Selena Gomez wants everyone to know she is more than her looks.
The actress and singer, 26, opened up about self-acceptance and authenticity on Coach's first-ever episode of their "Dream It Real" podcast Wednesday, which marked Gomez's first in-depth interview of the year.
"I've always wanted to be me, but when I was younger I was very insecure," she said. "I started in this industry really young and I think that you kind of create this other persona of yourself. Then when I started going through real, really difficult things it allowed me to just have worth."
The star explained that her early exposure to fame took a toll on how she viewed herself.
"It was just all these pictures and all the things and all I would do is look at the flaws," she revealed.
But Gomez said she wants to be recognized for who she truly is instead of her outer appearance.
"I don’t really appreciate people judging me on my looks or anything like that," she said. "I’m flattered when maybe guys are like, 'You’re pretty.' I am, but it’s just—I would just love someone to love me for the person that I am. That’s just what’s important to me, you know?"
Introducing the #DreamItReal #podcast where each week a member of the Coach fam shares how they #DreamItReal. In Ep. 1 #SelenaGomez talks authenticity, social media & more. Listen & subscribe:@ApplePodcasts: https://t.co/VOt2gJFtXt@Spotify: https://t.co/OoE4xBc6eC pic.twitter.com/sW9X8AoGDa— Coach (@Coach) April 24, 2019
The "Taki Taki" singer credited therapy with helping her identify her true self.
"I am a believer of therapy," she said. "I think that it’s just one of the most important things to get to know yourself. Not saying everyone in the world has to do it…but I do think that it’s helped me understand myself and my childhood a lot better."
Gomez maintains her healthy mindset by surrounding herself with good friends and limiting her time on social media because "it is not that healthy to be on it all the time."
"I think that sometimes people are exposed to too much, and you should really protect what you’re seeing and be mindful, be really mindful of how it makes you feel," she said.
For example, Gomez said too much screen time on Instagram made her, "kind of depressed looking at these people who look beautiful and amazing, and it would just get me down a lot so I just think taking breaks is really important."
Gomez took a three-month hiatus from social media in late September, announcing on Instagram that she planned to "live my life present to the moment I have been given."
She has been lying low ever since, but made a surprise appearance at Coachella nearly two weeks ago with Cardi B, DJ Snake and Ozuna to perform "Taki Taki."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Selena Gomez doesn't want to be called pretty anymore. Here's why