Defying The Odds
Defying The Odds
Defying The Odds - Detail

Selena Marie Gomez, born on July 22, 1992, in Grand Prairie, Texas, to Ricardo Joel Gomez and former stage actress Mandy Teefey, carries a namesake tribute to the late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla.

Born into financial struggles, Selena's mother, who was only 16 at the time, did her best to provide despite the challenges. The family's hardships resulted in times when they had to scrounge for coins just to buy gas and walk to the nearby store with a dollar budget for dinner.

Reflecting on her past, she acknowledges her mother's strength, stating, "She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me, sacrificed her life for me." Despite the setbacks, Selena found solace in her close relationship with her grandparents, who played a significant role in her upbringing, nurturing her until she achieved success in show business.

Defying The Odds - Detail

The multifaceted artist, known for her roles as a singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, and producer, has amassed a remarkable collection of accolades. Among her achievements are an American Music Award, a Billboard Music Award, two MTV Video Music Awards, and breaking 16 Guinness World Records. Furthermore, she has garnered nominations for two Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and four Emmy Awards. Recognised as one of the most influential figures on social media, Selena holds the distinction of being the most-followed woman on Instagram, boasting 429 million followers, and is among the top-followed individuals on Twitter. Her impact extends beyond entertainment, as evidenced by her inclusion in the Time 100 list in 2020 and being honoured as Billboard's Woman of the Year in 2017.

In philanthropy, Selena actively collaborates with diverse charitable organisations, dedicating her efforts to promoting awareness on issues such as mental health, gender equality, racial equality, and LGBT rights. Serving as a UNICEF ambassador since 2009, she held the distinction of being the youngest for many years. Demonstrating a deep commitment to mental health advocacy, she also established the non-profit Rare Impact Fund, aiming to raise USD100 (RM467) million over the next decade to bolster initiatives focused on mental health awareness.

Defying The Odds - Detail

Selena faced health challenges when diagnosed with lupus between 2012 and early 2014. In September 2017, she shared on Instagram that she had undergone a kidney transplant due to the condition, with her friend, actress Francia Raisa as the donor. Complications arose during the surgery, requiring emergency intervention to construct a new artery using a vein from her leg.

The artist has been candid about her battles with anxiety and depression, seeking therapy in her early twenties and undergoing treatment. Reaching 100 million Instagram followers triggered a moment of distress, leading to intermittent breaks from social media, influenced by negative comments. Selena disclosed her bipolar disorder diagnosis in April 2020.

In October 2022, she had to cancel an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon after testing positive for Covid-19. Additionally, in November 2022, she shared that she experienced an episode of psychosis in 2018.

Defying The Odds - Detail

Despite her exceptional beauty, talent, and intelligence, Selena has faced challenges in the realm of love. In 2008, she dated singer Nick Jonas, featuring in the music video for his band's song ‘Burnin' Up’. From December 2010 to March 2018, Selena experienced an on-again, off-again relationship with Canadian singer Justin Bieber. In 2015, a brief romance with Russian-German DJ Zedd followed the recording of their collaborative song ‘I Want You to Know’. However, the relationship concluded later that year. In January 2017, Selena entered a relationship with Canadian singer-songwriter the Weeknd, leading to a temporary cohabitation in September before parting ways a month later.

Amidst her triumphs and trials, Selena's fanbase remains deeply devoted. Admirers often express that she has been a guiding force, imparting lessons on embracing one's beauty, cultivating self-love, and extending respect and assistance to others. 

Her influence emphasises the strength found in uplifting others rather than tearing them down. Selena encourages the idea that each individual is perfect just as they are and should not conform for anyone. Above all, she imparts the wisdom that embracing one's uniqueness is the key to discovering true beauty.

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