We are all aware of just how privileged celebrities are, now more than ever. As the world self-isolates, we’re watching the biggest stars stream live concerts from their mansions, others like Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Taylor Swift are using their wealth to help the vulnerable, but then there are some who are complaining about being bored… bored in their homes that have indoor swimming pools and cinemas.
It’s disheartening to see, but it’s important to focus on the celebrities that are doing good during this awful time, just like Selena Gomez.
The Rare singer reunited with fellow Disney star Miley Cyrus, via video chat, on her Instagram show Bright Minded.
The pair, who rose to fame on the Disney Channel, used their fame to help beat the stigma surrounding mental health by having a frank and honest discussion about how they were coping mentally amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both singers opened up about feeling anxious, missing their families and things that have helped them cope when the world feels a little too overwhelming. However, it was Gomez who truly made a difference when she revealed she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
We all believe that celebrities live these flawless lives, they seem indestructible and have everything we could ever dream of, but mental health does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, a film star or an admin assistant, living in a mansion or a one bedroom flat. Anyone can suffer from these disorders.
The Lose You To Love Me singer shared: “Recently, I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McLean Hospital, and I discussed that, after years of going through a lot of different things, I realised that I was bipolar.”
“I think people get scared of that. I’ve seen some of it even in my own family where I’m like, “what’s going on?” I’m from Texas [and] it’s just not known to talk about mental health. You've got to seem cool.”
The 27-year-old continued: “And then I see anger built up in children and teenagers or whatever, young adults, because they are wanting that so badly. I just feel like when I finally said what I was going to say, I wanted to know everything about it. And it took the fear away.”
She continued: “[When I was diagnosed] I was equal parts terrified and relieved – terrified because the veil was lifted, but relieved that I finally had the knowledge of why I had suffered with various depressions and anxieties for so many years.”
Gomez explained that she never had full answers about her condition, but finding those answers truly helped her. “It doesn’t scare me once I know [about] it.”
Hearing someone as successful as Selena Gomez, an actress and singer many of us grew up idolising, open up about her struggles is reassuring, not only to her young fans, but to older people too, to anyone who is struggling.
When someone else shares their story and their struggles, it helps others feel less alone. Each story chips away at the stigma surrounding mental health. Gomez revealing that she has bipolar disorder isn’t going to magically mend others’ pain, but it could help a fan of hers who is suffering feel less alienated, less strange and more hopeful. What we truly need is to feel less alone in our struggles.
We all put celebrities on pedestals. Pop culture plays a huge role in many of our lives, whether you adore Marvel, worship Harry Styles or love the Royal Family. There's no doubt that these people are privileged and certainly have it easier in many aspects of life, but they are people too. Mental illness doesn't care for fame, multi-million dollar houses, red carpet events or Grammy awards. It can impact anyone's lives and Selena has showed us that by sharing her story.
I must stand up and applaud Selena Gomez for sharing such a personal struggle, not only with her millions of fans, but the world, especially during such a scary time. Her raw and selfless words reminded me that despite the reality stars groaning about being stuck in their billion dollar homes, there are still some celebrities worth rooting for.