Selena Gomez Says Body Shamers Attacked Her Online for Weight Gain
As if dealing with lupus isn’t difficult enough, Selena Gomez has revealed the devastating effects of being body-shamed when she gained weight as a result of the autoimmune disease.
Appearing on her friend Raquelle Stevens’ video podcast Giving Back Generation, which “aims to incentivize newer generations to give back ‘one good deed at a time," Gomez, 27, talked about dealing with her fluctuating weight after her diagnosis—and the people who trolled her.
“I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure, so I deal with a lot of health issues, and for me that’s when I really started noticing more of the body image stuff,” she explained.
Gomez told Stevens that her weight is affected by a combination of things: the disease itself, the medication she takes to manage it, and “various other health factors.”
“It’s the medication I have to take for the rest of my life—it depends on even the month, to be honest,” she said of her weight fluctuation. “So for me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that. And in reality, that’s just my truth. I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life.”
“That got to me big time,” she said of the negative comments she received about her weight on social media. “That really messed me up for a bit.”
In an October 2015 interview with Billboard, Gomez revealed that she had been diagnosed with lupus and was undergoing chemotherapy. Less than two years later, Gomez shared more big news: she’d received a kidney from her best friend, actress Francia Raisa.
“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of,” Gomez captioned her Instagram post announcing the transplant. “So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”
The “Lose You to Love Me” singer racked up an outpouring of love and support for sharing her diagnosis and her recovery, but as is always the case in the world of social media, not all the feedback was positive. In September 2018, Gomez took an extended break from social media, suggesting in an Instagram post that it was due to the negativity she received online. “Just remember - negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings,” she wrote.
After a five-month hiatus, she returned to Instagram in January, telling her followers, “Last year was definitely a year of self-reflection, challenges and growth. It’s always those challenges which show you who you are and what you are capable of overcoming. Trust me, it’s not easy, but I am proud of the person I am becoming and look forward to the year ahead. Love you all.”
It seems Gomez has figured out how to deal with online negativity, which means not giving it any attention. “I don’t care to expose myself to everyone and hear what they have to say about it,” she told Stevens, adding that she’s now “very happy with living my life and being present.”
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