Selena Gomez on Growing Up, Dating in Spotlight: ‘I Can’t Be Afraid to Live My Life’

(Getty Images)

By Shari Weiss

(Getty Images)

Selena Gomez discusses growing up in the spotlight — for better or for worse — in a newly-published interview with The Guardian. In the piece, which is based on a Q&A conducted in May, the singer says she “knew people would talk about” her relationship with on-and-off boyfriend Justin Bieber, a reality of fame she’s accepted.

“I can’t be afraid to live my life,” says Gomez, going on to explain, “I had my first ‘boyfriend,’ which wasn’t really a boyfriend, at 14, 15. You’re young and you don’t know how to be. You don’t think: ‘Now I have a boyfriend – let’s keep it super-private and low key,’ because that’s not what you’re thinking about.” She continues, “You’re thinking about: ‘Oh my God, we’re holding hands!’ You’re just thinking about stuff like that. Everybody falls in love and you would never want to hide something you’re so happy about.” “But I’ve learned a lot. You keep the things that are super-private to yourself,” says the Spring Breakers actress. “I definitely want to do that now. But it’s so hard.”

Asked about still being viewed as a “child star” as she nears 21 years old, Gomez says she doesn’t “know if that’s a bad thing.” “In acting it’s definitely a good thing that I look younger because I can play younger roles,” says the starlet. “But, at the same time, I’m becoming a young woman and wanting to dress more mature and getting comfortable in my own body.” She adds, “I’m very conscious that everything is being watched, and so I have to respect that. I’m not going to do anything wearing just a piece of tape.”

The former Disney star has spent most of her life in the “industry,” as she refers to it, and though it comes with some downsides, she concedes that “it’s all I’ve ever known.” “And I don’t know if that’s sad, but it’s my life. So I don’t know,” Gomez tells the paper. “I still feel very normal and just like a Texas girl, but then this is how I grew up, in this industry. I don’t really know any different.”

Of the excessive media attention that seems to follow her every move, she says, “There’ll be days where I’m not bothered at all and I can just go out with my friends to the movies or walk around the park.” She explains, “But when it gets frustrating, that’s when I call Taylor [Swift]. Or Demi [Lovato]. Sometimes it will just be, like: ‘Urgh, people are talking about me!’ “But then it feels gross [to complain], because it comes with what I love to do,” she adds.

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