It’s no secret that Selena Gomez was on top of the world at one point. After taking a step back from the spotlight for a little while, focusing on her mental health and lupus diagnosis, Gomez is finally ready to tell her story in her new documentary, “My Mind & Me,” streaming now on Apple TV+.
I, along with many others I’m sure, was very excited when I found out Selena Gomez was releasing a documentary in the Fall, but it left me wondering: what could it possibly be about? She had taken what feels like forever off from making music and I knew she was doing some acting with her show “Only Murders in the Building,” but what could this documentary possibly be about that I don’t already know? As a kid, I was a Selena Gomez superfan, so I felt as if I already had a basic understanding of the bits of her personal life she has shared with the world, so watching this documentary was a treat for me, allowing me to indulge in the fan I once was.
After watching the documentary, here are five of my biggest takeaways:
1. Selena canceled her Revival tour in 2018 due to a mental health crisis
Throughout the film, Gomez takes us on a journey through her mental health beginning in 2018. She canceled her Revival tour after just 55 shows due to mental health issues and her ongoing battle with lupus. Gomez was later admitted to a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Gomez discusses her bipolar disorder diagnosis and how it impacted her career as well as her daily life and struggles. Her mother, Mandy Teefey, exclaims that she only heard of this “mental breakdown” through the news and not from her own daughter or her friends.
2. She hates promotional interviews
While Gomez is grateful for everything she has done in her career, you can see her clear discomfort when it comes to doing promo for her music. At one point in the film, she expressed she “feels like a product” because while the interviewer was asking good and insightful questions, she was not listening to anything Gomez was saying in response, leaving her to feel frustrated.
3. Her trip to Kenya saved her life
As soon as Gomez was cleared for travel, she and her best friend, Raquelle, who people grew a distaste for after watching, traveled to Kenya for a week to visit the school Gomez worked to build with WE charity. She spent the week with the students, getting to know them and learning more about the education they are receiving and their goals. Gomez believes that part of her heart is still in Kenya and continues giving back as often as she can.
4. Her mom taught her to face her fears head-on, not run from them
Gomez grew up in Texas with her mom, Mandy Teefy, who worked multiple jobs to care for her daughter at the time. From day one, Gomez was able to recognize all the effort her mom put in to provide for her, inspiring her as she grew into her career. As a child, Gomez was terrified of thunderstorms, but her mother gave her books explaining what thunderstorms are and why they happen, educating her about her fears because “the more you learn about it, the less you’re gonna be afraid of it.”
5. She wants to let go of her Disney roots while still appreciating where she came from
Many times throughout the film we hear Gomez express that she does not want to be seen as a “Disney kid” and disappoint her team. She wants to be her own person outside of the television company that gave her her start and not fall into the ex-Disney star stereotype. While she does not want to identify with her past, she deeply values how it boosted her career and is very grateful for the opportunities she has been given since “Wizards of Waverly Place” aired on Disney Channel and is beginning to embrace this part of her identity.
As an ex-superfan of Selena Gomez, I highly recommend watching this documentary. It gives great insight into her life behind the scenes and the struggles she has gone through in the past few years. It also allows us to have more open conversations regarding mental health and chronic illness, something that many fans of Gomez are grateful that they can talk about it without feeling ashamed of themselves.