Looking stunning in a red Emporio Armani suit, Gomez, who posted a photo of herself with fellow speakers Seth Rogen and Orlando Bloom, spoke candidly to the crowd at Oakland’s Oracle Arena for the conference meant to empower and inspire young people to take action, and that’s exactly what she did.
“I am not an activist. I haven’t changed the world or led a campaign. I’m here to just tell you my path so that you can hopefully take something away from it because I don’t like being honest with press and interviews,” Gomez said as she began her speech. “I like being honest with you directly.”
Following that, Gomez talked openly about the struggles she faced early in her career, but was able to overcome them with the unwavering support of her mom.
Yet, things took an emotional turn when Gomez, who secretly completed a two-week rehab stay shortly after cancelling the Australian leg of her Stars Dance Tour to “spend some time on myself,” talked about the pressures she faces as a Hollywood starlet, possibly shedding light on why she needed to take a step back from the spotlight.
“I’m surrounded by people who are supposed to guide me, and some of them have and others haven’t. They pressure me; there’s so much pressure: ’You gotta be sexy; you gotta be cute; you gotta be nice.’ You gotta be all these things, and I’m sure you can all relate. You have all this pressure that you have to deal with everyday,” Gomez said as tears filled her eyes. “Until recently, I had given in to that pressure, I lost sight of who I was, I listened to opinions of people, and I try to change who I am because I thought others would accept me for it and I realized I don’t know how to be anything but myself.”
Gomez ended her passionate speech by admitting to the audience she has learned from the mistakes she has made, and encouraged fans to not only choose their friends wisely because “you are who you surround yourself with,” but to “stay true to yourself.”
“And all I really want you to know is that you are changing the world; I’m not changing the world, you’re changing the world, and that’s amazing,” Gomez said. “Please just be kind to each other and love and inspire people, because let’s do it, let’s change the game.”