Selena Gomez, Billboard‘s Woman of the Year, is a powerhouse of talent and poise. It’s well-known that she’s battled depression and anxiety as a result of her lupus diagnosis, and her strength in dealing with her health issues has been nothing but admirable. While tearfully accepting her award at Billboard’s Women in Music, Selena expressed her gratitude to her best friend who donated a kidney to her this summer.
Selena has struggled with side effects from her lupus treatments, including weight gain that many people on social media chose to point out and belittle her for. Her kidney transplant has been another obstacle to overcome, especially in terms of her self-image, but Selena said she’s come to terms with it.
When talking to Billboard, Selena got candid about her relationship with herself and how the surgery shifted her perspective on her body. Being in the limelight since she was very young, Selena said she’s never felt like her body was really “her own.” Her surgery has shaped how she looks at herself now. “[After the surgery] I had this sense of gratitude for myself. I don’t think I’ve ever just stopped and been like, ‘I’m actually grateful for who I am,'” Selena said. The singer also explained that it was really hard for her to accept her scar at first, but she does accept it now.
Selena expressed the peace she now has when looking at her body, no longer worrying about the flaws she used to “bitch about.” She went on to say that she has to be very careful about the opinions she actually listens to and she won’t alter herself for the sake of others. “When I look at my body now, I just see life,” she told the magazine.
Selena’s acceptance of who she is—inside and out—is nothing short of inspiring. Let’s hope that this trend of powerful women embracing their true selves is something that continues.