In March 2018, Selena Gomez found herself fronting newspapers in a situation she likely wanted kept private. Her split from Justin Bieber was fresh press, and everyone wanted in on this story.
Justin Bieber now comes with a #Married. His whirlwind romance with Hailey Baldwin updated itself in late 2018– "My wife is awesome" was The Biebs's IG caption. Unlike Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, these two actually went through with it.
Selena Gomez is the down-to-earth, fuss-free celeb who couldn't be farther from a Kardashian. While Kylie Jenner rolls around in Lamborghinis with a glam squad on-tap, Selena is the kind of girl to just wing it. "Usually by day four is when I absolutely have to wash it," she told Allure about her hair.
Selena and Justin were one of the most high-profile couples between 2009 and 2018. A three-month stint, this was not. "On again," "off again" summed up these two as their fame grew (along with everyone's interest). Then again, Seventeen called this relationship "more complicated than Ap Calc." No kidding.
"Selena started seeing the bigger picture when it came to their relationship," a source told Us Weekly after the split. A "bigger picture" is precisely what Selena has been gaining since she's become solo. While Ariana Grande has overtaken Selena as the most-followed person on IG, Selena has hardly faded into the background.
More stable, more grounded, and more beautiful than ever, here are 25 pics of Selena Gomez since her split from Justin Bieber.
25 Brave Enough To Go #NoMakeUp
March 2018 is the timeframe we're looking at here. Selena and Justin had tried to make their relationship work for nearly 10 years, but things just weren't working out. As celeb splits go, this one was unusual. Mostly, you'll find the girl hiding out in her digs and avoiding the paparazzi-filled streets.
"She feels more empowered than ever and is looking forward to this next chapter,"
US Weekly reported. Brave enough to step out without a scrap of makeup, Selena had the strength to bare all. Then again, Selena never had anything to hide.
24 But Slaying The Style
Something about Selena Gomez's style is spot on. In the way you can't quite place your finger on. Less about the Louis Vuitton monogram and more about being herself, Selena's wardrobe is topping Steal Her Style's pages for a reason. Selena told Elle:
"I feel like when I dress up for a workout, I’m also dressing to what I’m trying to reach, like a goal. So if I’m going to wear a baggy shirt and be tomboyish then I’ll go in that way. If I’m coming in more delicate, with the tights and stuff, then I’ll want to do Pilates.”
23 'I Think It's Important For Girls To Know The Strength In Their Identity'
Selena never set out to carve out a career being "someone else." You won't see Nicki Minaj/Kylie Jenner/Cardi B extensions on this girl. For Selena, “I think it’s important for girls to know the strength in everything, their identity and their soul, lies within themselves." Speaking to Elle, Selena said it how it is. Identity is everything.
The Coach campaign that came after the split didn't see this girl posing in unrealistic surroundings. It was just Selena with her face scrunched up.
22 'I Go Through Weird Ups And Downs'
It's called the tub of Haagen-Dazs. Everyone has their downs. Selena told Elle:
“I get really insecure sometimes, I go through weird ups and downs, but in general I just want people to wear what they feel comfortable in."
This pic appeared on Selena's IG in 2019 after her extended social media break. Downs she may have, but this girl will always have her friends to bring her back up. Wait, no. Selena is strong enough to get there on her own.
21 BOOM: Selena X Puma
Sports brands have definitely undergone a revamp. Having a celeb face is the new way to promote. Ariana Grande, Gal Gadot, and Gigi Hadid are fronting Reebok. Kendall Jenner is an Adidas partner. The Rock's Under Armour shoes basically sell out the minute they're for sale.
Selena is now the face of PUMA. Instead of flaunting unattainable muscles, it's the balanced lifestyle and personal strength that are making this promo's face shine. They literally couldn't have picked a better person.
20 There's Something So Very 'Non-Kardashian' About This Girl
We might be crushing on the Kardashian-Jenners, but let's remember that doing so comes with a compromise– you're going to be crushing on fakery. False hair, nails, and lashes sum these girls up, but Selena is a different breed.
Kylie Jenner would never allow herself to be caught out in a moment like this. Selena? She seems less fussed. Amazingly, in an era where everyone from Cardi B to Blac Chyna is copying the Kardashians, Selena continues to stand out for being, well, herself.
19 But Her Friends Are In High Places
"What happened to Taylor Swift's Squad?" In Style actually ran this headline as an article in 2018. The squad queen who seems to be ruling Hollywood may have replaced some of her members, but Selena is still in.
"I'd like to consider myself an OG [member],"
Selena told Carpool Karaoke's James Corden. This pic of Selena with Tay-Tay came after the split. Power women hang tight in Hollywood, but with these two, it just feels like two regular besties. #Goals
18 She Needed 'Time To Heal'
It isn't all fun and games. A major split is going to mean some heartache, and heartache takes time to heal. It also isn't easy to see the ex frolicking around with a new girl.
"Heartbroken" was The Daily Mail's description of Selena as Justin and Hailey Baldwin flaunted their romance. Still, the newspaper reports that Selena took "time to herself" after the split to heal. Selena didn't go on talk shows and make a ton of money from it. She stepped back, gained some perspective, and grew stronger.
17 But Maintains 'You're Not Alone'
You can be the most popular girl in the world and still feel alone. It's the admission you'll hear from the former Prom Queen (whom you were totally jealous of back in the day). 15 years later, she'll admit: "You know what? I felt totally alone in high school."
Selena doesn't come with a solid squad. She told Elle: "I’m going to say: I’m trying the best I can and that’s what you can do too—just try the best that you can, and it’s hard. And you’re not alone." It's the last sentence that's the most important here.
16 Doesn't Care What She Wears 'As Long As You Feel Good About Yourself'
A lot of celebrities these days seem to be putting their names to brands (with little evidence of their actual input). When Selena collaborated with PUMA for a collection that reflected herself and empowered women, she came with her reasons, as she told Elle.
"As long as you feel good about yourself, you should wear what you feel like wearing. I wanted it to feel like you had options. So the jumpsuit isn’t maybe that practical to do a run in, but it would be good to maybe take a walk." And you wonder why everyone wants this gear.
15 Needed A Break From Social Media, Took It
Leave social media at this level, and you stand to lose a lot. With Yahoo's report that Kylie Jenner can earn up to $1 million per IG post, it isn't rocket science. Leave IG and you stand to lose followers, endorsement chances, and people "forgetting you."
In 2018, Selena took an extended social media break. She was, at the time, the most-followed person on the platform. "Update: taking a social media break. Again," she wrote. The post currently sits at over nine million likes.
14 Returned (And Gained Another Million Followers)
In January 2019, Selena broke her social media silence. After months of not updating her IG, a simple black and white photo appeared on Selena's IG account. She gained around a million followers after this post.
"It’s been awhile [sic] since you have heard from me, but I wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and to thank you for your love and support. Last year was definitely a year of self-reflection, challenges and growth. It’s always those challenges which show you who you are and what you are capable of overcoming."
13 It's Always Chill With This Girl
Hang out with Selena, and you're in for a pretty chilled affair. When Vogue knocked on Selena's door for their 73 questions, we saw her walking around her bleached-wood floors folding towels. Glistening marbles and glam rooms are reserved for different ladies in Hollywood.
Selena is also pretty good at sharing pics of herself with non-famous people. It doesn't always have to be Taylor Swift. When Selena went on Carpool Karaoke in 2018, she took James Corden on a rollercoaster (before grabbing McDonald's).
12 The Biebs? Literally, 'Thank U, Next'
"Thank U, Next" seems applicable to quite a few ladies right now. Ariana Grande may have coined the phrase, but this #Single girl is now joined by Lady Gaga and Khloe Kardashian.
Flaunting being single in an aggressive way isn't Selena's style. Then again, nor is hiding out at home. With a perfect balance of the two, Selena took her single status, made it neither a flaw nor an asset, and everyone loved her just that little bit more for it.
11 Knows The Value Of Friendship
In 2017, Selena told Time that she has a "few" close friends. The girl who seems to have it all isn't selective on a competitive level– for Selena, it's about finding true friendships with meaning.
“I have like three good friends that I can tell everything to, but I know everyone. I go anywhere and I’m like: Hey guys, how’s it going?"
In Hollywood, you watch your back. People literally want to be your friend for a chance to appear on your IG. Picking them is a tricky business. Precisely why this girl chooses the loyal and best ones.
10 Wants To 'Encourage Women' (Doing A Good Job)
International Women's Day in 2019 brought the biggest #GirlPower we've seen from celebrity IG. Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Miley Cyrus all posted empowering pics and captions. The day may only come once a year, but it's a year-round deal for Selena.
When Elle interviewed Selena about her PUMA range, they used the word "empower" in the headline. Why? You only need to look at pics like these of Selena. She's in the street, she's low-key, and yet, everything about her is empowering.
9 Not One To Sit At Home And Mope
Oh, this girl can glam it up. Jeans and tees may be the default wardrobe for Selena during the day, but invite this girl to a party, and she'll dress for the occasion. Well, it's more likely to be Selena throwing the party (but it won't be in a club).
This sizzling pic of Selena appeared after Justin was out of her life for good. The friends are there. The attitude is there. Sitting and crying into a tub of ice-cream isn't Selena's style.
8 Balenciaga Mama
Make no mistake. While you'll see endless affordable items on Steal Her Style (the Selena Gomez section), this girl knows her brands. You'll never see Selena dripping in Versace– more likely, it's the simple Versace hoodie you just saw.
"Balenciaga Mama" is the Cardi B lyric that has become a total phrase. Kim K posts pics of North West in Balenciaga boots. Wearing the luxury Spanish brand here, Selena looked sleek, stylish, feminine, and classy beyond belief. Also, how does she do it? Flats and sweats? Well, they are Gucci loafers.
7 The Post-Rehab Hike
The early pics of Selena following a rehab stint after the Justin split gave us a healthy picture. Selena was spotted hiking in the LA foothills, and everything about her looked healthy. She told Elle:
"I mean, all of my friends have way different body types. It’s beautiful. I don’t have friends that are all the same [shape] or anything. I understand women’s bodies more from my friends, because of the way that they dress and what fits them."
It doesn't sound canned. It isn't generic. This girl's balanced mentality is so spot on, we wish more people would employ it.
6 'I Don't Really Limit Myself'
"No limits." It's a workout phrase you'll hear from the likes of The Rock. For Selena, this phrase takes an interesting turn. It applies to everything, but not in a reckless way. She told Elle:
"I love being inspired by art, by music, by movies. I don’t really limit myself. I think I just like to do the things that make me feel good." With the pressure of social media, girls are increasingly limiting themselves. They "must" look this way. They "must" update at least twice a day. Take a leaf out of this girl's book.
5 Raw Beauty We Can't Get Enough Of
There's a reason magazines line up at the door to interview Selena. They want to know her shampoo, her eyeliner, and just how she manages to look this good using very little of either.
"Absolutely by day four" is when Selena has to wash her hair, as per her Allure interview. With a raw beauty that steers clear of heavy-set powders and highlighters, Selena is about staying natural. This post-split pic was just another example of it. Some things will never change with this girl.
4 The Coach Campaign That Wasn't Pushy
Nailing a campaign these days is hard work. Kendall Jenner's Pepsi ad kind of proved that one. While some go wrong, others sell, but there's still a pushy feel. The surroundings will be OTT. The cars and prestigious Paris location shoots look glamorous, but basically, they're intimidating.
Selena is the face of the luggage giant, Coach. This promo is what we'll call "done well." It was chilled. Nobody was parading around on Venice's bridges. It also totally makes us want to buy a Coach bag (um, kinda the point).
3 Literally, What We Want To Wear All Day
In 2019, Selena updated her IG with something very relatable. It's called the satin PJs we basically wish we could live in 24/7. It's a look that Kylie also went for as she launched Kylie Cosmetics at Ulta, but please– enough of the Kylie spotlight already.
Selena didn't seem to be wearing much makeup here. It literally looked like something we'd totally pick up at Victoria's Secret, then wear every single night (and weekend). Hailey Baldwin might come with Versace monograms, but simple does it for Selena.
2 Has An Auto-Immune Disease, Donates Right To It
Health is no joking matter for this girl. It isn't about switching to gluten-free. With the auto-immune disease, Lupus, Selena fights a daily battle. In 2017, she underwent a full kidney transplant. Where the money with PUMA goes?
"Decided to come to Germany to meet my @puma family and THANK THEM and THANK YOU for my first shoe collab being sold out!! also for every shoe you bought, you gave to the lupus alliance foundation a donation!" Yup, the girl gives back.
1 No Words For This Girl, #SelenaForever
In a way, we just don't have words. Selena dated Justin. She dated The Weeknd. Not once did this girl lose her identity. This is no Kim Kardashian turning into a Yeezy muse. Selena Gomez is one of the most grounded, iconic, relaxed, beautiful, and inspiring women on the planet.
We gave her 25 pics because 20 just wasn't enough. In a teeny tiny way, we're hoping she sees this, but we're totally cool if she doesn't. Justin has moved on, but we'll never move on from Selena Gomez.
Sources: US Weekly, Allure, Elle, Vogue, Time