With the recent release of her album, another breakup from Justin Bieber, the kickoff of her tour and a confirmed appearance at the 2013 MTV VMAs, Selena Gomez has been in good company amongst other superstars on the covers of gossip magazines and celebrity sites. While she has always been touted as a “good girl,” her image in recent weeks has been pitted against Bad Girls Club reality star and Playboy Radio guest host Milyn Jensen in a sort of angel and devil scenario after Jensen told tabloids that she was the one who broke up the teen dream pair during a one-night fling. While we don’t know if that’s for certain (Bad Girls Club:Miami’s new season only just kicked off), one thing’s for sure: our culture has never been more wrapped up in the narrative of good girls who are going “bad”.
After a past littered with Disney shows, a surprisingly long stint on Barney and other innocent gigs since she was wee, this attention is to be expected. As of today, she has over 45 million likes on Facebook, 16.1 million followers on Twitter and a certified gold single off her debut solo album. Like every budding starlet, TMZ loves to splash on headlines “Bikini Clad Selena Gomez Parties with Brazilians” “Could Her Shorts Be Any Shorter?” and the cryptic clickbait “Selena Gomez Rings In 21st Birthday with GIANT BREAST CAN-SMASHING!!!”
Selena does understand that she is a role model for many girls, but she is growing up and wanting to take more challenging roles, a conflict she is very open about. “It’s a very awkward transition to make. I want to challenge myself and [my choices] may not be appropriate for a young audience.” She explained in an interview with Reuters. What’s interesting about Selena and many of her young “good girl gone bad” colleagues like Miley Cyrus and Tayler Momsen is that the change is seen as more of a rite of passage than a natural progression; they’re scrutinized for every party they attend, every article of clothing they wear and, in Miley’s case, every hair and lipstick color they choose. Have women been trained to believe that they need to go skimpy to shed their honest images?