication or not, her weight is not up for discussion and people should mind their own business.

  3. Nicegirl says:


  4. teecee says:

    Hmm….so I don’t actually agree with this take because the subtext of what people are saying to her is “you looked better when you were untreated for your illness, I think you were more attractive when you were suffering”

    Therefore, I do think she should bring up her meds. Society prizes a certain kind of beauty in women above all things, even their wellbeing. Pointing out that the meds that ease her symptoms are also the ones that made her gain weight is publicly choosing health over thinness.

    Now of course, people should not make comments about other people’s bodies, especially their weight. (And as a non-thin person, I know what it’s like to have “well meaning” strangers along with friends and family making “helpful” suggestions as if I can’t read the same newspapers and magazines they do. But what she’s addressing is not the same issue. It’s related, but not the same.)

    • Julia K says:

      I agree with you and know exactly what you’re saying about meds and wellness. A young family member is taking multiple meds for seizure control, weight gain is a side effect. She is aware of this and faces the issue head on. “Yes I know I have gained some weight. Thank you for pointing this out to me. I have epilepsy and my choice is to be seizure free, not thin”.

    • Isabella says:

      What’s crazy is that she looks great. Healthy, beautiful. She is thin by anyone’s standards outside Hollywood.

      • Eleonor says:

        Can we say ? She is beautiful because she looks like those kind of girls you can meet in your everyday life, her body is relatable to everyone outside the Hollywood. And we should all remember that in Hollywood perfectly healthy women take unnecessary medication to lose 2 pound to be a size zero.

  5. Lola09 says:

    Completely agree – while I totally understand and sympathize with Serena feeling she needs to take this line, we need to get away from the ‘morally acceptable Vs not’ reasons for weight gain. There is zero morality involved in any weight gain/loss for any reason!! Maybe someone gained cos they overeat for emotional reasons, maybe just because they love food, maybe because they are poor AF and it’s more economical to eat calorie dense foods, maybe because of meds, maybe underlying conditions like an underactive thyroid, maybe cos they managed to get sober from snorting a ton of coke or Adderall or other drugs. None of these reasons are anything to be ashamed of and we shouldn’t hierachisize (lol probably not a word but you know what I mean) them as more or less worthy explanations. Just a) don’t be a dick and b) basically don’t ever comment on anyone else’s body cos it’s detrimental and none of your fucking business!

  6. Hello Kitty says:

    Why shouldn’t she address the weight gain from medication? It’s the truth. Especially bipolar medication can cause extreme bloating. If she wants to share the truth, I support her. I’d actually rather hear the truth than I indulged on holiday. Holiday indulgences don’t cause that amount of weight gain or that type of weight gain. If anything, her message is stop judging and body shaming because you never know what someone is going through. I love that message.

    • FHMom says:

      I totally agree. A lot of meds cause weight gain. It was a huge reason why I gave up on anti-anxiety/depression meds. So many make you gain weight, and the doctors aren’t sure why. It may be that happier people regain their appetite. It may be that the meds increase the appetite. It may be that the meds slow down the metabolism. And so many people are on meds for one reason or the other. It’s best to mind your own business because you never know what someone is going through.

  7. DouchesofCornwall says:

    the weight conversation for me is passé. By that I mean that in this era of health and mental fitness, we should aim to be happy and healthy in our bodies and in our minds, and mind our own business. . Selena is also in her thirties now which also means she now has the body of a woman of that age and not a 16 year old. Is she also going to have to explain that once she’s off any type of meds if that ever happens? no. It’s ok that she shares the reason for the change with her fans, but there is also absolutely no explaining to do whether people wonder what happen to her or not.

    • Hello Kitty says:

      She can say whatever she wants to say about it as long as she’s being honest *shrugs* if your message is she shouldn’t have to comment on it, I agree. But if she wants to say something which is her god given right, truth trumps lies.

  8. Emmi says:

    I think she’s doing two things. One, she’s telling everyone that her weight will go up and down so get used to it. Two, it’s important to stress that you never know what is behind a person’s weight or general appearance so just shut it. Remember years ago when Wentworth Miller was body shamed visciously and it turned out that picture was taken when he was actually finally feeling better after battling depression? Boom, people pointed at his weight and made fun of him. I’ve said this before but last year I lost a lot of weight due to health issues and people were faux-concerned. I say faux because they were absolutely hoping this weight would stay off which it didn’t. So I looked great and felt like shit. Now I feel much better and have gained weight. Which doesn’t feel good. So whatever happens, apparently I need to feel bad about something. F*ck this.

    People need to mind their business, period.

  9. BaronSamedi says:

    I’m with Peridot on this one. This is the wrong end of the body positive movement. Because what she is really saying is that it is not “her fault” that she gained weight. That’s my pet peeve in weight and self love discussions on the internet always.

    There’s always someone listing all the reasons besides simply overeating that make someone fat. Which again, separates the “good” ones who are fat because of whatever reason from the “bad” ones who simply cannot control themselves. This is also why the comments sections are always full of people listing all their reasons why they are a “good” fat person. Nobody has any emotional eating issues on the internet and nobody is simply unhappy and eating their feelings.

    I agree Selena should not go along with this storyline but of course in her business she would feel the need to tell everyone she’s “good”. It is sad that she needs to make this distinction to herself too. We will only get to a good place on this when people feel they can just exist.

    • TwinFalls says:

      I stopped exercising and watching what I ate about six months ago and gained weight directly related to those two decisions. It’s my shit to deal with and does it have underlying causes, probably, but a reaction to medication isn’t one of them.

      I think the aspect of weight gain through a reaction to medication is a different kind of a loss of control over your body.
      Most people have an idea of what weight they like themselves at and when medication causes you to gain weight/look physically different but you can’t stop taking the medication to stay healthy, then that is a different conversation you’re having with yourself. And to not share that so that other people still feel alone on that very specific journey, is harmful, too.

  10. shanaynay says:

    I think she looks great with some weight on.

    On a totally different note, I’ve just watched season 1 and 2 of “Only Murders in the Building”, and OMG, did I find her just awful. In my opinion, she is a horrible actress. She gives no emotion at all. I think they either need to cut out the Mabel character, or find a new Mabel.

  11. Jo says:

    I couldn’t keep watching because of her. She truly gives out a -5 level of energy and expression. It’s not a I am slow because I’m cool kind of vibe, it’s a I don’t know what this acting thing is.

  12. Linz says:

    I have Lupus myself and the meds she’s likely on are notorious for causing weight gain. It makes me angry and sad that she felt she had to explain her appearance, especially since she’s taking these meds to save her organs from further damage from this terrible disease. I wouldn’t wish Lupus on my worst enemy, it’s awful.

  13. L says:

    I wish Selena all the best in health and happiness . F@*k what the haters think. She’s beautiful & makes bank.

  14. J. Ferber says:

    See, I love her in Only Murders in the Building. She’s sardonic and the cool third of the crime fighting trio. She’s also funny. I never understand when people criticize her performance here. Also, she wears great fashion. Love her in it!

  15. Emily says:

    Not that she owes anyone an explanation, but her face also looks really different. The water retention aspect of her meds can explain that. For a while I thought she’d had plastic surgery.

  16. Abby says:

    I agree, and this seems to be the latest trend on the internet: people commenting everywhere about their body size and then listing justifications for why they are the size they are.
    The point of being body positive is that you don’t need to justify your size.
    Any time I see “I’ve recently gained weight due to ……..” I also get this feeling of subtle shaming of people who gain weight for no reason whatsoever.
    I gained weight because I enjoy food. During Christmas season I enjoyed more high calory food and drinks. I gained weight.
    There’s no need to notify everyone whether or not I take medication for any type of health issue or what’s happening in my personal life etc etc.
    If we’re REALLY trying to be body positive then we’re ok with gaining weight for no reason at all.
    Otherwise, what we’re really saying is “it’s ok to be overweight as long as you can justify somehow, so it’s not your own fault, but otherwise it’s not ok”.