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Selena Gomez says she was ‘violated’ as a teenager

Selena Gomez wears slingback pumps. CREDIT: SPLASH


Selena Gomez says she was ‘violated’ as a teenager


American singer and ex-child actress Selena Gomez recently discussed her teenage experiences with the paparazzi, revealing that she felt “violated” when men photographed her in a bikini on the beach at just 15 years old.

In a conversation with Vogue, Gomez shared that she dealt with the paparazzi by “trying to say the right thing,” since she is naturally a “people-pleaser.”

As a role model for her young fans, the former Disney star felt pressured to maintain a “perfect” image, even though she was still a teenager herself.

Gomez’s life has been constantly scrutinized by tabloids, from criticism about her appearance to her highly publicized relationship with Justin Bieber.

Her mental health struggles, exacerbated by her diagnosis of the chronic autoimmune disease Lupus, led to several stints in rehabilitation facilities.

It is only recently that she has started discussing the impact the media has had on her throughout her career.


Sadly, Gomez’s experiences are not unique. A toxic, invasive culture around young (especially female) child stars often leads to issues that persist into adulthood.

Many celebrities who became famous as children feel that their early fame caused long-lasting damage to their mental and, in some cases, physical health.

Examples include iCarly star Jenette McCurdy, who recently shared her struggle with an eating disorder, and Miley Cyrus, who has been open about the pressure she faced growing up and the media’s response to her more provocative, adult music.

Stars like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears are now gaining significant media attention for the mistreatment they endured as young women in Hollywood.

But why has this been allowed to continue?

For many young women in the entertainment industry, the relentless pressure to conform to societal expectations of their appearance can become overwhelming.

The intense scrutiny their bodies face from the press takes away their autonomy and can be harmful not only to the actresses themselves but also to the young, impressionable audiences inundated with heavily edited images of their favorite celebrities.

Social media also plays a role, with influencers like 16-year-old Charli D’Amelio being forced to disclose her eating disorder online after receiving countless comments about her weight and scrutinizing her appearance.

The focus of scrutiny seems to have shifted from traditional newspapers and magazines to social media, where insults and attacks on women’s appearances are rampant.

Gomez admitted that she “freaked out” when she reached 100 million followers on Instagram and decided to take a break from the platform.

But should women have to withdraw from online spaces to avoid criticism, or should those who criticize them learn to be more mindful with their words?

While many former child stars now receive support online and from some parts of the press, much progress is still needed to curb the paparazzi’s sense of entitlement to someone’s private life simply because their profession places them in the public eye.

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