On Monday, Selena Gomez was photographed in a brightly colored bikini while spending time with friends on a yacht off the coast of Sydney, Australia–with visible scars from her kidney transplant surgery. The photos quickly flooded the internet.
Just a few hours later, Gomez seemingly responded to the media’s intense focus on her decision to uncover her scars, while having fun with friends. Late Monday night (which was actually early Tuesday afternoon in Sydney), Gomez posted a video montage to Instagram of her day in the sun, set to the track “Dreams Tonite” by Alvvay. In the caption, she referenced 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, Gomez 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 from both the kidney transplant and the emergency post-op surgery she underwent to take care of some complications. “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?'” Gomez 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.”