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Whether or not you’re a fan of Selena Gomez‘ music, you’ve got to hand it to her for a v. powerful and v. v. brave acceptance speech at the 2016 American Music Awards.
Taking the stage to collect her first AMA for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, the 24-year-old won hearts with her candour on how lupus – a serious autoimmune disease with which she was diagnosed in 2013 – seriously affected her mental health.
It was well known she’s been battling “anxiety, panic attacks and depression” because she said as much in August this year after announcing a break to focus on her wellbeing – but it’s the first time she’s opened up about the extent of her turmoil.
“I think it’s safe to say most of you know my life whether I liked it or not. And I had to stop,” she said. “Because I had everything. And I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.”
Selena went on to thank her fans for their unending support and encourage those who need help to seek it, just as she did.
“I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore. All I can say is I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every day with people that I love. I have to say thank you so much to my fans, because you guys are so damn loyal, and I don’t know what I did to deserve you. But if you are broken, you do not have to stay broken and if that’s anything, whether you respect me or not, that’s one thing you should know about me is I care about people and thank you so much for this, thank you.”
The room erupted in cheers, with everyone from Lady Gaga to Ariana Grande raising the fkn roof.
We are all @LadyGaga after that @SelenaGomez #AMAs acceptance speech! pic.twitter.com/I1cdprAnRl
— AMAs (@AMAs) November 21, 2016
You can watch Selena’s powerful speech in full here:
There’s still so much stigma around mental health – particularly among young people – that someone with a combined social media reach of more than 61m people voicing her personal struggles – and letting others know they’re not alone – has the very real potential to make change for good.
Bring it in, m8s.