NEW YORK -- Pop superstar Selena Gomez is sharing her personal struggle with social media in a new interview, and how she finally learned to stand up for herself.
As the most followed woman on Instagram, at 398 million, seemingly everyone is looking at Gomez.
And with that attention, Gomez said there's a hidden struggle behind otherwise picture-perfect images.
"I lied. I would go online, and I would post a picture of myself and I would say, 'It doesn't matter. I'm not accepting what you're saying.'... All the while, being in the room posting and crying my eyes out because nobody deserves to hear those things," "Good Morning America reported."
In a new episode from the Apple TV+ documentary series "Dear...," the artist and businesswoman shared how medications she took to help treat her lupus caused weight gain, which she said fueled online criticism about her body.
"Though I was posting these things saying it doesn't bother me, because I didn't want it to bother other people who are experiencing the same thing, getting shamed for what they look like, who they are, who they love. I just think it's so unfair. I don't think that anybody deserves to feel less than," Gomez said.
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She has been outspoken about protecting her mental health, explaining to ABC News last year the power of stepping away from social media and giving her team the reigns.
"I haven't been on the internet in four and a half years," Gomez said at the time. "It has changed my life completely. I am happier, I am more present, I connect more with people, it makes me feel normal."
Gomez is not alone. A recent study found that teens and young adults who reduced their social media use by 50% for just a few weeks saw significant improvement in how they felt about both their weight and overall appearance.
"We got to recognize our warning signs that maybe we need a social media break, so some things I look out for is, if we're having trouble sleeping, if we're constantly feeling like we need to be connected to our phones," said Lindsay Fleming, a LPC licensed therapist.