Before You Watch Selena Gomez's Documentary, Catch Up On Her Biggest Life Moments From 2016 to 2021 - ELLE SINGAPORE (2022)

In case you missed it: Selena Gomez‘s highly-anticipated documentary comes out this week on Apple TV+. On 4 November, Friday to be exact. Directed and produced by Alek Keshishian (Madonna: Truth or Dare), Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me is an intimate look into the artist, actress, producer, entrepreneur, and activist’s six-year journey starting in 2016.

After years in the limelight, Selena Gomez achieves unimaginable stardom. But just as she reaches a new peak, an unexpected turn pulls her into darkness. Before you watch Selena Gomez’s upcoming documentary My Mind & Me, catch up on some of her biggest life moments since 2016.

2016

In the context of the constantly-discussed Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber bubble, 2016 was a year of more ambiguity. Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber reportedly ended their romance in March, and Bieber kicked off his Purpose world tour with an Instagram throwback of Gomez and him kissing with the caption “Feels” she responded with a comment “Perfect”. She was seen attending his tour three days later. But that was that, and sources later told TMZ that the two are really just friends — even if they do have unresolved feelings for each other.

In May, she embarked on her worldwide Revival tour and added a new song, “Feel Me” to the setlist. A song that fans speculated was a reference to Bieber. With lyrics like, “I won’t be caught up in the middle/through your highs and your lows/Baby, long as you’re not with me/you’ll always be alone.”

In July, after celebrating her 24th birthday, and on the heels of her concert in Indonesia, she posted a screen-grab from her Notes app. The full text reads, “Tonight I felt extremely unauthentic, unconnected to both myself and my music. I’ve never really felt like my materials, wardrobe or a video could define me. I act on a moment and fear something that hasn’t happened. I’m stagnant, I stay still and don’t just sit with myself first and ask, ‘is this where I am, Whole heartedly?’ I’ve always told the truth. I am always true to my word, I’ve shown who I am but I need to rethink some areas of my life creatively and personally. Had to get that out.”

Then, in August, when Bieber started dating 17-year-old Sofia Richie, fans were quick to hate on her and he striked back. Then Gomez left a comment saying, “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol -it should be special between you two only. Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you and supported you before any one ever did”. It was an Instagram war. He then replied, “It’s funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way,” he wrote. “Sad. All love.” It was everything the internet needed to start trending SelenaEndedJustinParty. Later on, Bieber unfollowed Gomez and deleted his account, and Gomez issued a statement on Snapchat writing, “What I said was selfish and pointless”

Then, in that same month, after touring in North America, Asia and Oceania, she cancelled the European and South America legs due to anxiety, panic attacks and depression caused by her lupus. And following the cancellation of her tour, she then checked into rehab to focus on her mental health, taking a social media break as well. At that time, she was the most followed person on Instagram and became the first person to reach 100 million followers.

(Video) TV Comedy Actress Roundtable: Selena Gomez, Amy Schumer, Quinta Brunson, Tracee Ellis Ross & More

2017

In January, Gomez was seen on dates with The Weeknd and made their relationship Instagram official during their Italy trip. Over the year, she would join him in South America during his tour, they would go to Coachella together and even attended the Met Gala as a duo. This would go on until October when multiple sources would confirm that the musicians had ended their relationship amicably.

She also announced in January that she served as the executive producer for the Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why, which was a critical success. And when many communities voiced that the show glamorised suicide, Gomez addressed the controversy by saying that they stayed true to the book and do it justice.

In September, Gomez went to Instagram to share an update on her health journey. In her caption, she wrote that she had a kidney transplant in the summer and thanked her friend Francia Raisa who “gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed.”

Then in October, Gomez and Bieber started hanging out again. As friends, according to TMZ. Multiple sources said that the two reconnected in September when she got a kidney transplant. Then the public spotting continued. The two were seen having breakfast together, going to church, Gomez watching Bieber play hockey.

2018

The Gomez and Bieber will-they-won’t-they saga continues. Bieber crashed a New Year’s trip of Gomez’s, they spent Valentine’s Day together, she even went as Bieber’s date for his father’s wedding in Jamaica. This went on until May when E! made the report that Gomez has “completely moved on” from Bieber and she is “not interested in getting back together with him anytime soon.”

Then in the next few months: Bieber started dating his ex Baldwin again, and he proposed to her just shortly after reconciling. It was the finality of the ambiguity between Gomez and him.

In the end of September, Gomez took a hiatus from public life and social media and shortly after was admitted to the hospital when it was discovered that her white blood cell count was severely low (due to her lupus and kidney transplant last year). She entered a treatment facility to cope with her ongoing conditions related to anxiety and depression after experiencing an “emotional breakdown”.

2019

A few weeks after Baldwin and Bieber got married (again) at a ceremony in South Carolina, Gomez dropped her new song, “Lose You To Love Me” with lyrics that seemed to suggest a reference to her relationship with him. Lines like, “I needed to lose you to love me / I needed to hate you to love me / And now it’s goodbye, goodbye for us”.

In September, she received the 2019 McLean Award at the hospital’s annual dinner. Upon accepting the award, Gomez mentioned in her speech, “I think that we are better when we tell the truth and, so, this is my truth. Last year, I was suffering mentally and emotionally, and I wasn’t able to stay all that kept together. I wasn’t able to hold a smile or to keep things normal.”

In November, before she was about to open for the 2019 AMA with her first TV performance in two years, Gomez had a panic attack. A source revealed that Gomez decided to “push through and perform anyway”. As the first performer of the night, she sang renditions of her newest singles “Lose You To Love Me” and “Look At Her Now”. It was a performance that left audiences divided, some were excited to support her comeback performance and others criticised that she sang “off key”.

2020

Gomez releases her third studio album, Rare, which was raved by critics. It had been her first album since Revival in 2015 and she shared how the album was about self-discovery, being alone, being vulnerable, and being okay with all of it. As told to Apple Music, Gomez said “I just needed to let my old self go.” It was four rocky years where her love life and personal health were put under intense media scrutiny, and this album had purged it all out.

In August, (in the middle of the pandemic, mind you) Gomez released the track “Ice Cream” made in collaboration with South Korean girl group Blackpink. Gomez met Jisoo and Rosé during NYFW in 2018 and the collaboration came together two years later in the form of a bubblegum pop song.

In September, Gomez launched her own makeup line, Rare Beauty. It’s not a first for celebrities, but this was clearly a passion project that the artist wanted to be purposeful. In an interview with Amy Schumer for Interview magazine, she shared, “I wanted to start a conversation about how you can make yourself feel great. It’s not necessarily about needing these things to make yourself feel beautiful. People of my generation have all this pressure to look a certain way, and I wanted to make a line that took away a bit of that pressure.”

She was also named by TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Music and entrepreneurial endeavours aside, Gomez also uses her platform to encourage voting, support BLM, and has been an advocate for immigrant rights in America.

2021

A big first for Gomez — in March, the artist released her first Spanish-language project, an EP titled Revelación that was in parts R&B and Latin pop. It was a clear departure from her last album and many praised her for expanding her artistry. It also earned the musician her first Grammy nomination when it was nominated for Best Latin Pop album at the 64th Grammy Awards.

Then, in an Instagram Live session with Miley Cyrus in April, Gomez talked about mental health and revealed that she’s bipolar. “Recently I went to one of the best mental hospitals in the world, but definitely in America, McLean’s Hospital. I discussed that, after years of going through a lot of different things, I realised that I was bipolar,” she said. “So when I go to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it. I think people get scared of that.”

Continuing her path as an actor, Gomez starred in and executive produced the mystery-comedy series Only Murders in the Building alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short.

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