The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

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The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

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Into Selena Gomez’s Lupus Journey

Into+Selena+Gomez%E2%80%99s+Lupus+Journey
Reading Time: 2 minutes

After taking a break from social media for more than four years, pop culture icon Selena Gomez has made a comeback to Instagram this year. Amidst her return, some commenters have remarked on Gomez’s “new look.” Many noticed changes in her facial structure including her eyes, cheekbones, and eyebrows. Her appearance at the Golden Globes especially led fans to wonder if her altered face is a result of plastic surgery or natural changes over time. However, many may forget that the beloved star is also a survivor of lupus and continues to live with the condition today. 

This break was not the first hiatus Gomez has taken. According to Billboard, she was admitted to a rehab center in 2015. Then, in October of that same year, she revealed to the public that she had been diagnosed with lupus and had gone through chemotherapy. 

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks its own body. The disease is incurable, and once patients are diagnosed, they are likely to stay on medications for the rest of their lives. In 2017, Gomez reportedly had a kidney transplant due to her condition. 

Lupus medications range from steroids such as prednisone to chemotherapy treatment. These medications suppress inflammation in the skin, joints, and other parts of the body. But often, these medications are very powerful and can cause many side effects in the process. Some side effects include “moon face” or the swelling of the face due to steroid medications. Moon face, along with its physical difficulties, can be harmful to one’s self-image. 

“I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks, and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” Gomez explained in a 2019 interview with People Magazine.

Despite the severity of her condition, Gomez continues to use her fame as an opportunity to educate others about lupus and promote body positivity. In February, she opened up about her experience with lupus on TikTok, offering words of encouragement despite negative comments, saying, “I just wanted to say and encourage anyone out there who feels any sort of shame for exactly what [you’re] going through, [when] nobody knows the real story… you’re beautiful and you’re wonderful.”

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About the Contributor
Sami Torii
Sami Torii, Writer
Hello! My name Sami Torii and I'm a senior at ASIJ. I've been at ASIJ for about 3 years now and before Tokyo, I lived in Hawaii. As a new member of Hanabi, I intend to explore the craft of writing and hope to cultivate the knowledge of both myself and Hanabi readers.

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