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Selena Gomez has been named Billboard magazine’s Woman of the Year, and with that came several revelations about her physical and emotional mindset following her kidney transplant over the summer.
On Thursday, during the Women in Music awards ceremony, the 25-year-old singer delivered an emotional acceptance speech and dedicated her award to her friend Francia Raisa, who donated a kidney to save her life.
“Honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful for the position that I’ve been given in my career, from 7 to 14 to now,” the tearful actress-singer said. “I want people to know that I respect the platform that I have so greatly.
“I’ve never felt this proud to be a woman in the industry than I do today, and that’s because I actually feel comfortable with every single woman that has encouraged me,” she continued, stressing how crucial it is that women’s voices are finally being heard.
“I’m so grateful for all the older women who have lifted all of us up, because I couldn’t be here without any of you,” she said.
Gomez has been abundantly introspective, which was clear from the accompanying interview she did for the Dec. 9 issue of Billboard. That Q&A (read it here) generated several intention-setting mantras, including “I want to live a life that’s worth living” and “I’m actually grateful for who I am.”
“I don’t know how to explain the place that I’m in other than to say I just feel full,” she added, repeatedly indicating that she isn’t concerned with how people perceive her.
Here are a few more things we learned about the former Disney Channel star.
She cherishes on/off beau Justin Bieber and is best friends with her ex, the Weeknd.
Gomez, who was spotted again with the Biebs on the heels of her breakup with the “Starboy” crooner, explained her reunion with Bieber this way: “I cherish people who have really impacted my life. So maybe before, it could have been forcing something that wasn't right.”
As for the Weeknd, she said they parted ways as besties, “genuinely about encouraging and caring [for each other], and that was pretty remarkable for me.”
She’s proud of her transplant scar.
The “Bad Liar” singer said that she’s altered and edited herself her whole life for the sake of others. She is now trying to accept who she is, and that’s taken her about five years, a few stints in rehab and a lot of therapy.
“That time for me was so painful and really hard and very lonely. But I really, really felt that that’s what helped me feel satisfied with where I am.”
Meanwhile, if she wanted to cover up her scar, she could, but doesn’t plan to just yet: “When I look at my body now, I just see life.”
She’s also really proud of where she is right now.
After years of struggling with anxiety and depression stemming from her long-term lupus battle, Gomez said she now handles her challenges in a healthy way. She’s enjoying where she is, being able to say no and “being part of the world.”
“I’m proudest of not becoming jaded,” she said.
She auditioned for Woody Allen’s 2018 comedy “A Rainy Day in New York” five times.
Gomez said she “didn't have the greatest confidence” during her early auditions and was passed up. When the filmmakers couldn’t find anyone else, they gave her another shot and she gave it her all.
“I do feel like I earned it. And it was a great experience for me. In acting and in film, you’re around a much more stable community. … It really opened me up, and I needed that after the surgery,” she said.