The multitalented singer and entrepreneur got candid for Summit.
"It's important for me to be authentic and to connect to something. Otherwise, it seems a bit pointless to me. It requires a lot of hard work. But the payoff is amazing."
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) December 8, 2020
Selena Gomez took the (virtual) stage as the keynote speaker at the 2020 Teen Vogue Summit and brought the house down with a speech about following your dreams, believing in yourself, and striving for authenticity in everything she does and creates. The speech, which was aired via Zoom, tied beautifully to the Summit’s theme of “creating together from the ground up,” something Selena is very familiar with — not only is she an actor and musician, she’s an entrepreneur too! Selena recently launched a beauty line, Rare Beauty, and an HBO cooking show, Selena & Chef, so it’s safe to say 2020 has been a big year for our fave. Selena went for her signature elegant-yet-fresh glam for her speech, rocking a cat-eye liner look and a bright red lip alongside undone waves and a white sweater.
The Summit theme resonated deeply with Selena, who has faced her share of adversity when creating new projects. “When I was younger I was lucky enough to find my passion, and from that point on, I kind of had to go with it no matter what happened,” she explained to Teen Vogue editor in chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner. “And because of that, a lot of people told me ‘no,’ a lot of people said … that I wasn’t capable.” This negativity only furthered Selena’s drive to succeed. “The theme of everything I do is good quality. I want to make sure the stuff that I have, whether it’s all the business stuff to my work acting and singing, it’s important for me to be authentic and to connect to something. Otherwise, it seems a bit pointless to me. It requires a lot of hard work. But the payoff is amazing.”
Previously, Selena told People magazine that launching Rare was something that “would not have been possible two or three years ago,” and she’s learned a lot. “It can take a toll on you, for sure. We’re not all a certain way, and we’re not meant to be. It’s fair to say that I am 1000 percent on the journey with the consumers,” she shared in her interview. “It’s not easy for everybody, and I want people to know they’re not alone.”
Authenticity is a core value of Selena’s public image; she isn’t afraid to be vulnerable in front of her fans about her political beliefs, health, and love life. In fact, vulnerability was a key theme of her latest album, Rare, which dropped earlier this year. “The whole theme of my last album was a lot of self-discovery, a lot of being OK, being alone and being vulnerable, being OK with not looking like everything else, like everyone else,” Selena shared in her speech. Songs like “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now” were Selena’s way of processing her life under the spotlight and the intense attention paid to her relationships.
Selena has embraced honesty and openness, especially when it comes to talking about her mental health. “I think it’s less scary when you talk about it. So that’s some sense of freedom that I gained once I did,” she said. “I think I had a moment where I felt different. Like, ‘Why do I react this way? Why do I feel the way I do and nobody else does?’ and I had to figure that out. I didn’t want just to stay in this place of confusion.”
Once Selena was comfortable talking openly about how she felt, her world opened up, and encouraging discussion and honesty regarding your emotions became part of her mission. “My journey personally has been all about my timing; when I felt like it was working, that’s when I suddenly became so obsessed with making sure that everybody I knew understood that sharing your emotions [was] great,” she shared. “How I’m a huge advocate for therapy. How I feel like there are support groups for everybody, and it’s OK … there’s no way that people aren’t feeling a certain way, whether they’re figuring that out on their own or not, we all need each other.” (Rare Beauty even has its own mental health fund!)
Selena added that she’s inspired when she sees women supporting women, but hopes to see more men involved in uplifting women too. “I would love to see men championing women more,” she explained. “I’m believing that this place of all these women just supporting each other is great, but we also need some support from men.”
What’s next for Selena? She’s got a few major projects in the works, including new Rare Beauty products and a forthcoming TV show, Only Murders in the Building, where she’ll star opposite comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short. “I am still going to be working on the next collection for Rare, that’s something we’re talking about right now. I’m currently shooting my show for Hulu — it’s a comedy/dramedy show that I’ve been anxious to start filming and now we get the opportunity safely to do it, so I’m looking forward to that,” Selena told the audience. “And then the holidays … peaceful with my family. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Official sponsors of the Teen Vogue Summit 2020 include: Apparel Impact Institute, The CW All American, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, OGX, and Omidyar Network.