Selena Gomez Is Thankful For The Way Her Mother Raised Her

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Singer and actress Selena Gomez shares why she’s thankful for the way her mom raised her, how she deals with negativity and how her personality has changed in the last five years.

Selena sits down with Glamour magazine, who selected her as one of their Women of the Year for 2012.

On looking back at how her mom raised her and if she feels grateful: “[Nods] Uh-huh! I definitely didn’t appreciate it when I was little. I was frustrated that my parents weren’t together, and never saw the light at the end of the tunnel where my mom was working hard to provide a better life for me. I’m terrified of what I would have become if I’d stayed there. I’m sure I’d have two children by now. But I love the people, and I’m glad I grew up there. It’s because of [my mom] that I can do things on my own. I like being professional. I like showing up on time. I like being good to people, and I know that I’m reflecting her at the end of the day.”

On her most eye-opening moments as UNICEF’s youngest-ever U.S. ambassador: “When I went to Ghana with my mom and my stepdad for UNICEF. That entire trip was life changing. There were kids playing with plastic bottles— they got a bunch of rubber bands and put the bottles together and made a soccer ball—and that was their entertainment; they were so happy! If you think how we live our lives here, we need so much to keep us entertained, and we expect so much. And these kids want an education so badly. I mean, I hated homework, and they want it; it’s amazing. I also participated in the Global Poverty Project’s Live Below the Line campaign, where I lived on $1.50 a day for a week—such a cool experience.”

On if her 15-year-old self would be surprised at what her life looks like now: “Yeah, because I was so scared and so shy back then. I mean, I grew up in one of the biggest high schools in the world, and that’s the Disney Channel. Everybody was falling in love with each other or not liking each other, and it was exhausting…and I was the shy one in the corner. And now I’m so opinionated, and I don’t have time for the cattiness. I have good people around me, and I’m glad I’m at the place I’m in. I wish I was there back then.”

On not letting negativity affect her: “If I had let all of the negative stuff affect me, I don’t think I would be satisfied with the person I am now. That’s what I tell my fans: If you’re miserable with everything going on in school, that is so not going to matter the moment you leave. My mom always told me, “Just turn the other cheek and keep moving forward.” That’s something I’ve always done, and now I look back and I have no regrets.”

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Photos:Ellen von Unwerth,courtesy of Glamour