While most of us grapple with the existential crisis in our 20s, actress Selena Gomez is totally living it up. All of 26, this American is the current social media queen idolized by millions of millennials. Fondly called Texicana by her fans, Selena is a Texas-born American of Mexican descent. And what she has achieved in her tender years is an incredible tale of how dreams can come true! From TV fame to her turbulent relationship with Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez knows how to handle it all, with grace and style!
A Star Is born!
The seeds of theatrics were sown very early in Selena’s life. She was born to Ricardo Gomez, a Mexican man, and Amanda Cornett, a stage actor of Italian descent. Selena spent her early years in Texas with not-so-great memories. Her parents were struggling to make ends meet, and when she was just five years old, they got divorced. She stayed with her mother and was homeschooled to the end of her high school year in 2010.
Soon this cherub-faced babe was participating in beauty pageants. Her actor mother also encouraged her to audition for roles in TV and cinema. In 2002, during one such audition, she met her future Disney co-star and musician Demi Lovato. And they both landed the roles they had auditioned for, in a kiddie TV show called Barney and Friends. This was Selena’s first acting debut and she credits the Barney show for helping her learn acting chops.
The Disney Spotlight
Selena bagged a minor role in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and made guest appearances in Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody; she also appeared in Hannah Montana with Miley Cyrus. Unfortunately, after filming pilots for the series, they weren’t picked up for production. That’s when Selena auditioned for a part in Wizards of Waverly Place. She got the role, and the series became a hit, propelling Selena into stardom. Being an actress in Wizards of Waverly Place meant that she and her mum could live the Hollywood life in Los Angeles, and they moved there pronto. She even recorded its theme song, a move that started expanding her singing portfolio. With time, her several talents were noticed and applauded. By the time she was sixteen, she had starred in commercially successful movies and performed hit soundtracks. Soon, she inked a deal with Hollywood Records and started July Moon Productions. In 2009, she won an Emmy. And the sweet, agreeable teenager was on her way to become an iconic enchantress of the current times.
The Multi-Hyphenated Star
Actor, producer, pop-superstar, fashion icon, Instagram celebrity – Selena Gomez is many things and more. While Selena is one of the few actors to make the crossover onto the music scene, success was not served to her on a platter. She formed the Selena Gomez & the Scene band, and their debut album reached number nine on the Billboard 200 chart in America.
The album met with mixed reviews from critics, leaning towards negative. But that didn’t dampen her spirits and her next album was released a year later. This album was hailed by critics, and Selena went on to star in a movie and release her first fashion line, Dream Out Loud. Featuring floral tops and bohemian dresses, her chic clothes immediately caught every teen girl’s fantasy!
In 2014, Selena signed a new contract with Interscope Records, and in 2017 she released a single, Bad Liar. She made a video and released the song on Spotify, making Bad Liar the first music video ever to stream on Spotify.
Life is not a bed of roses. And Selena’s life was no different. She faced a barrage of negative reviews, poor box office performances, and even got nominated for a Worst Actress Raspberry award! She was also hit by troubles on a personal level. Selena Gomez’ rather public relationship with Justin Bieber was always in the eye of the media. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were always together in the public eye, from film festivals to romantic dates in Puerto Rico.
From mega-cute displays of affection to a sad break-up, her relationship was never a hunky-dory one. However, Selena has gotten over Justin Bieber, as was noticed by social media. As Justin and his girlfriend, Hailey Baldwin, celebrated their engagement, Selena was seen in New York City, going about her business with smiles and not a care in the world. You go girl!
While her personal life was a bit topsy-turvy, her professional life was smoothening out. Her animated movie – Hotel Transylvania 2, in which she voices Mavis, and her album, Revival, met with success. The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart, with several of the singles also reaching number one on various music charts in the US and other countries. But once again, she was hit by an ailment and had to undergo a kidney transplant. Later the lovely brunette was found recuperating on a luxury yacht in Sydney.
The Highest Instagram Earner
At twenty-two, Selena Gomez has already received 58 prestigious awards, for her performances as both an actor and a singer. But in the times of social media, tangible accolades are not enough to make the cut. It’s the online fan following that defines celebrity status.
Today, Selena’s Instagram following is over 141 million strong, making her the most-followed celebrity on Instagram. Her Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook following totals over 230 million, and her fan base is still growing. She announced her clothing collection with Coach on August 8 on Instagram, with a caption that basically says ‘guys, my collection drops in a few weeks’, and the post got over 6 million likes.
In 2014, Selena met acclaimed Hollywood stylist Kate Young, who helped transform this baby-faced girl into a world-famous heartthrob. Selena dominated the red carpet at events and even became friends with Nicolas Ghesquiere of Louis Vuitton. This partnership with Kate Young opened the doors of fashion to Selena, as she appeared in the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter campaign of 2016, and also graced the cover of Vogue magazine.
Not long after, Selena signed a $10 million deal with luxury fashion retailer Coach, and the internet went wild. Photos and videos of Selena in Coach’s office with Stuart Vevers made her fans go wild as they announced that Selena would be designing a handbag with Stuart Vevers, Coach’s creative director.
The deal also reportedly gave Gomez the possibility to design her own line with the brand. While Dream Out Loud was her first foray into fashion, it wasn’t to be her last. Gomez's went on to get a fashion line with K-Mart, a deal with Adidas Neo, a nail polish selection with OPI, and collaboration with athletic apparel brand Puma.
Recently, this North Texas native put her 10,000-square-foot mansion in Fort Worth for a $3 million sale. Undoubtedly, the home is one of the city’s most impressive luxury properties. This is a big feat for the girl with a humble childhood who often recalls going to the Dollar Store to buy food.
Doing Social Good
Selena Gomez believes in giving back to the community and works with Step Up – a non-profit that has the Coach Foundation’s blessings with a $3 million pledge from them. Step Up is an organization that works with girls who live in poor or underprivileged communities and their mission is really close to Selena’s heart. Also, Selena Gomez is the youngest-ever UNICEF spokesperson since 2009. Selena returned for the 60th anniversary of UNICEF’S Trick-or-Treat campaign in 2010, and she and her band performed and donated all the proceeds to the Trick-or-treat campaign.
For a 26-year-old, Selena Gomez has already led a full life. She has won prestigious music awards, movie awards – including sixteen Teen Choice Awards - and ten Guinness World Records. She has performed at prestigious events, including the People’s Choice Award. She has her own production and even produces a series – 13 Reasons Why, which premiered on Netflix last year.
Today, Selena hobnobs with fashion stalwarts, is besties with music heavyweight Taylor Swift, zips around in luxurious cars, parties on the French Riviera and has big brand collaborations in her kitty. Her Instagram posts have one of the most copied links and posts shared of any celebrity’s. While she loves basking in this glory, she is just the girl-next-door at heart. Like girls her age, she likes to unwind in bed wearing socks and a shirt binging on the Game of Thrones. After all, she can afford to do whatever she likes!