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    Selena Gomez’s “rehab” rumors reveal a predatory media


    From “Wizards of Waverly Place” to “Spring Breakers,” Selena Gomez has been a face in the entertainment industry for years. Not only has she taken on the television and film industry, but she has also released Billboard-topping pop hits. Her success was evident, especially during a huge world tour for her album in 2013, but when the star cancelled the last leg in Australia and Asia many people were confused as to why. Fans were even more confused when she checked into rehab in late 2013 and stayed until early 2014. Rumors of problems with substance abuse floated around in weekly gossip columns, but no one really knew what she was going through. She also began to gain weight, which caused a lot of people to take notice, and worse, many began body shaming her.


    This story is a classic case of the media interpreting what something looks like and morphing it into what they think people will want to read and buy. It turns out that Selena did not have a substance abuse problem. She had lupus. Lupus is a disease of the immune system that causes fibrosis tissue and inflammation of internal organs, skin rashes and joint pain. Her treatments included chemotherapy, which is known for making weight harder to keep off. This is possibly why she was getting so much hate from the media — because she was being treated for a disease she had no control over.


    When I first read that Selena had lupus, I had no idea what the disease was. I was interested enough to go online and discovered that it is incurable, but it can be treated. She is one of up to three million people diagnosed with the disease in the U.S. every year. This is a relatively common disease that affects women about 78% more than men. Scientists believe that hormones have something to do with the heightened influence on women. Selena getting diagnosed with lupus and openly announcing it to the world was not only brave, but almost unheard of. It is rare that celebrities are as open as she was about her disease, especially considering hers is life-threatening .


    The media takes stories like this and twist them into something that will make them more money. As an aspiring journalist, I believe that this is shameful. The main goal of the media should not be to make money, but to give an outlet for the public to find out what is happening in the world. There should not be falsified accounts of anything, but this is often seen in entertainment media. In entertainment, people tend to only read about something if it’s controversial and scandalous  . The inflated nature of the media has lessened over the years, but this form of yellow journalism is still an issue. Journalists have the responsibility to tell the public the truth,and rumors should not be taken as fact.


    Selena’s story has had an influence on many important issues in today’s media, the body shaming being one of the most problematic. Everyone has insecurities, but when someone else brings them to the surface, it just enhances the discomfort and loss of confidence. For Selena, going through a life-threatening illness and chemotherapy, this must have been hard to take. But a recent Instagram post, “I love being happy with me y’all #theresmoretolove,” shows that her confidence is contagious and is a great example for people everywhere. Selena also released a new album the day after her public announcement named “Revival”. Her success with the album will hopefully show the body shamers how she dealt with the negative press and is overcoming the hardship of her diagnosis.


    Photo courtesy of Flickr:


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    Selena Gomez’s “rehab” rumors reveal a predatory media