What 20-something star does cringe-worthy, child-like cuddles with her grandparents aboard a private jet while flying to Disneyland? And then posts the pictures… The answer is (of course) Selena Gomez. There is a lot of fog and mystery surrounding Selena Gomez’s childhood. What we do know is that Selena’s mom Mandy, gave birth to the superstar in 1992 in a Dallas suburb called Grand Prairie, when she was only 16-years-old. We also know that Selena’s father was Ricky Joel Gomez, and that her mom and dad divorced when she was just 5-years-old. The official story goes something like this: Selena was a poor, but hard working, girl next door who miraculously made it into the big time; The American Dream. And, for the most part, Selena Gomez, her family and those who manage her millions continue to spout that mantra. How her poor young teenage mother Mandy, divorced from Ricky Gomez, sacrificed everything for her. How the young Selena yearned for the spotlight. And how she grew into a balanced, caring and giving, not to mention talented, young woman. Let’s not forget rich.
Is it all true? In a word: No. 20-something Selena may want it to be true. But much of what we know about her early and teenage years simply point to an ambitious mother, a mother who reportedly entered Selena into beauty contests from the age of four. A mother whose show business career never happened and who used Selena’s fame and fortune to establish herself as an agent and producer. In fact, the whole family “used” Selena and have for a long, long time. Her father used his young daughter to help him pick up girls. And now? His parents blab to the tabloids and leak cute kid pictures of her every time a sensational Selena story hits. And what about the cousin who has delusions of grandeur? The truth? Reportedly, Selena grew up angry about her parents’ divorce. Some say she was an isolated loner, prone to mood swings. And by the time she was 9-years old, she was a TV star and by 14 or 15, she was rubbing elbows with noted Disney pot-smoking delinquents such as Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus.
15. The Depression And Mood Swings Go Way Back
Think back over the years of Selena Gomez-watching. There has been the smiling, friendly Selena, willing to engage with fans and sign autographs. But sometimes, there has been the (literally) hiding-under-a-blanket-in-public Selena. The erratic Selena who falls out with her BFF of the moment. It goes way, way back: Before she even hit 1st grade she was reportedly angry and blaming her mother for the divorce from her dad. And, as in the case of that famous meltdown, Britney Spears, there has sometimes been talk of her mother being granted the right to control Selena’s affairs, “out of necessity”. Meaning that Selena is not capable herself. The most recent rumor came as Serena entered rehab yet again at the end of 2016. No, the stories of addictions, mood swings, tears over not much, erratic behavior and outbursts go way back. Before rehab, before Justin, before the Lupus diagnosis, the young Selena struggled.
14. The Family That She Lost
You’ll have to admit, even as a baby Selena Gomez was stunning. Grand Prairie, Texas is a small community and so in 1991/92 when Amanda Dawn (“Mandy”) Cornett found herself pregnant at 15, there must have been talk. And the father? One Ricardo (“Ricky”) Gomez. So, they “had” to get married? Probably. Both mother and father were still in high school and the news must have come as a blow to Mandy’s adoptive parents David and Debbie Cornett. After Selena’s birth in July of 1992, there are a few cute family pictures and then it starts getting a little fuzzy. Apparently, Mandy and Ricky went on to graduate from high school and, according to Gomez’s parents, both worked hard to make ends meet. But teenage parenthood in small-town Texas is not for wimps. By 1997, the couple divorced. It had a huge impact on Selena. And not for the good.
13. The Young Selena Was Very Angry
Does this child look happy? No? She’s about to be propelled, some say pushed, into show business. Plus, it’s hard when you are 5-years-old and your parents split up. And Selena Gomez has gone public saying that she blamed her mother (and maybe her ambitions for herself and Selena?) for the split. It reminds some of that famous momager Kris Jenner. And for a while, an angry young girl vented on her mom. But as is always the case in the Mandy-Selena universe, Selena soon began spouting her mother’s line about sacrificing everything for her daughter. Some uncharitable souls have also reported that mother Mandy also made a point of driving a wedge between Selena (and her growing show business income) and her father, feeding her young daughter the story that Ricky had deserted them. Which, reportedly, is just not true. What kind of mom would do that? Read on.
12. The Dysfunctional World Of Disney
Selena’s first Hollywood BFF was Demi Lovato, with whom she starred in Barney & Friends. That was when the two were around 9 or 10-years-old. For a time, they seemed joined at the hip and inseparable. Then, in between Barney and Wizards of Waverly Place, Selena worked alongside Miley Cyrus on Hannah Montana. Now, the thing is that both Demi and Miley were into “stuff” from a very early age. They were a kind of s*x and drug rolling act. Demi self-harmed, was bulimic and drank and drank and then drank some more and an underage Miley “dated” a 20-something actor her dad introduced her to. Are we to believe Selena hung out with the likes of Demi and Miley and remained “pure”? Well, that’s what Selena’s “people” say. Some wonder.
11. A Childhood Full Of Worry Inside Disney
A glossy, happy shot of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody child stars. Let’s face it, all the stories of the “wholesome” Disney universe are just such b*****it. And by the time she was 14 or 15-years-old, Selena was rubbing elbows with bulimic Demi Lovato and pot smoking Miley Cyrus. Mouseketeers were trading s*x tips and experimenting with booze and drugs. That was “the norm”. And it was as far away from Grand Prairie, Texas as a girl could get. But that artificial world, driven by social media and public opinion that can shift in the blink of an eye, was where Selena grew up. Reportedly, the very young Selena worried a lot. Worried about what Disney thought. Worried about her fans’ reaction to a new haircut. And that bizarre artificial world is all the little girl from Texas knows. She couldn’t go back to normal, even if she tried. And the tragedy? Some, like Miley Cyrus, seem to thrive, while the Selenas of this world struggle. The problems started back then.
10. Marry Demi Lovato, But…
A while back, singing heartthrob Nick Jonas played a game of “marry, f*ck, kill” concerning Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus, all of whom were former girlfriends. Who would he marry? Demi, of course. Who would he f*ck? Selena. Who would he “kill” (i.e., leave)? That’s a no-brainer: Miley.
Way back in 2009, the teenage Jonas briefly dated a 17-year-old Selena. Now Nick has gone on record saying how important s*x is to him. So, many wonder, despite denials from Selena’s underage camp. Before that, Selena stepped out with Twilight star Taylor Lautner. And after those two came Justin Bieber, who has also publicly stated he wanted to f*ck Selena since he was 15-years-old. Now, the thing is, virtually all the child stars who grew up with Selena admit the booze and drugs and s*x thing when they were underage, leaving Selena (and good old Ariana Grande) to deny even a hint of wrongdoing. We (and the world) wonder about that one…
9. Guilt Trip: My Mom Sacrificed Her Life For Me (Or Not)
We’re back to Selena’s wonderful, All-American, loving family. Or maybe not. The stuff the family puts out about Mandy’s sacrificing everything for the sake of young Selena sounds great, until you look at the real story. The truth? Ricky and Mandy didn’t split up until 1997 when Selena was 5-years-old and by 2001/2002, she was treading the boards in Barney & Friends. And what followed after Barney was a steady stream of TV and movie appearances. So, the 3rd grader was the main breadwinner. Plus pictures of Selena and her dad after the divorce indicate that he was still part of their lives. Some say the “I sacrificed my life for you” is a way of making certain that Selena felt obliged to her mom. A kinder take? Mandy long ago realized Selena’s fragility and wanted to keep her close, in effect, making Selena’s money her money, too.
8. The Stunning Actress Wannabe Becomes A Pushy Stage Mother?
Mandy’s acting ambitions focused on nearby Dallas. Plus, early on she had big plans for little Selena. The sanitized version of Selena’s childhood is that she wanted to be like her mom and shine. Or maybe not. Some sources say that Mandy’s ambition for the limelight was a cause of the break-up of her marriage to Ricky Gomez and paint a different image of a stunning young woman with a burning ambition to be in show business, who would drag her daughter all around Dallas from audition to audition and from play to play. Now, let’s face it, Dallas, Texas in the 1990s was a booming oil town, but hardly a center of cultural excellence or, for that matter, paid acting gigs. So, working the Dallas scene meant mom Mandy probably did some turns in local (unpaid) theater and maybe the odd turn in a visiting show. Not steady income by any stretch of the imagination. Enter Barney and Disney and child stardom.
7. Selena: Bullied And Alone?
School was not a happy place for Selena. By all accounts, she was a bit of a loner who kept herself to herself. After all, from an early age, she was a budding actress and therefore “different” from the rest of the kids in her small school in Grand Prairie, Texas. So, she kept her head down and got on with her work. Reports are that she didn’t like school, was bullied and asked to be home-schooled. She has said that her cousin, one Priscilla De Leon, who was what Selena wasn’t (a cheerleader and one of the “in crowd”) protected her. Then TV and movies and that Disney hothouse. Goodbye Priscilla. Hello Demi and Miley and Nick and Justin… She didn’t grow up in the “normal” world. She grew up in show business. And Priscilla? Some say she never lets anyone forget that she is Number One cousin to a star.
6. Her Dad Used Her To Pick Up Girls
Cute, father-daughter picture of former star of Barney strikes a cute pose for a cute, happy family snap? Ricky looks natural. Selena seems to be acting. Ricky Gomez was (and is) a nice looking guy. He was a young 20-something when he and Mandy divorced and both became small-town Texas singles. Exposingsmg.com claims that mama Mandy attempted to distance Selena and her money from daddy Ricky. Seems Selena’s money became “our” money as far as Mandy was concerned. But Ricky was still around. There are a few cute pictures of Selena and Ricky taken at father-daughter dinners. This one was in 2004, near the end of her stint on Barney, when she moved from the preschool crowd to school-age fans. And then there are those stories of how Ricky realized having a cute, cute little daughter in tow helped him pick up waitresses at that wholesome American institution, Hooters. Now Selena, smile sweetly and hold onto daddy’s arm…
5. Just What Did Her Mom And Step-Dad Do?
Selena’s step-father Brian Teefey, has admitted he learned “the business” by managing his step-daughter. In fact, neither Brian nor Mandy Teefey appear to have done anything else since they married in 2006. By that time, 14-year-old Selena was doing her star turn in Disney shows like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. And Teefey’s LH7 agency managed and earned their income from Selena and a few others, most notably Christine Grimmie, The Voice singer who was shot and killed early in 2016. One online biography of Mandy states that “she used her own money” to set up her July Moon Productions. The truth? It was Selena’s money that did the deed. After all, Mandy had sacrificed everything for Selena. Or not…
4. Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed?
Selena’s grandparents speak and speak and speak about her. No. Not the ones on the private jet, but Ricky’s parents Ricardo and Mary Gomez. First thing to note: They weren’t on that jet. Second thing to note: They seem to pop us for their 15 of fame every time something bad happens in Selena’s life. Radar Online carried their latest revelations concerning Justin, rehab and the like. The story is headlined, “Little Girl Lost” and while it is polite about Mandy and Brian Teefey, it reveals a few home truths in the debate of whether Selena jumped into the limelight or was pushed: According to Ricardo, Selena’s mom entered her in a modeling competition when she was 4-years-old. And she beat out 400 others to win. Ricardo and Mary even posed with a copy of the preschooler wearing her crown. And then the story cuts to the chase. And we quote: “But was it what she really wanted? When the offer for her gig on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place came in around the age of 13, ‘She cried so much all that night because she didn’t want to go [to L.A.]'”. Ricardo told her it was up to her. That’s so totally not true. She was pushed.
3. Why Did She Fire Her Parents?
In 2014, 22-year-old Selena Gomez blindsided her loving mother and step-father and fired them as her manager/agent. Let’s go back to Ricardo and Mary. According to granddad, Selena was feeling the pressure in 2013, cancelling tour dates and entering rehab. And Justin didn’t help. Plus mom had “encouraged” her to make the “R-Rated” Spring Breakers. Reportedly filming scenes where she played a drunk, bikini-wearing party-hard girl was not easy for our Selena. And then in 2014, wham! She fires her parents. The first they heard of it was when the deed had already been done and she was signing with somebody else. A (probably) gloating Ricardo says the Teefeys are working on “other” projects. Of course, in public it is all happy families and nothing personal. So, now mom has more time to focus on “her” production company, July Moon?
2. Meltdown A Long Time Coming
It’s hard to find a normal little girl picture of the young Selena. This is one. So, we come (almost) to the end of Selena’s non-childhood. A childhood where she was “encouraged” to perform and smile for the camera and pretend to be all sweetness and light, even when she was old enough to vote and drink and do all sorts of other things. A childhood filled with a momager who many think pushed her. A father, grandparents and family who cling to her fame and claim their 15 in the spotlight. Now Selena is calling her friendship with Taylor Swift toxic. And what of Demi Lovato? Not long ago she posted and then took down a very telling comment many think referred to Selena: “Swimming away from the bulls**t… bye b*tch”. They have grown apart. Or, another way of looking at it is that both are now trapped in lives that resemble trainwrecks or car crashes. Many think there are more trainwrecks ahead for both of the troubled young stars.
1. Would She Have Been Happier If…
Now, there are some “stars” you can’t imagine not being rich and famous. Take Miley Cyrus or the Kardashians. They were made for the limelight. But the more time goes on, the clearer it is that Selena Gomez has not thrived on the pressure, the worries, the constant demands. She was an angry child who resented her mother, who at the age of 13 cried when her big Disney break came. And she (probably) grew into a young adult who resented her mother. And when Selena says she still just feels like a girl from Texas, that is probably true. The only problem is that she is now a cash cow, a money spinner for record labels, TV and movies. Eight out of ten of the most liked Instagram pictures of 2016 are hers. Yet, it’s hard to tell if her brief hiatus from the entertainment world is a move forward or whether she is headed for another car crash. She would be better off chucking the limelight. But don’t hold your breath.