Selena Gomez documentary sheds light on mental health

Photo courtesy bossmoss
Photo courtesy bossmoss

managing editor

Selena Gomez’s new documentary sheds light on the internal struggles the nation’s sweetheart has been facing for years. 

In a new Apple TV original documentary, released Nov. 4, Gomez brings cameras into her life starting as early as 2016 when she was beginning her world tour. Although, she put on a brave face for her fans internally – she was crumbling. 

Through the first half of the documentary, the audience sees the struggles the pop star went through while trying to balance her physical and mental health, along with her job and the constant rumors created by the paparazzi.

 At the time from an outside perspective, it looked like Selena had it all. She was going out with friends and touring, but internally you could see that she was hitting a breaking point. 

The documentary was filmed in a very natural way. There were very few confessional-type setups throughout it. Instead, there were strategically placed journal entries that gave the viewers a very interesting new insight into Gomez’s feelings when the cameras weren’t rolling. 

She also went and visited key places from her childhood in Grand Prairie. Going to her childhood home, elementary school and visiting her old neighbors showed a softer side of her. The trip also shed light on her relationship with her family and the bond that she shares with them.

The main premise of the documentary was to focus on Gomez’s mental health. We learn quite early on about her bipolar diagnosis and the way she internalized the news of it. She spoke of her childhood and the relationship she has with her parents and the way her upbringing affected her. 

In a strange way, this project really shed a light on how the industry and fame have jaded Gomez. Throughout the whole documentary, the only time she seemed to truly be at peace was during her time in Kenya. From the outside, it really felt like she seemed done with the idea of fame and music and TV. 

Throughout the documentary, she seemed agitated. Whether she was dealing with the press or in rehearsals her overall demeanor and attitude made it seem like she wanted nothing more than to be done with the whole process.

In a way, it was quite sad to see. Gomez has always outwardly appeared to be a happy-go-lucky personality so seeing a side of her that was in such a low place was eye-opening, to say the least.

The release of the project was also surrounded by controversy stemming from a lack of inclusion when it came to certain friends of Gomez. 

Most notably missing from the project was Francia Raísa, who donated her kidney to Gomez in 2017. Since the release, there has been tension between the two in social media with Gomez stating in a TikTok comment, “sorry I didn’t mention every person I know.”

Overall, the whole project seemed pretty similar to most celebrity documentaries. It definitely sheds light on her life and the issues she was and is still dealing with, but there was nothing that made the project stand out in a sea of others. 

The ending was quite nice, showing the work Gomez has done to help begin the implementation of mental health curriculum in the US and the money she has raised through the Rare Impact Fund, as well as providing helpline information for anyone struggling with mental health issues. 

At the very end was also the debut of a new single that Gomez wrote for the documentary also titled “Me and My Mind.” 

All together the documentary was ok. Not horrible but not all that memorable either.