Last week, Selena Gomez turned 25 and officially survived her young adult years without becoming another child star cliche. In her most pivotal years, not only did she avoid becoming another Hollywood causality, but she somehow managed to leave her competition in the dust.
We don’t mean to imply that we didn’t believe in her, just the contrary: we had every confidence in her talent, even when she didn’t have confidence in herself. But the truth is that Selena was a prime candidate for the whole Disney-kid-turned-bad thing. She’s been in Hollywood since the womb practically and we wouldn’t have been surprised if she had been fully enveloped by fame. It would have been easier, actually. She was in one of the most publicized teen romances with the Justin Timberlake of our time (that would be the Biebs, for you newbies). Not to mention that she dated Bieber just before he went bad. And although Justin’s first arrest was technically after their breakup, it’s commonly known that the two were still very much in contact and may have had an on-again-off-again relationship during Bieber’s legal troubles. But somehow Gomez made it out in one piece and without a scratch, might we add.
And we should probably talk about Spring Breakers at this point. The film, which showed Gomez drinking and partying alongside James Franco, led many to believe that Selena was losing it and was following in the footsteps of fellow Disney alum Miley Cyrus.
Yet somehow Selena managed to stay on track. She reportedly fired her mom as her manager around that time, went to therapy for lupus, canceled her Revival tour and then took a hiatus. And when she returned, she was stronger than ever. If Sel was on the verge of a breakdown, you would never have known it.
In November of 2016, she made a return to the public eye with her acceptance speech at the AMAs where she famously announced, “If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken.”
Whatever Selena did during her hiatus clearly worked and it saved her. Or more likely, she saved herself. And the rest is history.
Her Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has been met with huge success and her new singles “Bad Liar” and “Fetish” have already become fan favorites. She’s the most-followed person on Instagram (and probably IRL), she’s in the best relationship of her life with fellow singer The Weeknd, and her style is seriously on point.
Selena Gomez could have easily become another cautionary tale, another child star gone bad story we read about in the tabloids. But instead, Selena has become one of the most inspiring success stories of our generation. We’ve never been prouder to be a Selenator.
Happy birthday, Selena! Here’s to the next amazing 25 years.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.