Selena Gomez Says She Felt “Violated” During Her Disney Channel Days

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It’s hard for many child actors to grow up in the limelight, but it’s particularly tough for those who got their start on Disney Channel to break free from the “perfect” mold. Miley Cyrus says her time spent on Hannah Montanaprobably caused some body dysmorphia” and now Selena Gomez recalls that she felt “really violated” in her teens.

The former Wizards of Waverly Place actress opened up to Business of Fashion about her struggles as a young Hollywood star.

“I remember just feeling really violated when I was younger, even just being on the beach,” she explained. “I was maybe 15 or 16 and people were taking pictures — photographers. I don’t think anyone really knew who I was. But I felt very violated and I didn’t like it or understand it, and that felt very weird, because I was a young girl and they were grown men. I didn’t like that feeling.”

As her fame increased, the now-25-year-old felt her love for art slowly dissipating.

She continued, “I think it changed when I started getting known for things that weren’t [related to] my work. That’s when my passion started to really feel like it was going further and further away. And that scared me. When I was younger, it was all fun to me. When I did state fairs and 100 people would show up, I would be stoked. That was the best feeling in the world.”

“But when I got older, I started to become exposed to the truth behind some stuff and that’s when it flipped a little bit. I realized that, ‘Oh this is actually really hard, and kind of slimy in certain areas,’ and I didn’t realize that certain people wanted certain things from me. My confidence went through a lot with that.”

Now, Sel has worked hard to get into a healthy place mentally and physically, and is determined to keep the up as her career continues to blossom. She finished the interview by explaining her current mindset that everyone could benefit from.

“I have to take care of myself and not feel guilty about it. I will say no when I need to say no, and I will make sure that I will not overdo everything because I feel like if I don’t accept everything that’s happening then maybe it seems like I’m ungrateful, or I’m not doing enough. I just have to take care of myself. Therapy, faith, hard work, kindness. That’s it.”