She might be the most-followed person on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean Selena Gomez‘s rise to fame was an easy one. The 25-year-old star recently admitted that she felt “violated” while on Disney Channel. She may have Wizards of Waverly Place to thank for her current stardom, but apparently, making it big at such a young age had its downfalls and Selena’s not afraid to address them.
“I started getting known for things that weren’t [related to] my work,” she explained in an interview with Business of Fashion. “That’s when my passion started to really feel like it was going further and further away. And that scared me.”
She revealed that she became disillusioned with her fame when she realized she was getting more attention for her looks than her talent. And as a teenage girl, that was understandably a lot to deal with… especially when she had a huge spotlight on her.
“I realized that, ‘Oh this is actually really hard, and kind of slimy in certain areas,'” she continued. “And I didn’t realize that certain people wanted certain things from me. My confidence went through a lot with that. I remember just feeling really violated when I was younger, even just being on the beach. I was maybe 15 or 16 and people were taking pictures — photographers.”
The actress turned singer played Alex Russo on Wizards until 2012 when she said that she began to grow out of the role and wanted to pursue other passions. “I was on the fourth season of the show, and I felt like I was outgrowing it,” she added. “I wanted something different and obviously, I fell in love [with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber] for the first time. There was all this stuff that was happening, and I didn’t know what to do.”
Years later, she ended her Revival tour early and checked herself into a rehab facility in rural Tennessee. “I would look at myself in the mirror and I just felt like, ‘I’ve had enough, I don’t know if I can go on anymore.’ And I stopped it for a second. But it didn’t mean that I didn’t love it, I just had to find what I was going to do with it. As long as I’m healthy and happy in my mind, I’m all about it.”