Incorporating footage from over six years of filming, the highly anticipated Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me documentary was released on Thursday, Nov. 4. It set out to explore beyond the glamorous career and lifestyle of beloved former Disney star turned pop icon, Selena Gomez. The documentary surfaces the underlying mental and physical health problems that have threatened to derail Gomez’s life and career over the years.
The documentary begins with persistent flashbacks to scenes from 2016 that exemplify Gomez’s success in the industry by showcasing her early stardom. Nonstop performances, autographs, and chaos were all familiar to Gomez at the time, but the chain of events that unfolded shortly after changed her story's trajectory. Viewers follow Gomez’s journey under the spotlight, beginning with the highs of her rise to stardom, but ultimately shifting to her lowest points, as she fights to regain control of her body and mind. The documentary shows how Gomez has battled (and continues to battle) lupus, an autoimmune disease, and her 2020 diagnosis of bipolar disorder. However, it is through her recent bipolar diagnosis that Gomez found a public platform as a mental health awareness advocate, allowing her to become a voice for those who have yet to find a voice amidst their own battle.
Throughout the remainder of the documentary, she unwaveringly acknowledges her mental health struggles and, with this, redefines her purpose, using her celebrity to elevate her as a mental health advocate. A passionate philanthropist, Gomez continuously volunteers her time and money, yet ultimately strives to establish meaningful connections personally and through her music. Gomez has always made her fans a priority, and many of the early scenes demonstrate her commitment to making interpersonal connections, with lengthy meet and greets taking precedence on her Revival tour. With her new role as a mental health advocate, Gomez seeks to strengthen her relationship with her fanbase through their shared experiences.
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me has viewers laughing, crying, and above all, empathizing with Gomez and the struggles she has endured thus far. Gomez's documentary is about more than tracking the tumultuous life of a former Disney star, it is another step towards normalizing conversations surrounding mental health awareness. The ups and downs she experienced over six years of filming draw viewers in, but it is her tenacity and relatability that are receiving astounding praise.
Darby Green is a junior in the College studying Government and History.