Selena Gomez joined her mom and other key players in the Netflix series “Thirteen Reasons Why” for a panel conversation on Wednesday. The group discussed what went into making the show and why they think it’s so important. The drama about a teenager’s suicide and how her classmates react seemed to weigh on everyone’s mind, especially Selena’s. She had a lot to say about the ways she related to the lead character.
“Whether it was just kids or growing up in the biggest high school in the world, which was the Disney Channel, it was also adults that had the audacity to tell me how I should live my life,” Selena said. She explained that she thinks the new Netflix show has a message that teenagers will listen to because they want and need to hear it.
“I think this is what they need to see,” she explained. “We’re not going to post things that are like ‘Hey, be empowered!’ because that’s not what they want to see. Unfortunately, kids don’t care, they don’t care. They have to see something that’s going to shake them. They have to see something that’s frightening.” Selena wants to be there to shake and frighten them because, as she said, “I would do anything to be able to have a good influence on this generation and it’s hard.”
Selena also explained how she hopes to use her high profile to help the series get some attention. She shared being vulnerable with her fans convinced her a project like this was exactly what kids need.
“I never wanted to seem like I had it all together ever,” Selena said. “They trust me with what they’re going through because I think they understand that I’m very honest and whether I like or not, people have seen a lot of my mistakes. I have to use that as a good thing.”
Selena said her public embarrassments have helped build trust with her fans. Selena also noted that making something real was her way to fight back against the images people see on social media.
“It’s hard. It’s hard right now,” she said. “I can’t stand social media, I can’t stand what they’re looking at, I can’t stand what they think is reality. And this show is as real as it can possibly get. There are 17-year-olds who look older than me,” she continued. “That freaks me out. I had pigtails in my hair at 17. It’s a very real thing.”
Watch the entire panel with Selena, her mom and more of the cast and crew behind “Thirteen Reasons Why” below.
(Photo credit: Netflix US & Canada Instagram account)