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Publication: Girls' Life
Date published:
Language: English
PMID: 58534
ISSN: 10783326
Journal code: GRLF

It was the tweöt seen 'round the world: Selena Gómez, lounging on a leather couch, looking incredibly happy with her feet propped up on Justin Bieber's lap. As if the shots of the superstars smooching on the beach in ftlwau weren't enough of a hint that these two had officially hooked up, this snap solidified some of the biggest news to hit the entertainment world yet: Love 'em or loathe them, Jelena was here to stay.

Of course, Selena's so much more than just haTftrf cutest couple on the planet. While she may be spending tonsa time with her heartthrob honey, her career hasn't slowed down for a sec.

This summer, the 19-year-old has W shows, movies, a tour and an album all in the works. GL got a chance to spend some one-on-one time with Miss Gomez to talk life after Wizards, her love-hate relationship with the Internetand, obvs, her feelings about Justin.

A New Chapter

Life sure has changed since Selena first stepped on the set of Wizards ofWaverly Place back in 2007. Then a young girl fresh from Texas with big, brown eyes and a sweet smile, no one - not even Selena herself - could predict just how huge of a hit the show (and its star) would become.

Flash forward to May 2011 when Wizards, which quickly became one of the Disney Channel's top shows, filmed its final episode. They say all good things must come to an end, but Selena admits it was still tough to bid adieu to the show that launched her career.

"I just tried to take everything in. I cried so much. The whole crew on that show has played a huge part of my life. They all watched me grow up and helped raise me in different ways," she says. "I feel like I'm still the girl from Texas that moved to L.A., just older and a little bit wiser."

And a little bit (actually, make that a whole lot) busier. The moment Wizards wrapped, Selena switched her focus to music and movies. First, she hit the road with her band, Selena Gomez & The Scene, headlining with Alistar Weekend for a North American tour. From city to city, she's sparkling on stage, entertaining crowds with songs from her third album When The Sun Goes Down, featuring the killer single, "Who Says."

What should you expect at Selena's sold-out shows? "I really want to give my fans the party they deserve. It's glitter, dancing and fun! I want them to leave feeling like they know me better."

And all the while, Selena has been promoting her first feature film, Monte Carlo (which hit theaters on July 1), starring fellow "It" girls Katie Cassidy and Leighton Meester as three pals mistaken for wealthy socialites in Monaco.

She's also slated to shoot the suspense flick 13 Reasons Why (based on the book by Jay Asher) and is planning to drop a Spanish album in September. Phew!

"It's obviously an important phase in my career... and personally. The good news is I have been juggling acting and singing for over 2 and 1/2 years," says Selena. "But I have to start over in some areas. It's interesting to start taking risks, to grow up through my music."

Summer Lovin'

With all of this other stuff going on, it makes you wonder how Selena still has a moment to breathe, let alone spend some QT. with Justin. But the two of them are making things work, just like they have been since their first official debut as a duo at the Vanity Fair Oscar party back in February.

Maybe the secret is that the two were friends first and, in a way, have grown up in the public eye together. Justin, after all, was the guy SeI used to call her "little brother" and a "good kid." But in the past couple of years, both have gone from cute Hollywood teeny-boppers to gorgeous worldwide celebs, and from friends to a seemingly inseparable couple.

"Every time we hang out, it's just really chill and fun," says Selena, who says her ideal date is a walk outside or a picnic on the beach. She also admits that the two of them are taking their time to figure out the best way to make their relationship work. "Nobody gives you a manual to tell you this is what is going to happen, this is what you should do and this is how you are going to do it. I think you just have to handle it in your way," she shares.

So far, so good. Both have introduced the other to their parents ("He passed the test," Selena says with a smile). Selena's also made a fab impression on Justins mom, Pattie, and won over the rest of his fam - including dad Jeremy, grandpa Bruce and his half-siblings, Jazmyn and Jaxon - when he brought her to his hometown of Stratford, Ontario.

"I wouldn't bring home a girl unless my mom would approve," Justin has said. "You don't bring the bad girls home." See? We always knew SeI was a keeper.

Highs and Lows

That's not to say everything's just perfect in Jelena land. When the infamous Hawaii tweet and other paparazzi pics surfaced of the two of them smooching in the sand, Bieber fans blasted Selena faster than you can say "Baby." Though she usually doesn't let negative comments get to her, Selena admits that seeing some of those messages stung.

"There are worse things than someone disliking you and people on the Internet saying this or that, but I can't lie. It hurts. I have a love-hate relationship with the Internet. I don't like it in general. It's vicious," Selena reveals, stressing that she's human, just like everyone else. "Every choice that I make when it comes to my personal life, my films or my music, I always say, 'Would my fans be proud ofthat?' IfI did something to kind of upset them, it would really crush me."

Other factors, like their two-year age difference and their time apart while touring, have proven to be barriers to their bliss, but the two of them are doing their best to be there for each other.

"Thank goodness for Skype," gushes Selena. "I don't know what people did before it!"

So, is Justin her soul mate? Selena's lips are sealed when it comes to that subject. But whatever may go down between her and the Biebs, she remains realistic about their future in the anything-can-happen world of teen love.

"Love is beautiful. It's hard but so wonderful. You should enjoy it and make sure the person betters you," she says. "I've been told I keep my heart guarded. My advice is to have fun and to be prepared for anything."

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