“I was never the girl who thought I need to make sure I look like all the other girls. I think you look best when you stand out.”
Selena Gomez is most notably known for her portrayal as a young wizard and her amazing vocal abilities, but she’s faced a lot of adversity in her life, both as a child and as an adult. Keep reading to find out more about her and her incredible life.
Selena Gomez Facts
28. What’s in a Name?
Selena Marie Gomez was named after Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, who died almost three years after Gomez was born. “Selena” also translates to “moon,” and she has her own production company named July Moon Productions. Her birthday just happens to be in July.
27. Friends From the Start
Gomez got her first break in Barney & Friends in 2002 alongside Demi Lovato. They would work together again seven years later for the movie Princess Protection Program. The pair also had a YouTube show together, aptly named The Demi and Selena Show.
26. You’re a Wizard, Selena
Though she wasn’t a fan of the Harry Potter series, or magic in general, she nonetheless landed the lead role in Wizards of Waverly Place in 2007.
25. Getting the Animated Treatment
Gomez voiced a character in 2008’s Horton Hears a Who, playing Steve Carell’s daughter. Unfortunately, she never got to meet the actor.
24. Pure of Heart
She wore a purity ring from 2005-2010. The inscription on the ring read “True Love Waits.”
23. Sticks and Stones
It’s hard to imagine, but Gomez has said that she was bullied in elementary and middle school. Still, it only made her stronger.
22. What About Ginger Snaps?
Gomez likes to have either a shot of ginger in the morning, or just simply eat a piece on its own. As she once told James Corden, “it’s killing everything inside—all of the bad things.”
21. Do You Think the Models Were Jealous?
Even though she’s health-conscious, Gomez still prepped for her 2015 Victoria’s Secret fashion show by eating a McDonald’s meal backstage.
20. Pickle Me This
She also really likes pickles. A lot. To the point where she has said she wants to invent pickle-flavored chewing gum. We think we’ll pass!
19. Selena the Songstress
Selena Gomez & the Scene released their first studio album in 2009, which ranked 9th on the Billboard charts. They would release two more albums together before she would go her own way. Gomez released her first solo album in 2013; the lead single was “Come & Get It.”
18. Giving Back
When she was 17, Gomez was named the youngest ambassador for UNICEF. She’s also involved with the charity Raise Hope for Congo, which raises awareness for Congolese women affected by violence.
17. Smell You Later
She released her first fragrance in 2012. Gomez describes “Selena” as romantic but not overbearing, and says that her mom really likes it too! She also got to pick out the bottle and its topper.
16. Spreading Her Interests
Gomez has partnered with many famous brands for various projects, including, but not limited to, Pantene, Sears, Adidas, Puma, Coca-Cola and Coach.
15. Dress Like a Dreamer
The singer is also a fashion designer, and released her own line, “Dream Out Loud,” in 2010. The materials were eco-friendly, and the tags included some of her own inspirational quotes.
14. That’s a Lot to Remember!
The singer-turned-actress had to learn two different British accents for the 2011 movie Monte Carlo. On top of learning her lines, she said the accent training was the hardest part.
13. Slow it Down, Selena
Gomez appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2011, and was hospitalized with headaches and nausea after the taping. She would later be diagnosed with food poisoning and physical exhaustion.
12. For the Dogs
She actually has six rescue dogs of her own. Something tells us that Willy, Wallace, Fina, Chip, Chaz, and Baylor live a pretty great life!
11. She’s a Fighter, This One
In 2013, reports surfaced that she was battling Lupus, but it would be another two years before Gomez would confirm it. Friend and fellow actress Francia Raisa donated one of her kidneys to Gomez in 2017, as the lupus had advanced. “I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life [to donate]”, Gomez told Savannah Guthrie of NBC. “The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. And she volunteered and did it.” She did suffer some additional complications during the surgery, and there is still a three to five percent chance her lupus could resurface, but Gomez said she’s recovered nicely.
10. The Biebs
She dated singer Justin Bieber on and off from 2010 to 2013. They’ve recently been spotted together again, which has led to rumors of the pair rekindling their romance. His family seems to be happy that they’re on again, but her family reportedly isn’t. According to People, Gomez will be spending Christmas with her family, and won’t be bringing Bieber with her.
9. Young Love
She’s also been romantically linked to Taylor Lautner and Nick Jonas, and recently ended a relationship with rapper The Weeknd.
8. Started From the Bottom
Gomez and her mom struggled for a while when she was young, as her mom was only 16 when she had Selena, and was divorced when Selena was only five years old. Her mom had three jobs, and would often get spaghetti from the dollar store for dinner for the pair. Gomez’s grandparents also helped to raise her while her parents were in school. She and her mom would move from Texas to Hollywood once her acting career took off.
7. All in the Family
Sadly, her mother miscarried a baby girl in 2011 when she was 16 weeks along. Gomez’s sister’s name would have been Scarlett. She did have another girl just a year and a half later, named Gracie. Gomez also has a half-sister on her dad’s side named Victoria.
6. Taking Care of Herself
In August, 2016, after cancelling the European and South American portion of her Revival World Tour, she checked herself into a rehab facility for 90 days. She was suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression caused by her lupus.
5. 13 Serious Reasons
Gomez became involved in the Netflix adaptation of the book Thirteen Reasons Why, and served as an executive producer on the show.
The singer became the first person to reach one million followers on Instagram. “As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” Gomez told Vogue. “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about.”
3. Words to Live By
To date, the singer has seven tattoos. One tattoo in particular, a four-inch Arabic inscription that translates to “love yourself first,” was inspired by a fan. “I did a concert in Dubai, and a 16-year-old came up to me when I was going through a rough time. She said, ‘I just wish that you would love yourself first,’” she told GQ.
2. Honorable Mentions
On November 20, 2017, Gomez was honored in New York City at the Lupus Research Alliance Annual Gala. To date, she’s raised over $500,000 towards lupus research. Just ten days later, Raisa presented Gomez with the Woman of the Year Award at the annual Billboard Women in Music event. “I would like to thank my amazing team and my family because they stuck with me through some really hard times,” she said during her speech. “And I got to do a lot this year, even though I had a couple of other things to do.” We’re just glad you’re getting back to doing what you love!
1. We Hope It Washed Out Easily
The singer got into some hot water over her 2011 video for “Love You Like a Love Song.” There were horses spray-painted pink, and PETA and fellow singer P!nk brought out accusations of the treatment of the animals.