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“Madonna: Truth or Dare” broke the record for the most money made by a documentary in 1991. “Bowling for Columbine” later beat it. Selena Gomez, an actress and musician, picked Alek Keshishian, who directed the movie about Madonna, to make a documentary about her tour. It was at least advertised as a concert movie. But Gomez’s “Revival” tour was sadly cut short in 2016 while the cameras were rolling owing to health problems.

In her new movie, “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me,” she talks more about these topics. The documentary on Apple TV+ is uncensored and honest, but it doesn’t have enough concert footage. The accompanying performance scenes provide more behind-the-scenes peeks than beautiful pictures of sold-out audiences.

What makes this documentary so unique are the close-up shots of Gomez engaging with her loved ones, friends, and fans and spending time in her hometown of Grand Prairie, Texas. Gomez is honest in those exchanges, the narration, and the handwritten notebook notes. Here are a few of the documentary’s most startling revelations.

Contrary standards

Insights from the Selena Gomez documentary include her beliefs and how her history haunts her.

Gomez is honest about her physical problems, which is good because she gets a lot of attention from the media. The documentary opens with her experimenting with costumes just before her “Revival” tour starts. She complains that she still looks young while wanting to shed her former image as a “Disney kid” and be perceived as an adult.

She also accepts the unfairness of the music business, where a man could walk onstage wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and a beanie and call it a day as opposed to her having to put on one tight, sparkling, revealing outfit after another.

“It’s just hard being an f—-ing girl,” at one point.

Thoughts of self-harm

Insights from the Selena Gomez documentary include her beliefs and how her history haunts her.

Gomez is open about her previous thoughts of self-harm and suicide as well. Gomez says she understands when a young woman on a charity trip confides in her about having had suicidal thoughts. After Gomez delivers a lecture at a mental health charity, she consoles another young woman who talks about her past self-harm.

A ghost from the past

Gomez refers to both her early days as a child performer who rose to popularity on Disney and her previous personal relationships, particularly with Justin Bieber, in the movie when she says, “I want nothing more than to not be my past, and it comes back.” After a record executive praises her song with him, she wonders when she will be “good enough by herself.”

Insights from the Selena Gomez documentary include her beliefs and how her history haunts her.

On numerous occasions in the documentary, Gomez is surrounded by paparazzi who yell at her, asking “Where’s the alcohol?” and “Where’s Justin?” Going back in time is one of Gomez’s triggers for depression, she claims because she feels “haunted by a prior relationship that no one wanted to let go of.”

Her devotion

Gomez tells the young nursing student, much to her surprise, that she also believes in God. The movie makes multiple references to Gomez’s religion. Before a performance, she prays with her cast and crew and tells a cherished neighbour, a crucial supporter from her early years who has MS, that the woman is in her prayers. In Gomez’s house, the camera lingers on a wall cross.

Insights from the Selena Gomez documentary include her beliefs and how her history haunts her.

Being alone as a youngster

Gomez, who describes herself as “shy,” had a childhood marked by loneliness at school, where she claims she had only a few acquaintances and would sit by herself at lunch. The cheerleader captain, her cousin, and a close friend stood up for her and shielded her from bullying. Gomez only completed the eighth grade in school before completing the ninth through twelfth grades on set. She tells the pupils in the documentary, “To be homeschooled by a computer, it’s not real, yet it worked.”

Insights from the Selena Gomez documentary include her beliefs and how her history haunts her.
Insights from the Selena Gomez documentary include her beliefs and how her history haunts her.

Her anxiousness is exacerbated by lupus.

In 2011, Gomez was told he had lupus and needed a kidney transplant to save his life. Gomez takes care of her lupus differently throughout the movie, like checking her blood pressure and getting medication infusions. However, she admits that her lupus makes her anxiety worse.

The risk of mental health problems is higher for people with autoimmune diseases like lupus; Gomez has had these problems in the past. In 2018, she experienced “despondency” due to her condition, a low white blood cell count. In the documentary, Gomez talks openly about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and about her physical and mental health. She also suffers from a problem that anyone with a chronic disease is familiar with: she worries that she complains too much and is accused of doing so by a friend.

Insights from the Selena Gomez documentary include her beliefs and how her history haunts her.

Her biggest source of joy is not performance-related.

Gomez attained stardom as a youngster. She claims that although performance gave her a chance to escape, “connecting” now gives her more joy. She spends time with people in her neighborhood who are physically and mentally sick, and visits the kids in the schools she helped build in Kenya.

It’s not well welcomed when Gomez tells a journalist that she wants to “devote” her life to philanthropy in one moment, but she still uses her resources and position. Gomez is committed to enhancing the availability of mental health resources in schools and has established a charity called Rare Impact Fund. Gomez states that her ultimate goal is to “be able to save people’s lives, through something,” whether through her work as a performer, volunteer, or public speaker. I’m still here to use my resources to assist others.

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