Selena Gomez is opening up!
The 24-year-old singer looks stunning as ever as Vogue's April cover star, but it's inside the mag that she gets really candid -- sharing new details about her three-month break from the spotlight. what used to make Justin Bieber "really frustrated" and her new relationship with The Weeknd.
Here are 11 things we learned from Gomez's revealing interview, starting with her emotional breakdown last fall.
1. The pressures of her world tour led to her three-month break from the spotlight.
"Tours are a really lonely place for me," explains Gomez, who abruptly stopped her Revival tour in August, with more than 30 concerts remaining. "My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it -- which, I think, was a complete distortion. I was so used to performing for kids. At concerts I used to make the entire crowd raise up their pinkies and make a pinky promise never to allow anybody to make them feel that they weren’t good enough."
"Suddenly I have kids smoking and drinking at my shows, people in their 20s, 30s, and I’m looking into their eyes, and I don’t know what to say. I couldn’t say, 'Everybody, let's pinky-promise that you’re beautiful!’ It doesn’t work that way, and I know it because I’m dealing with the same sh*t they’re dealing with," she reveals."What I wanted to say is that life is so stressful, and I get the desire to just escape it. But I wasn’t figuring my own stuff out, so I felt I had no wisdom to share. And so maybe I thought everybody out there was thinking, This is a waste of time."
2. She's committed to not talking about her new romance with The Weeknd.
While Gomez acknowledged her romance with the "Starboy" singer in her Vogue interview -- she refused to talk about the new relationship. "When I ask Gomez about the romance, she tells me that everything she has said about her relationships in the past has come back to bite her, and that she will never do it again," writer Rob Haskell says.
3. She's still flying off the grid -- kind of.
"I think seventeen people have my phone number right now," Gomez says in the interview, also revealing that her assistant is the only one with her Instagram password. "Maybe two are famous."
While the singer wouldn't reveal which two, we're banking on Taylor Swift and The Weeknd.
4. She cries... a lot.
The former Disney star isn't afraid to express her emotions, even in front of thousands of people. "I've cried onstage more times than I can count," she told Vogue. "And I'm not a cute crier."
5. She wants to release Spanish-language music.
Gomez, who was named after singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, told the magazine that she was taking Spanish lessons again after speaking the language fluently as a child, in the hopes of later recording Spanish-language music.
6. She considers her 90-day therapy program "the best thing I've done."
Shortly after canceling her tour last fall, the singer flew to Tennessee, surrendering her cell phone as she joined a treatment program with individual therapy, group therapy and equine therapy.
"You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls,” she says, “real people who couldn’t give two sh*ts about who I was, who were fighting for their lives. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done.”
7. She sees her therapist five days a week.
Since leaving treatment, Gomez has continued therapy. The actress sees her own therapist five days a week, and has become a passionate advocate of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a method previously used to treat borderline personality disorder, but is now used as a broader form of treatment.
"DBT has completely changed my life," she confesses. "I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart."
8. She has a hard time saying no to photographs -- which made "somebody she used to hang out with" (presumably Justin Bieber) angry.
"Somebody I used to hang out with would always get very frustrated with me [for taking photos with fans]," she reveals, though refuses to utter Bieber's name. "But I have a hard time saying no to children."
9. She was an Instagram "addict."
"As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” Gomez says. "It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like sh*t when I look at Instagram. Which is why I'm kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit."
10. She tried hard not to be the "child star gone wrong."
"For a guy there’s a way to rebel that can work for you," Gomez claims of creating distance from the Disney brand. "But for a woman, that can backfire. It’s hard not to be a cliché, the child star gone wrong. I did respect my fans and what I had, but I was also figuring out what I was passionate about and how far I was willing to go.”
"I worked with Disney for four years," Gomez adds. "It’s a very controlled machine. They know what they represent, and there was, 100 percent, a way to go about things."
11. Her mom encouraged her to take on her racy Spring Breakers role.
When Gomez was finally ready to shed her Disney image, she did it fast -- and with the blessing of her mother, Mandy Teefey.
"My mom wanted me to work with a director who would really push me," she recalls. "I watched Kids, Trash Humpers, Gummo, and I was like, 'Mom, are you crazy?' But it was fun to imagine how you might behave if you were set free of whatever was holding you captive. I’m a late bloomer. I grew up around adults, but in terms of getting out, having friends -- at times I really didn't know anything but my job."