May, 2014: New picture of Selena during her UNICEF trip to Nepal

@TigerTopsNepal:  #SelenaGomez at #tiger #tops with our #Chief #Naturalista Ram Din Mahato.

UNICEF ambassador Selena Gomez: Helping the children of Nepal changed me


You know Selena Gomez as the recording artist, the actress, the budding designer. What you may not know about Gomez (but should) is that the sweet pop star has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2009 and travels the globe in that capacity to help impoverished children. She shares her latest life-changing trip to Nepal with us.

As one of the most recognizable names in the entertainment industry today, Selena Gomez is frequently the subject of idle fodder. People talk about her music. They talk about her film choices. They discuss whom she dates and which designers she likes to wear.

When we had the pleasure of chatting with Gomez recently, though, we focused on an entirely different — and often overlooked — facet of the 21-year-old talent’s life: her work as an ambassador for UNICEF, the global children’s rights and emergency relief organization.

Fresh from a mission trip with the organization to Nepal, Gomez was still reeling from her experiences there. “There are beautiful places in Nepal, of course, but in the towns we went to, there are children who die before their first birthday from preventable causes,” she told us, also noting that Nepal is still recovering from a serious conflict that occurred 10 years ago.

In her capacity as a UNICEF ambassador, Gomez assisted the organization with everything from education to spending time in the birthing center — a task she found particularly touching.

"I got to go the hospital to the birthing center, and that was actually really beautiful," she shared. "They have women volunteers who go out and get women who are pregnant — who aren’t in a healthy environment — and bring them to the birthing center. UNICEF provides all of the equipment and all of the immunizations; so then the women are essentially safe. They are now having a healthy birthing process."

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Selena Gomez Interview with ABC/Yahoo News.

Selena Gomez: ‘I’m Living in a Bubble’

Selena Gomez needs to chill.

The 21-year-old singer/actress is getting heat to cut back on a frenetic schedule. But for someone that’s been in front of the cameras, rehearsing lines since she was 7 years old, taking a break from the pressure to perform requires a friendly nudge.

“I have people saying ‘Have fun!’ You know, like be able to just enjoy where I am,” Gomez said. “But I want to do a lot, though. I love what I do. I’m obsessed with what I do.”

Right now, her obsession is with her career, not swatting rumors about an on-again/off-again relationship with Justin Bieber, or reports that she was diagnosed with lupus. Gomez is very much calling the shots when it comes to guarding her name and reputation.

Which is why she was quick to point out that her recent trip to Nepal, as a UNICEF Ambassador, highlighted the disconnect her career has created with the outside world.

“It was beautiful. It was spiritual,” she said of the journey. “I never showered, ever, because I was in the field every day and it just felt like I was removed, completely, from my bubble that I live in,” she said. “And it was incredible.”

Sitting cross-legged on the floor in the middle of a dilapidated building, Gomez surrounded herself with village children, getting a wake-up call to the differences between her needs, and those living in a developing country.

“I mean, I was visiting with children who were trying to beg their parents for a toilet,” Gomez recalled. “And we’re complaining we got to do stuff every day. That’s when you really understand and that was the best gift that I received. Because I consume all of this energy from the world essentially that is like a pressure and it’s a sense of focusing on certain things that are totally not what this world is about.”

And yet, Gomez is not without her own needs.

She’s reaching for privacy and the public’s patience in letting her develop into something more complex than the Disney show kid.

“I’ve always loved my life,” she said. “I think there are certain parts of my life I wish I could have to myself and things I could do and grow and experience. But it would almost be just hypocritical of me if I complained about it. I think it’s silly sometimes what happens, but I love what I do and I guess I gotta deal with it.”

And unless her idea of relaxation is practicing scales, it doesn’t look like Gomez is taking much time for herself, having just started piano lessons.

“I know how to play a little bit, but you genuinely have to be confident,” she explained. “I’ve learned two of my songs before but I’ve just been terrified, so now I have a professional teaching me and I’m going to be amazing.”

ABC News’ Arthur Niemynski contributed to this episode.


@DanKloefflerABC: Selena Gomez is bursting her bubble @selenagomez @UNICEF @ABC @YahooNews

UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez Visits Nepal

@unicefusa: @UNICEF Ambassador @selenagomez + students in #Nepal take time out from class to learn some new moves! @unicef_nepal

‏@unicefusa: .@UNICEF Ambass. @selenagomez takes a #selfie w/kids in a @unicef_nepal supported early childhood dev. class #purejoy

May 20-23: (More) Selena during her UNICEF trip to Nepal