By now, you already know we have a style crush on Selena Gomez—even our EIC Rachel Zoe has taken notice of the young starlet killing it every single time she leaves the house these days. But that sartorial admiration only scratches the surface of why Ms. Gomez is quickly climbing the ranks as one of our favorite ladies in the limelight.
After a stint in “rehab” several months back, Selena has now opened up (in an interview with Billboard) about the real reason she retreated from the spotlight in 2014: Upon being diagnosed with lupus, she underwent chemotherapy treatment. Cue the Internet exploding with the news, and a collective heart-softening of many who had, perhaps presumptuously, attributed any blame of the hiatus to Ms. Gomez’s charmed Hollywood lifestyle.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a healthy (though still in-remission) Selena is literally everywhere these days. In the last couple months alone she’s graced the covers of Elle, V and Wonderland magazines, and made appearances at major events such as fashion week and the VMAs.
All this press, of course, hinges on the much-anticipated release of her album Revival—a momentous occasion not only on account of new music, but one that marks a rebirth of the 23-year-old artist’s identity. From the crooner posing nude on the album cover to harboring racier songs and lyrics, Revival represents a development of the starlet’s sexuality, and an overt shedding of the Disney persona that’s become a familiar, public rite of passage for her and many others in the industry. Though some critics have questioned the greater themes in her new music, she told Billboard that she’s not trying to not be the good girl—she’s just trying to authentically be herself, label her what you may. We call it simply a part of growing up, and an exploration of how she identifies herself as a person and an artist—something she’s certainly entitled to.
As for her critics, she tells Billboard: “The hate motivated me.” If that’s not reason enough to appreciate her positive attitude (and inspire us to persevere through our own disappointments and pitfalls) we don’t know what is. Selena, we salute you.