Selena Gomez’s break from the spotlight came to an end on November 20 when she accepted the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, but it didn’t come without a powerful message.
After taking a three month break to treat her depression and anxiety, including spending time in a rehabilitation centre, the 24-year-old addressed her mental health struggle at the AMAs.
The speech came as part of Gomez’s first professional appearance since she announced she was taking a break in August.
— AMAs (@AMAs) November 21, 2016
While accepting the award for Favourite Female Artist – Pop/Rock, she said to the crowd:
Thank you so much. In 2014, this stage was the first time I was actually, authentically 100 per cent honest with all of you.
I think it’s safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life, whether I liked it or not. And… I had to stop. Because I had everything, and I was absolutely broken inside. And I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.
I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. 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 from the bottom of my heart is that I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share what I love every single day with the people that I love.
And 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.
If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken. And whether you respect me or not, that’s one thing you should know about me, because I care about people. Thank you so much for this. This is for you. Thank you.
The performance she is referring to is ‘The Heart Wants What It Wants’, which she sang at the 2014 AMAs.
Way to go, Selena.
Being brave enough to share your story has no doubt inspired many others to do the same.