As a major celebrity and the most-followed person in the world on Instagram, Selena Gomez has been extensively photographed. The fame, however, has often led to unwarranted judgment and criticism of her appearance by the public.
But instead of dwelling on other people's fixations, Gomez is working to create a new, more positive narrative. On Tuesday, Gomez directed her prominent social media following to rethink how they view beauty expectations and self-care.
Case in point: her trip to Australia. Days after photos of her in a bikini were published by tabloids and met with a slew of responses from supportive to straight-up gross, Gomez took to Instagram to share her thoughts on cultural beauty standards, and it's a refreshingly classy take.
She has clearly been reading up on Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women, as she quotes it in her caption. "The beauty myth—an obsession with physical perfection that traps modern women in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of flawless beauty," she wrote. "I chose to take care of myself because I want to, not to prove anything to anyone. Wind in her sails."
The video montage alongside the caption included shots of her and her friends on a boat goofing around and having fun, set to the song "Dreams Tonite" by Alvvays.
While the coverage of Gomez's vacation has focused extensively on her body, Gomez's video is a good reminder that there are much more important things, including friends and self-care.
The road there hasn't always been easy though. Last summer she told InStyle: "There are still days. I go to therapy. I believe in that and talking about where you are. But I’m in a really, really healthy place."
And in November, the singer told Billboard that after having an invasive kidney transplant surgery, re-learning to love her own image was challenging.
"I do [feel comfortable with my scars]. I didn't, but I do now. It was really hard in the beginning," she said. "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."