Selena Gomez Explains Social Media Exit After Breakup With Justin Bieber, Bipolar Diagnosis

The actor and singer split with Bieber and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the same year. Now she advocates for mental health.

Selena Gomez is being candid about her split with Justin Bieber and related social media breaks.

The Rare Beauty cosmetics founder and “Only Murders in the Building” star has taken several extended hiatuses from Instagram over the past few years — and is now revealing that her breakup with Bieber in 2018 after eight years together was partly to blame.

“I had just gotten my heart broken,” she told Fast Company in an interview published Tuesday. “Then there were those moments of not feeling positive about how I looked because of what I’d seen on Instagram. Wow, I wish my body looked like that.”

Gomez added her self-worth was impacted at the time as well, as the newfound entrepreneur “had a teenager’s body” while dating Bieber — and that suddenly “none of the sample sizes were fitting, and that would make me feel embarrassed.”

She continued: “Although how unrealistic is it to expect a normal woman’s body not to change?”

Gomez was the most-followed woman on Instagram when she deleted the app from her phone. Then 26 years old, the former Disney star reportedly gave her assistant full rein over her account. That same year, in 2018, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

According to the Mayo Clinic, bipolar disorder causes severe mood swings and hopelessness if left untreated with medication.

While Gomez kept the matter private until 2020, Bieber started dating Hailey Baldwin just months after splitting with Gomez — in June 2018 — and got engaged to the model in July. The couple officially tied the knot in September of that year.

Handling a heartbreak, social media pressures and new mental health diagnosis was overwhelming for Gomez, who told Fast Company she “grew up being a people pleaser.”

Gomez dated Bieber off and on for 8 years.
Gomez dated Bieber off and on for 8 years.
Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated Press

Her life in the public eye was also exacerbated by constant comparison.

“I’m not unattainable,” she told the outlet. “I look at someone like a Beyoncé, and I am amazed. My jaw drops. Every part of her is just impeccable, and it’s just so beautiful. I went to her show and was blown away. But I’m just not that, and that’s okay.”

“I’m me, and I’m a little silly, but I also like being sexy and fun, and I also want to do good with the time I have here,” she continued. “We need goddesses like Beyoncé and Adele. But I’m just happy to be your best friend.”

Gomez said she is now focused on trouncing “the beauty myth” and ubiquitous “obsessions with physical perfection” for women. She founded the Rare Impact Fund and her Rare Beauty line of cosmetics in 2020, pledging to donate 1% of all sales to the fund.

As the website explains, the Rare Impact Fund is determined to raise “$100 million over the next ten years to expand access to mental health services and education for young people around the world.”

“It’s been my biggest dream to make a positive impact in this world, and we each have a role to play,” Gomez wrote on the website. “I hope by sharing my own story and using my platforms for good, we can empower more young people to address their mental health.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call or text 988 or chat for mental health support. Additionally, you can find local mental health and crisis resources at Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

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