Selena Gomez is the Woman of the Year, according to Billboard, and for good reason: She's endured intense changes across her professional life and her personal one, too, with major developments affecting her love life, her health, and her music.
In an intimate conversation about her transformative, frequently difficult, and at times downright painful 2017, she opened up about her exes (The Weeknd and Justin Bieber, specifically), what Cardi B taught her about accepting the beauty of her body, and more. Here are the takeaways from one of Selena's most personal interviews yet.
She "cherishes" Justin BieberBarry King/FilmMagic
Selena's been spending time with the pop star/her former flame lately, and talking about him gave her an opportunity to speak on how much she values not only him, but other famous friends who she met on the come-up.
"I cherish people who have really impacted my life," she said. "So maybe before, it could have been forcing something that wasn't right. But that doesn't mean caring for someone ever goes away." She said that extends to Demi Lovato, Nick and Joe Jonas, and Miley Cyrus, and that they've all "gone through seasons in our lives."
"I don’t think it’s as serious as people make things out to be half the time. It’s just my life," she continues. "I grew up with all of these people, and it’s so cool to see where everybody is ... I think a true representation of love is beyond just yourself."
Her kidney transplant shifted her perspective about her body in a huge way
After undergoing a life-saving kidney transplant earlier in the year, Selena started to embrace her body as hers, a philosophical shift that put so many other things beyond living with lupus into perspective.
"I just kept thinking about how much my body is my own," she said. "Ever since I was seven, my life always felt like I was giving it to someone else. I felt really alone even though I had a lot of great people around me. But the decisions I was making, were they ever for me? [After the surgery] I had this sense of gratitude for myself. I don’t think I’ve ever just stopped and been like, 'I’m actually grateful for who I am.'"
As far as she's concerned, she and The Weeknd are cool — and he's the reason she has her puppy!
She may never have picked up Charlie from that pet store had her ex not opted to duck into its doorway. "We were walking down the street, and he saw a cute little puppy in the window and walked in," she recalls. "Charlie was in the corner. He had his head down and he just seemed really sad, and I loved him. I find I do that in every situation in life. I find that person — or dog — and I’m like, 'Yessss. That’s who I want.'"
They may no longer be dating — they called their 10-month relationship quits last month — but her feelings for him are still fond.
"Something that I’m really proud of is that there’s such a true friendship," she said of The Weeknd. "I truly have never experienced anything like that in my life. We ended it as best friends, and it was genuinely about encouraging and caring [for each other], and that was pretty remarkable for me."
She was feeling awful about her surgery scar — but Cardi B's positivity inspired an attitude adjustmentRoy Rochlin/FilmMagic
It was "really hard" to take a look at her post-surgery scar and feel okay, but Cardi B's had a great impact on accepting her body for being "wonderfully made."
"It was really hard in the beginning," she revealed. "I remember looking at myself in the mirror completely naked and thinking about all the things that I used to bitch about and just asking, 'Why?' I had someone in my life for a very long time who pointed out all the things that I didn't feel great about with myself. When I look at my body now, I just see life. There are a million things I can do — lasers and creams and all that stuff — but I’m okay with it. And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with [plastic surgery]. Cardi B has been my inspiration lately. She’s killing it, and she is proud of everything she has done. So there is absolutely zero judgment on my end. I just think for me, it could be my eyes, my round face, my ears, my legs, my scar. I don’t have perfect abs, but I feel like I’m wonderfully made."
New music is coming, and she's taking her time with itMichael Tran/FilmMagic
Back in August, Selena mentioned that there's "a lot" more music coming beyond the singles she dropped in 2017, but it turns out her label is just as eager as her fans to get their hands on a follow-up to 2015's Revival.
"I mean this in a very loving way, [but] my label has been itching for all the music that I’ve been creating, and there is such power in saying 'no,'" she admitted. "I like how we’ve presented the music this year, because it wasn't in an aggressive way; it felt very genuine. I’ve canceled the past two tours I’ve done, so that’s something I’ve considered deeply, too. How will I step on that stage and just completely own it and wear it proudly? In the past, I just kept reaching for something: 'The costume is not glittery enough. What is going to pull them in? Everybody keeps looking at me like I’m this young girl.'"