Grand Prairie native Selena Gomez is one of 46 women included in Time magazine’s new Firsts project.
Unveiled on Thursday, the multimedia project spotlights trailblazing women who are changing the world and breaking ground in the fields of entertainment, science, business, politics and sports. Other honorees include Oprah Winfrey (the first women to produce her own talk show), Ilhan Omar (the first Somali-Muslim American to become a legislator) and Serena Williams (the first tennis player to win 23 Grand Slam singles in the open era).
Gomez, who first rose to fame starring as Alex Russo on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” is recognized as the first person to reach 100 million followers on Instagram. The pop singer currently has over 126 million Instagram followers and is known to use the social media platform to connect with her fans, as well as bring awareness to various social causes.
In her Time interview, Gomez opened up about the challenges of social media and the importance of authenticity in the digital age.
“I am glad I grew up in the time that I did,” Gomez told the magazine. “I think it’s really hard to be a kid now, especially with social media. I can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up with that. It’s already difficult to get up every day and just feel good about yourself without seeing the highlights of everyone else’s life. That’s why I like being vulnerable with my fans on social media. I like that they’ve seen my mistakes. I try to use that as a way to connect with them. That’s all I can do. I hope that they know that strength doesn’t mean that you have to put on a facade. Strength is being vulnerable.”
In other former Disney child star news, Dallas native Demi Lovato released her third single off her upcoming sixth studio album, “Tell Me You Love Me,” on Friday. The 25-year-old pop singer, who recently launched a second capsule collection with athleisure brand Fabletics, will be swinging into town on Sept. 9 for a meet-and-greet at the Legacy West Fabletics store in Plano.