Lizzie McGuire is one of the greatest Disney Channel shows of all time. As iconic as Hilary Duff was in the title role, the fact is that a host of children watching the show growing up did not look like the protagonist. In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Selena Gomez opens up to Katherine Langford of 13 Reasons Why fame about understanding the importance of representation, idolizing Duff, and learning she was a role model on the set of Wizards of Waverly Place.
"I’ll never forget when I was doing my TV show [ Wizards of Waverly Place]; I think I was 15 or 16," said Gomez. "We would do these live tapings every Friday, and one Friday there was this single mother with her four kids. She was Latin, and she came up to me after, crying. Her kids were so excited, but I noticed the mom, so I gave her a hug and asked, 'Hey, are you OK?' And she was like, 'It’s really incredible for my daughters to see that a Latina woman can be in this position and achieve her dreams, someone who isn’t the typical, you know, blonde with blue eyes.'"
Gomez continued describing how Duff was her idol growing up, despite not looking like her.
"And I knew what she meant. When I was younger my idol was Hilary Duff! I remember wanting blue eyes too. So I think I recognized then that it meant something to people. That it matters."
Later in the interview, Gomez describes her album delays — "I don’t feel confident enough in where my music is yet. If that takes 10 years, then it takes 10 years." Luckily, fans will get their Gomez fix in a new film starring Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland.
Read the entire interview here.