“Let me make a promise. I’ll only tell you my darkest secrets,” Gomez said in the opening sequence of her documentary. Selena Gomez: My mind and I, which released on November 4th on Apple TV+. The documentary, which spans six years from 2016 to 2022, follows Gomez’s raw journey of self-discovery as she struggles with fame, lupus and, most importantly, mental health. Your film is not a publicity tactic; Instead, it’s an exploration of Gomez’s complex character. My mind & I Inspires viewers not by presenting Gomez as the gold standard of fame and fortune, but by showing how human it is to be locked in a cycle of hurt and healing.
Gomez, 30, began professional acting with a role in Barney landed an executive role at Disney’s at the age of seven Wizards of Waverly Place at the age of 13 and continued to act in countless films and develop a thriving music career. She is currently starring in Hulu’s Only murders in the building and even launched her own makeup brand, Rare Beauty, in 2020. But filmmaker Alek Keshishian rarely shows these triumphs of her career My mind & I and instead narrows the narrative around Gomez’s mental health.
Gomez’s struggles were no secret — the star has been open about her diagnosis of lupus and bipolar disorder, as well as her struggles with depression and anxiety. in the My mind & IAfter a woman on Gomez’s team told her there’s no shame in not sharing her bipolar diagnosis with the world because “that becomes the narrative,” Gomez quickly replies, “And I’m sure that means how.” , what – certain people or directors or something that might not want to work with me? But then why would I want to work with them at all?”
Gomez’s open and courageous willingness to share her story is overwhelming. Within the first 10 minutes of the documentary, Gomez collapses after a dress rehearsal for her 2016 Revival Tour. She tearfully exclaims that she didn’t sound right, look right, or feel right. It expresses what so many of us experience: self-doubt. The commonality of this incident is exactly why it fits perfectly into the film. In the digital age, so many of us wonder what it is right to share online. do you show the highlights The glitches? A woman who’s constantly in the spotlight, Gomez shows us it’s okay to be vulnerable, even in a movie watched by millions.
Gomez’s ability to relate sets a precedent for the rest of the film, as Gomez is typically portrayed as we “normal” people are. The documentary constantly paints Gomez in a natural state — she wears sweats, ties her hair back in a hair tie, and rarely wears a full face of makeup. This is in stark contrast to the typical image of a female pop star.
Keshishian rarely shows Gomez’s fame life, aside from short edited clips with flashing headlines, reporter voiceovers, and paparazzi cameras. These excerpts remind us of Gomez’s fame without placing us in it. Instead, the film focuses on Gomez’s interactions with people outside of the industry, such as her visits to her Texas hometown. My mind & I also weaves voiceovers of Gomez’s diary entries and childhood home videos into the film, adding a dimension so many documentaries lack. Gomez isn’t just the subject of a film—she’s given authorship of her own story.
My mind & I shows Gomez’ journey to the goal. This theme bridges the bonds between Gomez and viewers since so many of us stumble in search of meaning. In the film, Selena’s friend Raquelle tells her that she believes Gomez knows what her calling in life is, but she “doesn’t always choose to walk in it.” Selena is constantly emphasizing that she wants to make a difference in the mental health space, but we rarely see her taking any concrete steps. I kept feeling insecure – I longed for her words to be translated into action. Finally, I was partially satisfied with the film’s ending, as it recounted how Gomez created the Rare Impact Fund in 2020, which aims to raise $100 million in 10 years to provide mental health services in educational settings. While I’m happy with that ending, I would have liked to have seen more of Gomez’s more tangible journey to get there.
I have to admit that initially I found the film to be unbalanced. The documentary appeared to be a jumble of clips that Gomez found incoherently woven into a moving, clear story. Her 2016 revival tour and Kenya trip seemed to take up a lot of unnecessary space, a lack of footage between 2016 and 2019 and so much of her professional life being held back. But after watching the film as a whole, I have a new understanding and appreciation for it My mind & I. In one of her diary comments, Selena admits, “I’m still a work in progress. i am enough I’m Selena.” This film embodies the idea of a “work in progress” — it’s not a film designed to make you like Gomez or force you to understand her identity in its entirety. My mind & I combines normality with struggle, highlights human flaws and emphasizes that sometimes sharing the truth is the only path to healing. The documentary’s interruptions are what make it so charming.
Gomez shows us that you can have success and failure at the same time, and assures us that it’s okay to break down even if others don’t understand why. At the end of My mind & I, Gomez reiterates that her ultimate goal is to save the lives of others through any media at her disposal. Calling this film one of them is no exaggeration.
Gillian Lee is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]