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Selena Gomez Covers W Magazine

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“Once Disney was over, I was like: Oh, ****,” Gomez told me. “I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I had to learn to be myself.”

“At first I didn’t care,” she said of the sudden scrutiny of her personal life. “To me it was: I’m 18, I have a boyfriend, we look cute together, we like that. Then I got my heart broken and I cared. Because people had no idea what was going on, but everywhere it was a million different things.” She paused. “I was kind of in a corner, banging my head against the wall. I didn’t know where to go.”

“I’ve been raised around adults, but I’m still very naive,” she said at the time, sounding like the groomed and stunted product of the Disney tween machine. Reminding her of this, I asked what age she related to now. “I probably feel, like, 40?” she replied, letting the thought linger before releasing a burst of throaty laughter.

She replaced her manager, her mom, Mandy Teefey, with one of her choosing, which was not easy, because it gave tabloids an excuse to write that she had “fired” her mother, implying divisive family drama where there was none.

“I was like, ‘Mom, I gotta figure it out on my own,’ ” recalled Gomez, who lived with her mother, stepfather, and half sister until 2014, when she moved into a Los Angeles spread with two close friends. “It was the kid-going-to-college moment in my mind.” In pursuit of a less treacly public image, she cut ties with Kmart and designed a capsule collection for Adidas, all while landing roles in diverse films: a cameo in The Big Short, another in the forthcoming comedy Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and a lead in the indie drama The Fundamentals of Caring, which recently premiered at Sundance. “I know that I can go into a room and convince someone that I can be a character,” Gomez said. “I’ll cut my hair, I’ll shave it, I’ll dye it. I’d go there in order for people to let Selena go.” (Given that she recently signed an endorsement deal with Pantene, reportedly worth $3 million, one imagines she would be contractually bound to find a less drastic means to such ends.)

“Every single girl has done it completely differently,” she told me when asked to compare her transition with Cyrus’s. “Obviously, she wouldn’t want to be doing what I’m doing, and I wouldn’t want to be doing what she’s doing. But I’m a fan of her music—I don’t know if she’d say that about me.” Before meeting Gomez, I had read an exhaustive timeline documenting her “heated feud” with Cyrus and couldn’t help but wonder if (scoop!) I was being treated to a sly dig. “We never feuded,” she assured me. “We both liked the same guy when we were 16. It was just a Hilary Duff–Lindsay Lohan thing: ‘Oh, my God, we like the same boy!’ We are now completely settled in our own lives.”

And what about Bieber? A month after Gomez put out Revival, he released Purpose, a kind of album as indulgent forgiveness plea, with much of his winsome apologizing aimed at her. When I broached the subject, she replied with a deep sigh. “I’m so exhausted,” she said. “I honestly am so done. I care about his health and well-being. But I can’t do it anymore.”

“I’m utilizing social media right now because of my age and because, to be honest, everybody else in the world was talking about me, so I wanted a ****ing say,” she had told me earlier. “I honestly had to, because I didn’t really expect my life to be as public as it was. Is this going to destroy me or make me? I still have to make that choice on a daily basis.” While she recognizes social media as a necessary tool for this phase in her life, she is not wed to it. If you’re skimming this article for scoops, here you go: “In a few years,” she confided, “I’ll give all of it up.”

As we made our way to the McDonald’s, Gomez noticed a Chili’s in the same strip mall. Her eyes widened. “Yesss!” she said. “I love Chili’s. Taylor and I eat here all the time.” (They really do—go ahead, Google it.)

While waiting for our food, Gomez glanced at her phone. “Oh, my God,” she said. “Look at what my manager wants me to post.” On the screen was a photo of a generically hunky blond man sipping an orange soda. “He’s my ‘boyfriend’ in my video for ‘Hands to Myself,’ ” Gomez said, referring to one of Revival’s singles. “It comes out next week.” As a kind of viral teaser, her manager suggested that she share the photo. I was surprised, momentarily, that Gomez was so casual when it came to exposing the calculated nature of such a ploy. But then I realized that Gomez simply better grasps what everyone knows about Instagram: that every post, on everyone’s feed, be it Kim Kardashian’s or your mother’s, is invariably contrived. The most authentic approach is to embrace the inherent artificiality without overthinking it.


The interview is boring af, but this photoshoot... :shocked: She just gets hotter and hotter. Imma need some amazing 'Me & My Girls' covers from y'all now using these photos please. :tan:

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