The world was undoubtedly stunned when Selena Gomez announced back in August that she would be cutting her much buzzed-about tour short in order to focus on her mental health—and subsequently checked into rehab a month later for the same reasons. But while her decision to seek help for stress and depression (coupled with her struggle with the autoimmune disease lupus) certainly didn't require explanation, we nonetheless got one from the singer herself last night at the American Music Awards—her first public appearance since.
Looking nothing less than stunning, Gomez took the stage to offer an emotional statement to her fans. "I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down," she said. But I kept it too much together to where I let myself down. I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside.
"I don't want to see your bodies on Instagram," she continued, gesturing to her heart. "I want to see what's in here. I'm not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore. All I can say is I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every day with people that I love. I have to say thank you so much to my fans, because you guys are so damn loyal, and I don't know what I did to deserve you."
"But if you are broken, you do not have to stay broken," Gomez concluded. "That's one thing you should know about me—I care about people. And this is for you."
Her words were met with huge applause and support, both in the AMAs arena and in the far reaches of the internet. Even with the rise of self-care, depression and mental health in general is still greatly stigmatized in our world, which is why it is particularly invaluable when influencers like Gomez (the most followed person on Instagram!) speak out about its commonality—the ultimate message that those who struggle with it are certainly not alone. The other lesson here, of course, is that even in the face of unfathomable success—as Gomez said, she is literally living her dream—mental health is still the ultimate priority, and there should be no shame whatsoever in taking the time to seek help. In fact, it can make all the difference in finding the way out.