Selena Gomez Reveals Restrictions She Faced While On Disney

Ashabi Azeez
Selena Gomez
Getty | Monica Schipper

Selena Gomez gave her best teenage years to the Disney TV franchise, but she also gave up every iota of imperfection on and off set. This played a crucial role in her life and also left her with some trauma, but these days the star is glad to be the real version of herself.

Selena Gomez Opens Up About Her Child Star Years

Over the years, former child stars have come out to share the stories of their traumas on and off the set of movies and TV franchises. In her latest interview with Vanity Fair, Selena Gomez revealed her own story. The star looked back at her teenage years when she gained fame for appearing in several Disney channel TV shows, as she opened up on some of the policies she had to abide by.

A Look Back At Some Of Her Shows

Gomez began her career on TV in 2002 as one of the kids on Barbey & Friends, but she did not quite get TV acclaim until she joined Disney at the age of 15. A young Gomez was introduced to TV lovers as Alex Russo in The Wizards of Waverly Place, and in a few years, she became a fan favorite.

As time went on, she appeared on more TV shows including an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Hannah Montana, So Random, Princess Protection Program, and Sonny With a Chance, among others.

What It Entailed To Be A Child Star

Selena Gomez
Flickr | maverickbburg

Like many of the other kids that gained fame or appeared in Disney channel franchises, Gomez was made to understand that she had to uphold a picture-perfect lifestyle in order for her to portray her role model status for children. Years later, the 30-year-old reminisced on her acting beginnings and says she hopes not to be that person again.

Her Coming-Of-Age Moment

For the It Ain't Me performer, her turning point came when she starred in the 2012 crime drama Spring Breakers. The movie was rated R for drugs, nudity, violence, and sexual content. At the time Gomez's fellow Disney alum, Vanessa Hudgens, also starred in the film, alongside actresses like Rachel Korine and Ashley Benson. In retrospect, starring in Spring Breakers was a different territory for Gomez.

There Were Reactions

At the time, parents whose kids grew up watching the stars on Disney raised concerns about how Gomez and Hudgens had branched out. One popular review from read at the time: "Parents will need to be prepared to explain why kids should avoid seeing childhood icons depicting the worst adult behaviors.”

Gomez Found Her Role Liberating

Selena Gomez
Flickr | wellbeing.fizza

Despite the controversy surrounding her whole new role and the reactions of many parents, Gomes was grateful for being in the movie. The star stated in an interview a year after the movie was released, that she felt like she grew up while shooting the movie. She described Spring Breakers as the first movie she shot without her mom coming on set. She added, "It was the first time I got to improvise as much as I have."

She Still Gets Triggered By Her Past

The Calm Down musician has come a long way since then, as she keeps acing each stage in her career and fame. However, this has not made her immune to her past Disney days.

The multi-talented celebrity clarified that she was not "ashamed" of her roots, but she did not want to be viewed as the person used to be on Disney. Gomez relayed, "Sometimes I get triggered. It’s not that I’m ashamed of my past, it’s just that I’ve worked so hard to find my own way."

She Spoke On The Effect Of Portraying A Perfect Image

The Only Murders in the Building actress continued sharing that due to how she had to keep up a clean image as a teenage star, she wasn't allowed to freely speak her mind. She revealed that although she was not "a wild child by any means," she had to make sure not to utter profanities in front of anyone. She added, "It's stuff that I was also putting on myself to be the best role model I could be."

Her Ideology Has Now Changed

Selena Gomez
Flickr | TheWillMag Entertainment

Gomez has evolved through time and presently, she is at a place where she has greater admiration for the ability to share the ugly and complicated parts of herself. This doe not exempt the good parts though. She stated that she now thinks "being the best role model is being honest."

On Her Relationship With Social Media

In another part of her Vanity Fair interview, the Another Cinderella Story star opened up on her love-hate relationship with social media. As many fans would know, Gomez took a break from the social media space some years ago and has not been totally back except for her appearances on TikTok. Her Instagram updates are mostly handled by her manager.

Why She Left Social Media

The Ice Cream singer did not mince words when she shared that the hateful words on social media led to her exit. She opened up on how the comparisons made about her and her ex, Justin Bieber's wife, Hailey Bieber affected her. Although Gomez did not drop any names, her references were quite telling. Over time both women have been vocal to fans about the need to stop the hateful comments.

Where She Currently Stands With Social Media

Selena Gomez
Flickr | tnkk22

The star who noted that she never got the chance to go to high school described the world as her "high school for the longest time." She mentioned getting "inundated with information" she did not need. Gomes recalled the hard time she went through during her much-publicized breakup and how the mean comments affected her.

She Battled Anxiety

Gomez recalled how she would often see nice comments about her, but once she sighted a mean one, she would zero her mind on it and focus on that. It definitely wasn't good for her mental health, as it greatly affected her. The star shared that her anxiety worsened over time due to how the mean comments would contain specific details that made her cry many times.

She Narrowed It Down To TikTok

The Dolittle actress made it known that TikTok was the only social media app on her phone because she found it to be "a little less hostile." Even as she restricted her media use to only TiTok, she has had to clamp down on a few shady moments.

On The Good Side Of Social Media

Selena Gomez
Flickr | 1000Girls

While social media greatly played a role in her mental health issues, Gomez also recognizes the good side. She noted that there were "wonderful things about social media," which included "connecting with fans, seeing how happy and excited they are and their stories."

Keeping Other Social Media Platforms At A Distance

The songstress revealed that she mostly operated other social media platforms through a filter. Gomez sends her content to her assistant, who then posts them. As for the comments, her team found a way to put together encouraging and positive comments.

She Recently Addressed The Effect Of Her Lupus Medication

Gomez recently appeared on a TikTok live stream, where she revealed the effect of her lupus medication. She stated that the medication was a factor in how she gained and lost weight. When Gomez takes the lupus medication she tends to "hold a lot of water weight," and when she is off medication, she loses the weight.

Why She Shared That Bit

The star continued speaking as she relayed that she shared that bit about her medication because she wanted to encourage anyone who feels "any sort of shame for exactly what they're going through" since "no one knows the real story."

She Touched On Body Image

Selena Gomez
Flickr | thehallofsexy

The Same Old Love singer took a moment to remind fans that although she thought they were awesome, she was not a model. She thanked fans for their support while noting that if anybody had something otherwise to say, they should "go away," because she did not believe in shaming people for their bodies.