Selena Gomez has been very open about the highs and lows of living her life in the spotlight. After a stint in treatment to focus on her emotional health and exhaustion in 2016, the singer seems to have landed right back on top with promises of new music in the very near future, a rumored (though pretty much official) new man in her life, and a firm stranglehold on some of the most-liked photos on social media, which is a pretty simple feat when you’re also the most followed account on the platform. And now, she proved that 2017 is about to officially be the year the pop star fully reclaims her throne, landing the cover of Vogue‘s April issue for the very first time.
Given that her BFF and fellow twenty-something music industry phenomenon Taylor Swift has graced the fashion magazine’s cover three times already, it seems pretty unbelievable that this is Gomez debut cover, especially when the musician already looks like an old pro. For the April issue, Selena turned up the tropical heat, posing in a vibrant Michael Kors collection bralette and skirt covered in a pinky-orange floral pattern and paired with big, chunky silver Jennifer Fisher earrings, and her signature graphic cat eye, of course.
If the singer seems phenomenally relatable despite her high-profile life and 110 million avid Instagram followers, she credits those very fans and social media for allowing her to be so open and down-to-earth. She tells Vogue‘s Rob Haskell, “People so badly wanted me to be authentic and when that happened, finally, it was a huge release. 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.”
But being that authentic can sometimes come with a cost, she confesses, “I’ve cried onstage more times than I can count, and I’m not a cute crier.” Adding, “Tours are a really lonely place for me,” and before she checked into a facility in Tennessee, “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it—which, I think, was a complete distortion. …What I wanted to say is that life is so stressful, and I get the desire to just escape it. But I wasn’t figuring my own stuff out, so I felt I had no wisdom to share. And so maybe I thought everybody out there was thinking, This is a waste of time.”
But Gomez credits the treatment facility with getting her back on track, telling Haskell, “You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls, real people who couldn’t give two s—s about who I was, who were fighting for their lives. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done.
And now she feels much more ready to take on the trappings of fame, saying, “For a change, it feels like I don’t have to be holding my breath and waiting for somebody to judge a piece of work that I’m doing. I’m not eager to chase a moment. I don’t think there’s a moment for me to chase.”
In fact, she insists, “I love what I do, and I’m aware of how lucky I am, but—how can I say this without sounding weird? I just really can’t wait for people to forget about me.” We hate to say it, but good luck with that one.