No one was shocked when it was announced that Selena Gomez was named Billboard’s 2017 Woman of the Year as continues to be a promising inspiration to females around the world. Through singing and acting, Gomez has been in the spotlight for some time now, but at this point in her life, her career comes second, with her mental and physical well-being coming first.
At twenty-five years old, Gomez has created a powerful and positive name for herself, making her a role model for young female adults. Although her fame comes from singing and acting, she became inspirational through her strong-will from her personal past struggles and how she overcame them.
While accepting her award at the American Music Awards in 2016, Gomez opened up about her time off to focus on her health. In her acceptance speech, she says, “I had to stop, ‘because I had everything, and I was absolutely broken inside. And I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down. But I kept it too much together to where I let myself down…If you are broken, you don’t have to stay broken.” And from that moment on, she only got stronger and more influential.
In 2012, Gomez was diagnosed with Lupus, which led to a struggle with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs that can affect many body systems. During the summer of 2017, Gomez faced a life-threatening medical emergency, needing her kidney to be removed immediately. With the help of her long-time friend Francia Raisa, she received a kidney transplant and was on the road to recovery. Gomez eventually used the attention via media to continue awareness on Lupus and proving that we all have our struggles.
At this moment in Gomez’s life, her career and confidence is at an all-time high. How she presents herself and shares her struggles is uplifting and encouraging. It is rare to find someone, let alone a celebrity, who is vocal and honest about their battles and uses their fame in such an impactful way. In an interview with Vogue, Gomez says, “I’m not different from what I put out there. I’ve been very vulnerable with my fans, and sometimes I say things I shouldn’t. But I have to be honest with them. I feel that’s a huge part of why I’m where I am.”
On October 31, 2017, Billboard announced that Gomez is the 2017 Woman of the Year, and she will be honored at the annual Women in Music dinner and awards gala which is occurring on November 30. Past Woman of the Year nominees include Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Pink, Katy Perry, Fergie, Beyoncé and Madonna.
The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group president, John Amato, states in an article on Billboard that, “Not only is Selena soaring on the charts, but she continuously inspires young women everywhere to be authentic, give back and to not be afraid to use their voice. She is never afraid to speak her mind and has used her platform to advocate for the needs of others. We are thrilled to be able to honor her as our Woman of the Year.” Billboard also reports they chose Gomez due to her success and impact in all different areas, not just confined to music. They explain, “Gomez also executive-produced the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, launched partnerships with Coach and Puma, and worked tirelessly across various philanthropic endeavors, from the Step Up Foundation to coaching for World Kindness Day, and raising more than $500,000 for the Lupus Research Alliance. Also, Gomez has been an active ambassador for UNICEF since 2009.”
Gomez’s confidence is the key to her mindset and how explains her actions. She opened up to Elle about how the secret to looking good is simply confidence. “It’s about being strong, which means being comfortable with who I am,” Gomez says. “I think women, especially my age, can relate. You’re figuring out who you are and there are so many different levels of emotions that you go through. The best is when you feel confident, beautiful, and comfortable with yourself.”
Through her battle with Lupus, struggle with mental health and overall pressure to be perfect as a female in media, Gomez serves as an inspiration for all women. In an article with Huffington Post, Gomez admits, “But I have to tell you, I get it all day, every day. That I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted. Let me tell you one thing: the sexiest thing…is class. I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are. That is what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard.” Even celebrities who seem to have their life together truly do not, and Gomez is proof.
Thank you, Selena Gomez, for showing people that it is okay to have struggles and battles. How women embrace it and take those struggles show their strength, and with that strength, these women could be invincible. Nothing comes easy, but Gomez says “if you are able to look yourself in the mirror every day with the decisions that you make, that’s where the power starts.”