It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Selena Gomez has been in the spotlight for as long as she can remember. Fans fell in love with her character, Alex Russo, on Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place, but that was hardly her breakout role. Sel has been acting since she was just 7 years old, making her debut on Barney & Friends in 2002. Being a child star, and, eventually, a Disney Channel star, came with its own unique set of challenges. Gomez not only faced fame at an early age, but she had to grapple with navigating it while the world watched. So, it’s understandable Selena Gomez's quotes about being a Disney Channel star are, well, complicated.
Gomez has acknowledged she’s still grateful for her time on the Disney Channel despite the challenges it brought. “Disney is a machine, and I’m grateful for it,” she told the New York Times in 2013. However, even with all the gratitude in the world, she can admit it was an imperfect situation.
Gomez has spoken out about the difficulties she faced as a child star (many times) and she didn’t hold back. These quotes about Gomez’s experience as a Disney Channel star prove how tough life in the spotlight can be.
1. On Lack Of Privacy
“For a while, I felt like an object,” Gomez told Elle magazine in August 2021. “It felt gross for a long time.”
2. On The Naivety Of Being A Child Star
"I signed my life away to Disney at a very young age and I didn't know what I was doing,” she said at the TCA Summer Tour in 2021. “When I was a kid, I didn't know what I was doing... I was just running around on set and now I just feel like a sponge, and I soak up all the wisdom that I can."
3. On Losing Out On Childhood
“Working since I was 7, being away from my family, moving from Texas to [LA], experiencing fame, being confused by what that means, trying to grow up, being in such a weird position where people are actually caring and being awkward because you’re growing up — I think I was scared of it and I probably hated most of it,” she told The Zach Sang Show in October 2019.
4. On The Darker Side Of The Industry
“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,” she told Business of Fashion in September 2017.
5. On Accepting The Good & Bad
"It was a blessing," she said when reflecting on her Disney days with People magazine. "It was beautiful and tragic. It was everything that every teen goes through, just on a bigger scale. It literally was like high school.”