Selena Gomez is ashamed of the pressure to be sexy on the album cover

Image source: Getty/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

On June 16, Selena Gomez joined Amy Schumer, Tracee Ellis Ross, Quinta Brunson, Molly Shannon and Bridget Everett for a roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss their experiences in the entertainment industry. Gomez began acting in 2002 and rose to widespread fame as Alex Russo on Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” when she was 15. During the chat, the actor openly commented on her experience of being sexualized by the entertainment industry at such a young age and the obligation she felt to release sexy album covers when she started her career. musical career.

After discussing their respective projects — including “Black-ish,” “Life After Beth,” “Abbott Elementary” and more — the illustrious group of women slipped into a discussion about the toxic beauty standards imposed on women. women in the entertainment industry. “For someone like Selena, who was sexualized at such a young age [it must have been difficult]”Schumer says, praising the way Gomez has since established herself as an individual. “But you kind of dismissed that [objectification] and really found your own style and your own presence. I know they put you in a system that makes you feel like this that’s the way to do it, and — especially when you get this positive feedback when people are attracted to you or whatever — it takes a long time before you go, ‘Yeah, I’ll go in that direction [instead].'”

“It’s a choice I wasn’t necessarily happy I made, but I think I did my best.”

Nodding, Gomez replies, “Yeah, that’s really unfair. I actually did an album cover and I was really ashamed after I did it. I had to get over those feelings because I realized they were attached to something deeper going on, and it was a choice I wasn’t necessarily happy I made, but I think I did my best [since then]at least.”

The further Gomez has moved away from the toxic beauty culture reinforced by social media and the entertainment industry, the more time she’s had to think about her public image and how she wants to portray herself. In a 2020 interview with Seduce, she shared a similar sentiment, explaining that she felt “pressure” to be sexy while posing for the cover of her 2015 album “Revival,” which she released when she was 22. The black-and-white images from the album’s booklet feature Gomez posing in her underwear with her arms and legs twisted in front of her to conceal her bare chest. “I just did things that weren’t really me,” she said at the time. “There was pressure to sound more adult on my album, ‘Revival’. [I felt] the need to show his skin. . . I really don’t think I was [that] the person.”

Reflecting on that time in her life, when she felt vulnerable to the whims of the music industry and unable to express herself, Gomez adds that the unwavering expectation to be sexy is another reason she avoids social networks. “I can’t look that way. I don’t find it feasible, and the moment I’m not sure [social media]everything else becomes real,” she says during the panel discussion, referring to photos on Instagram that promote idealistic body standards.

Gomez’s revelations about the entertainment industry’s harmful beauty culture align with comments from other stars like Natalie Portman and Alyson Stoner, who have openly addressed the destructive mental and physical impact of being sexualized to such a young age. With a fourth studio album on the horizon and a new musical era underway, Gomez is ready to step away from that industry-shaped image of herself and be herself in every sense of the word. Speaking at the roundtable, she added, “I tried to be myself, and I’m not an overly sexual person. Sometimes I like to feel sexy, but that doesn’t mean [I’m doing it] for someone else. It could be for me.”

Watch Gomez’s full roundtable with Schumer, Ross, Brunson, Shannon and Everett ahead.

About Elizabeth J. Swartz

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