Happy 22nd Birthday, Selena Marie Gomez! (July 22, 1992)

Selena Gomez attends the Ischia Global Film & Music Festival on July 18, 2014

"I hope it’s okay that I take this opportunity to really just spend with you guys and tell you a little bit about my story. I’m not an activist, I haven’t changed the world or led a campaign. I’m here to just tell you my path so that you hopefully can take something away from it because I don’t like being honest with -this is the truth- I don’t like being honest with press and interviews. I like being honest with you, directly. Which is each and every one of you. ‘Cause I feel like I can and I’m just gonna start with the basics. So i’m 21 and my mom had me when she was 16 and i’m from Grand Prairie, Texas and she worked 4 jobs and completely dedicated her life into making mine better. So to me she IS the definition of a strong women and I love her so much because she’s taught me those values so much. I have been acting my entire life and I have known since I was first on Barney -you know that purple dinosaur that I hung out with- when I was 7 I wanted to be an actress and I wanted to live my dream and when I was 11 I had a casting director telling me that I wasn’t strong enough to carry my own show. And i’m sure all of you have been told that you don’t have what it takes and that you may not be good enough and you don’t have enough people supporting you and you’re being told all of these things when deep down it’s all you want to do, you wanna be a part of something greatYOU wanna make something great. And it does more than knock the wind out of you it CRUSHES you when people try to tell you that you’re not good enough. And it almost did for me but there was my mom, next to me, stronger than ever. And she said the most important thing is to always trust in myself. If i’m doing something because I love it…I should do it because I love it and I believe I can do it. So she told me to keep going and taught me to turn the other cheek and let the critics be critics and let us just trust ourselves. You inspire me to be better. We should inspire each other to be better. I’m surround by people who are supposed to guided me and some of them have and others haven’t. They pressure me. There’s so much pressure.You gotta be sexy, cute, you gotta be nice, you gotta be all these things. They tell me what to wear, how to look, what I should say, how I should be. Until recently, I had given into that pressure. I lost sight of who I wasI listened to opinions of people and I tried to change who I am because I thought that others would accept me for it. And I realized that I don’t know how to be anything but myself. And all I really want you to know is that YOU ARE CHANGING THE WORLD. I’m not changing the world, you’re changing the world and that’s amazing. Please, please just be kind to each other and love and inspire people. The most important thing is that we learn and we continue to learn from each other. Please stay true to yourself. Please just remain who you are. And know that we have each others back. All of us have each others back. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never tried to make myself better by giving in because I have. But I’ve learned from my actions. And for all the things I’ve done I’m proudest of that. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I want you to know that i know what it’s like…figuring out what types of friends you have. You are who you surround yourself with. So I just wanna say I hope I can inspire each and every one of you to just trust yourselves and to love and to be loved. And thank you for allowing me to come up [on stage] and ramble and talk to you guys because this is such a beautiful thing you’re doing. Be proud of yourselves. This is great. Thank you so much for the opportunity for me to come out here and share my story with you guys.”