Selena Gomez became a household name eight years ago, when she started on Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place. But being a child star in the squeaky clean House of Mouse brought its own issues into adulthood. "Once Disney was over, I was like: Oh, shit," Gomez tells W magazine. "I didn't know what I wanted to be. I had to learn to be myself."
There's no one way to transition out of Disney, Gomez explains. "Every single girl has done it completely differently." She points to Miley Cyrus, of Hannah Montana fame, as a clear alternate example. "Obviously, she wouldn't want to be doing what I'm doing, and I wouldn't want to be doing what she's doing. But I'm a fan of her music—I don't know if she'd say that about me." That "feud" the two had over mutual ex-boyfriend Nick Jonas was blown out of proportion, Gomez adds. "We both liked the same guy when we were 16. It was just a Hilary Duff–Lindsay Lohan thing: 'Oh, my God, we like the same boy!' We are now completely settled in our own lives."
Right around her last days at Disney, Gomez started dating Justin Bieber and watched her love life become a tabloid story. "At first I didn't care," she admits. "To me it was: I'm 18, I have a boyfriend, we look cute together, we like that. Then I got my heart broken and I cared. Because people had no idea what was going on, but everywhere it was a million different things." These days, as she also told Rolling Stone last month, she is so, so over her ex. "I'm so exhausted. I honestly am so done. I care about his health and well-being. But I can't do it anymore."
Her social media presence also has an expiration: "I'm utilizing social media right now because of my age and because, to be honest, everybody else in the world was talking about me, so I wanted a fucking say. I honestly had to, because I didn't really expect my life to be as public as it was. Is this going to destroy me or make me? I still have to make that choice on a daily basis. [But] in a few years, I'll give all of it up."
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