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‘My Mind & Me’ Reveals Details We Never Knew About Selena Gomez

This article may contain spoilers for Selena Gomez’s documentary My Mind & Me on Apple TV+.

Selena Gomez is so much more than just a pop star. Her new Apple TV+ exclusive documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me directed by Alek Keshishian is officially out now, and viewers are given a vulnerable look into six very formative years of Selena’s life. Beginning with the Revival album tour in 2016, the audience learns about the pressures of fame, how Selena’s dealt with Lupus reoccurrences and being diagnosed with bipolar, who she wants to become, and how she plans to use her platform to provide resources and to tell her story. 

APPLE TV / YOUTUBE

As the film wraps up in 2020, we as an audience have learned a lot about Selena’s early life and the pressure she puts on herself to use her voice for good. Whether you’re a super-fan and have stuck by Selena for years, or you’re watching My Mind & Me to familiarize yourself with her challenges, triumphs, and personal growth, you’ll definitely learn something new about her and maybe even about yourself, too. Below, I’m diving into 10 things I loved learning about Selena in My Mind & Me, now streaming on Apple TV+.

Selena was actually pretty shy growing up.

Selena didn’t always have the powerful platform she does today. Although most of us only see the confident singer and actress sides of her, the documentary revealed that she often sat alone at lunch when she was younger and had a super small circle of friends. In one of the earlier scenes, viewers are given a glimpse into how she grew up and are toured through where she went to middle school. Selena stopped in classrooms and chatted with students, teachers, and old neighborhood friends, where we learned more about what she enjoyed learning in school, who she surrounded herself with outside of the classroom, and her transitional education while she worked on set. 

She got her first job when she was seven and has worked ever since.

Probably one of the most baffling things to think about is just how much this woman has worked. Ever since she landed her role on Barney & Friends at age seven, Selena’s been acting, singing, writing songs, speaking, traveling, and more. This is, of course, how all of us have become familiar with Selena over time. Fame and the life that comes along with it is quite a fast-paced one, so finally seeing her behind-the-scenes experiences and both the positive and negative side effects of it all… super eye-opening. 

‘The Revival Tour’ ignited a confidence crisis that ultimately led to its cancellation

For Selena, one of the negative side effects of being a child star was actually shedding that image as she grew older. Fairly early on in the documentary, Selena breaks down and begins crying about the sequencing of her Revival tour shows. “I have no idea what the f*ck I’m doing,” Selena says after completing a run-through rehearsal. The pressure of all of it all ultimately led her Revival tour to be canceled after 55 shows. Thankfully, Selena was able to then take some time off to tend to her anxiety, depression, and Lupus — which was making both of those things worse. 

Journaling is a part of Selena’s routine.

It’s a seemingly small detail to learn about a person, but the fact that Selena is an avid journaler honestly is what ties the whole film together. She reveals some of her “darkest secrets” and truths by reading her journal entries aloud. As we’re hearing the spoken word, the entries are written across the screen, too — often over video montages of past moments from her early and present life.  

Selena revealed more about her physical and mental health struggles.

Probably the biggest takeaway from My Mind & Me is how Selena has struggled with her physical and mental health, and how she wants to help others who are going through anything similar. As she battled the reoccurrence of her Lupus physically, she made a point to let viewers know her intentions for responding to what she’d been going through mentally. When talking about her bipolar diagnosis, she said “I’m making it my friend now.”

This idea was still a pretty revolutionary one at the time of filming if you really think about it. Just a few years ago, mental health was not something that was widely talked about at all. There was still a lot of fear and stigma surrounding things like anxiety and depression, but clearly, Selena’s been a huge part of why that’s been going away. She’s been open about her 2018 psychiatric hospital stay, the rehabilitation that followed her psychosis, and the importance of discussing mental health with friends, family, and all of us fans. 

“Lose You to Love Me” sparked both success and stress

“It’s about more than just a lost love, it’s about me learning to choose myself, to choose life,” Selena shares about her hit song “Lose You to Love Me.” Being the quickest ballad she’s ever written (in just 45 minutes), Selena’s hope for the song was that “people find grace and peace” within it. As her biggest song to date, Selena hopped back into music pretty quickly after the song’s release, but it didn’t exactly go as planned.  

Selena went on to have a shaky performance at the 2019 American Music Awards that was heavily criticized afterward. As discouraging as this was, Selena only took a week off for her Kenya trip before getting right back to work promoting her Rare album.

Traveling to Kenya changed her outlook on life.

After years of waiting due to her kidney transplant, Selena’s doctors finally cleared her for travel and she was able to go on her long-awaited trip to Maasai Mara, Kenya. Accompanied by her best friend, Raquelle Stevens, she met with students at the schools she worked to build with the WE charity.

Flash forward to present-day 2022, and she hasn’t let go of her dreams to amplify diverse voices and open up global discussions about mental health. In fact, she sat down with President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy this past May for a conversation on mental health. She also discussed the launch of her new Wondermind media platform, which offers users educational resources geared toward ending the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses. 

Selena dislikes silly promotional interviews. (and I would too, TBH)

After spending time volunteering in Kenya, Selena immediately headed to London and then to Paris for promotional interviews surrounding the release of her new Rare album. She handled all of the promo interviews with grace and patience, but you could definitely see the toll it was taking on her physical and mental health. It was honestly quite hard to see how Selena was treated in some of these settings—often as more of a product than as a person. Even when she became irked and irritable, she voiced how she didn’t want to be seen as “ungrateful or selfish”, and viewers are better able to understand how these silly, transactional interviews might not be the way she truly wants to use her voice and platform. 

She wants to be a mom.

Not too much was said on this topic, but in a tearful conversation with some members of her team, Selena mentioned she just wants to have a family and be a mom. She doesn’t necessarily know how she’ll get there, but knows she wants to make it happen. I think we can all agree after watching this that she’ll make an amazing mother and will set the best example for her future kids and family — whenever and however she chooses to have them. 

She wasn’t sure if she was ready to put this documentary out and tell her story… but I’m so glad she did

In a recent Rolling Stone cover story, Selena explained that she was, “just so nervous. Because I have the platform I have, it’s kind of like I’m sacrificing myself a little bit for a greater purpose. I don’t want that to sound dramatic, but I almost wasn’t going to put this out. God’s honest truth, a few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure I could do it.” 

There’s been a lot of celebrity documentaries and docuseries released within the past few years. Each one is certainly different in its own way, but there’s a realness and rawness that clearly separates Selena’s from the rest. Covering years 2016-2020 and waiting to release it until now is also a testament to that. Selena’s not trying to promote a new product at all. Rather, she’s chosen to open up about the importance of sharing every side of yourself and the power of finding community in our shared struggles. Her journey will continue, and so will ours right along with her. Now, we are all better equipped to join her in her efforts to destigmatize mental health, and use our collective voice for good. 

Rylie Walsh is a recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University, where she earned her degree in Communication Studies and English! She was President of Her Campus LMU for the 2021-22 school year and is also a Her Campus National Writer. When she's not reading, writing, or working, you can find her hanging out with friends, SoulCycling, or enjoying her all time favorite dessert: a Pressed freeze.