I have a theory after reading Vogue’s April cover story about Selena Gomez and need everyone to sit with me for a minute while we talk about it. Selena Gomez, beloved child actor-turned-adult actor-slash-musician, might be a witch.
The below has been taken out of order, but definitely not out of context.
1. “At thirteen she moved to Los Angeles with her mother and stepfather, and the following year Disney gave her the lead in Wizards of Waverly Place, a sitcom about a family of wizards who own a downtown Manhattan restaurant.” This is merely to set the scene, but I’d like to remind you all that art imitates life.
2. “On an unusually wet and windy evening in Los Angeles, Selena Gomez shows up at my door with a heavy bag of groceries.” That’s funny. “Unusually wet and windy” is the unwritten Step 1 of any potion I’ve ever successfully concocted.
3. “I already have chicken simmering in green salsa, poblano peppers blackening on the flames of the stove, and red cabbage wilting in a puddle of lime juice.” The makings of some sort of tincture, clearly. The healing powers of poultry are best extracted through what non-magic folk to as “broth,” which I’m sure she asked him to begin prior to her arrival and will be later used in a small quantity to further prolong Gomez’s youth.
Blacking on the flames of the stove. It’s as though this writer wasn’t even trying to hide it. But perhaps he knows that we never suspect what’s literally right under our nose.
4. “All we need are Gomez’s famous cheesy potatoes—so bad they’re good, she promises.” We call this eyeballs gratin in my house? You can’t see the calories but they can see you.
5. “I bet you didn’t think we were going to get this real,” she says, and when I tell her that real isn’t the first word that springs to mind when faced with these ingredients, she responds with the booming battle-ax laugh that offers a foretaste of Gomez’s many enchanting incongruities.” She’s testing the writer of her profile here, challenging him. And the challenge was accepted. A mere mortal standing before a witch, one who possesses otherworldly powers including the ability to look beautiful with slicked-back wet hair without getting Tiny-Head-Big-Face Syndrome.* This man has no choice but to admit that he’s terrified. “Gross!” was likely the first word that sprang to his mind. “HAHAHAHHA,” she responded.
*Tiny-Head-Big-Face Syndrome is the technical name for what you/I look like in the mirror at the hair salon just after a shampoo and right before the cut.
“Gomez queues up a playlist—Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers.”
Yes, to lull the the writer into a trance-like state.
As I slip an apron over her mane of chocolate-brown hair, for which Pantene has paid her millions…I wonder whether her legions have felt for years the same sharp pang of protectiveness that I’m feeling at present.”
Her hair is made of chocolate, so that should be a giveaway.
Anyway, here is where the tables have turned on the writer without him even realizing, because Selena Gomez put him under her spell. He thinks he wants to protect her, specifically, but really, she is amassing people for round two of Dumbledore’s Army.
[Break here to explicitly state that I think it’s admirable how much Selena Gomez cares about her fans, and I can only imagine that her candid discussion about depression, anxiety and the benefits of therapy will help to further reduce societal stigma around the conversation of mental health.]
8. In the tearoom at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel, little girls in pinafores and pink high-tops sit on heavily tasseled sofas and drink sparkling apple juice out of champagne flutes. One by one they approach our table, shyness replaced by rapturous giggles as Gomez praises their pretty dresses and invites them to sit with her for a picture. Her seemingly infinite patience with these intrusions is something between a habit and a principle. “Somebody I used to hang out with would always get very frustrated with me,” she says, presumably referring to Bieber, whose name she will not utter…”presumably referring to Bieber, whose name she will not utter.” Hello, excuse me, this is clearly Voldemort. (Except no way is Gomez scared to use his name. She’s just reluctant to give Voldemort anymore press after his cameo in the second Lego Movie.)
9. Doll-like and startled in pictures but almost breathtakingly at ease in person, Gomez was once described by her good friend Taylor Swift as “both 40 years old and seven years old.” Hi, how can you be both 40 years old and seven years old at the same time without magic thanks point proven.
10. No child star enjoys easy passage through the morass of adolescence, and Gomez struggled to shed her blandly perky Wizards persona. For sure, but also, it’s hard to shed a wizard’s persona when you are a wizard.
11. “I grew up around adults, but in terms of getting out, having friends—at times I really didn’t know anything but my job.” Just like Harry 🙁
12. “There’s a very warm and inclusive way that Selena has with her fans,” Vevers says. “That’s the nature of her power. What fashion house wouldn’t want to tap into that?” Vevers refers to Stuart Vevers, Coach’s creative director. (Selena is collaborating with Coach on a line of accessories.) It’s really nice to see people in the industry embrace wizards/witches like he did her by endorsing her magical power.
13. Gomez currently lives in an Airbnb in the Valley and honestly doesn’t get out much, except for long drives with her girlfriends: a realtor, a techie, some folks from church. “I think seventeen people have my phone number right now,” she says. “Maybe two are famous.” Yeah, and maybe the rest are witches who have phones because they think it’s funny, but the wizarding community doesn’t use phones, obviously.
14. “I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit.” Instagram steals your soul and witches are very, very sensitive to soul-stealing, especially with dementors flying around and shit. You can never be too careful.
15. [S]he tells me that everything she has said about her relationships in the past has come back to bite her, and that she will never do it again. Relationships in the past = code for snakes.
16. “’Oh, Mylanta!’ she wails, watching her cheesy potatoes travel around the table, a whiff of the simpler joys of home.” “Mylanta.” The interview ends with Selena Gomez performing a spell over her cheesy eyeballs, so that the writer, who no doubt had a bite (following the trance that led him to pledge allegiance as a non-magic ally to Dumbledore’s Army) would forget all of this. He’d write a heartfelt profile about a young woman who is rising from the ashes of her past, strong and powerful. On her broomstick.
Photos by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott via Vogue.