Selena Gomez Slays the AMA Stage

Its no secret that some of our most beloved celebrities have cracked under the pressure of fame. And who can blame them? Relationships, addictions, mental and physical health: they’re all hard enough without a constant spotlight. Sometimes the consequences of fame become to hard to bear, even for the strongest of our favorites stars. Other times, that pressure will break their outer shell  and give birth to a stronger, wiser human being. In essence, all the bad is turned into something good- something powerful and resilient. Selena Gomez became the embodiment of this epic transformation at the recent 2016 American Music Awards.

“And I had to stop, because I had everything, and I was absolutely broken,” she said. “I kept it all together enough so I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.”

Most people assume they know what Selena is referring to. It would be hard not to. For months, Selena’s off and on relationship with Justin Bieber was everywhere. Literally. Every website, every magazine…everyone had something to say about the romantic struggle between the two. Like any long, serious relationship, it was a long and hard road to moving on. But, that was only one of the overwhelming obstacles Selena faced in the last couple of years.

Amidst all of the media-frenzy over her love life, in 2015, Selena confirmed that she had been diagnosed with Lupus. Being diagnosed with a potentially life0threatening disease did nothing to calm the constant media hysteria around her. People questioned the authenticity of her claims. Some even suggested it was a plight to gain attention and sympathy. As it would turn out, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Though, the genuineness of her claims did little in shielding her from the negativity.

It was during all the chaos surrounding Selena’s life that  the negativity, the doubts and the insecurities managed to slip through the cracks of her well-built armor. Then came the anxiety and depression that would force her to take actions.

The attention her relationship invited didn’t help her condition at all. Even with the amazing support of deathly loyal fans and equally-loyal friends and family, the odds weighed against Selena.The relationship drama was more than enough to overcome for any sane person. The Lupus was debilitating. Throwing in anxiety and depression to the mix? It was a recipe for failure. But Selena refused to go down without a fight.The months of physical and emotional pain were enough to render her helpless to cruelty of the media and judgement of the world,  but still she was able to see her next necessary move. Rehab.

After canceling 34 shows left in her tour in August, Selena reportedly checked into a rehab in Tennessee. Selena went dark over social media and began to focus on her mental health. After years of a selfless battle fought for the benefit of her friends, family and fans, she made choices that would benefit her own happiness. The result are nothing short of mind-blowing.

On the night of the American Music Awards, Selena came back into the spotlight with a fire that had nothing to do with her eye-catching red dress. The confidence oozed from her: it was reflected in her presence, her attitude and, most definitely, in her speech.

Selena may not have performed this year, but she still stole the show and slayed the stage like no other. She is the same Selena that fans have all come to love and look up to, but shes stronger now. Shes filled the the gaps in her armor. It won her the respect and admiration of many. Though, Selena doesn’t need it.  Not anymore.







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How it Feels to Face Your Fear of Public Speaking

I have always been an anxious person. It’s not something I’m shy about, it’s just a personality trait of mine. Few things get me so nervous that it’s hard to function though. One of those things just happens to be public speaking.

I remember dreading taking public speaking in high school. I did not want to stand up there as a scared sophomore and make a fool out of myself. I’m pretty sure I still did, but only because I was so nervous about it all. Once that semester finished, I thought I would never have to face this fear again. However, I decided sometime in the past four years to major in Communication Studies at UCLA. Unfortunately for me, public speaking is a course that is required for that major.

Last year, I put off taking this class because I knew how terrible my fear was. I could imagine my hands shaking and sounding like I was going to cry in front of a room full of my peers. It was an experience I would really rather not experience again. My physical reaction to this fear was involuntary. It didn’t matter how much I wanted to be confident, I would always sound nervous and feel my heart racing in my chest. I knew though, that if I took my anxiety medications that I would be too fuzzy to function, something not worth it to me.

Starting school this year as a sophomore in college, I finally enrolled to take public speaking. For as long as I could (about three weeks) I put off presenting my first speech. It was a simple speech that aimed to critique a movie or a form of media. Even though this topic was easy, I still couldn’t help but dread the day I would have to stand up there. And with my luck, UCLA’s quarterback just so happened to be in my class.


Today though, I finally decided to end my personal torment and give my first speech. I talked about the romantic comedy Clueless and how it’s emphasis on appearance’s importance is still highly relevant to today’s society with social media. As I walked to the front of the room, I felt my hands shaking and my heart racing like I knew they would. Instead though, I focused on how passionate I was about this subject. Before I knew it, my speech was over and I received glowing feedback from my peers. The good feedback really helped make me feel more secure about my public speaking. Now I know that next time, my body may still react nervously as always, but I’ll be more confident knowing that public speaking really is not that bad.

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