On Monday, it seemed as if you couldn’t go anywhere on the internet without seeing a shot of Selena Gomez baring her kidney transplant surgery scars in a brightly colored bikini while spending time with friends on a yacht off the coast of Sydney, Australia. Just a few hours later, Selena herself seemed to respond to the media’s intense focus on her decision to uncover her scars and spend time having fun with friends. Late Monday night (which was actually early Tuesday afternoon in Sydney), Selena posted a video montage to Instagram of her day in the sun. In the clip, which is set to the perfectly carefree “Dreams Tonite” by Alvvays, Sel and her pals bask in the sun, recreate that iconic Titanic scene on the front of the boat, and just enjoy each other’s company.
Even more telling than the video itself is Selena’s caption, in which she references The Beauty Myth — Naomi Wolf’s seminal feminist text from 1990. “The beauty myth — an obsession with physical perfection that traps modern woman in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of flawless beauty. I chose to take care of myself because I want to, not to prove anything to anyone,” Selena wrote. “Wind in her sails. 🌈💜,” she added, presumably referring to the tagline of the women-focused 2018 Colour Conference put on by her church, Hillsong.
Since receiving a kidney transplant from best friend Francia Raísa, Selena has spoken about slowly but surely re-learning to love and take care of her body while recovering from the surgery. “I just kept thinking about how much my body is my own,” the 25-year-old told Billboard last November. “[After the surgery] I had this sense of gratitude for myself. I don’t think I’ve ever just stopped and been like, ‘I’m actually grateful for who I am.'”
The singer-actress-producer-designer added that although it took her some time, she’s now comfortable with her scars. “I didn’t [feel comfortable with it at first], but I do now. It was really hard in the beginning. I remember looking at myself in the mirror completely naked and thinking about all the things that I used to b*tch about and just asking, ‘Why?'” Selena said. “I had someone in my life for a very long time who pointed out all the things that I didn’t feel great about with myself. When I look at my body now, I just see life. There are a million things I can do — lasers and creams and all that stuff — but I’m OK with it.”
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