Selena Gomez and I have spoken 3 times. Not that she would remember, but I do. I interviewed her twice, once in person during her Hotel Transylvania junket at the Soho Beach House in Miami and once over the phone for her Montecarlo press junket. She was smart, articulate, and extremely polite during our brief interviews and made my job easy.
The third time we met, I was off-duty. I was simply a mom, escorting her daughter as she met her idol and seeking to create unforgettable memories. No press credentials, no strings being pulled.
My daughter had begged me to meet Selena Gomez for years. One of her birthday parties was decorated with Selena Gomez paper plates and napkins. She knows all her songs and she repeatedly said it was her dream to meet her.
So in April I decided to spend a huge chunk of my hard-earned money to make Sofia’s dream come true during the concert ticket pre-sale. Maybe because I feel guilty for traveling so much, I bought VIP tickets, complete with a meet and greet, to the South Florida Selena Gomez concert…in October. This from the working mom who hardly knows where she will be on any given week. Since I have learned that even the best plans can fail, I kept the concert tickets a secret.
A week before the concert, I told my little girl and she couldn’t believe it. Once October 29th arrived, Sofia could hardly contain herself and even made an oversized card for Selena Gomez. Traffic was terrible that afternoon and my daughter was on the verge of tears fearing we would miss our meet and greet. I frantically dictated a text message while driving to the coordinators so they would wait for us a few extra minutes.
We finally arrived and were handed our VIP badges. My daughter was all smiles. We then waited for almost an hour at the BB&T stairwell, with no air conditioning (yes, I know it’s fall, but South Florida has not gotten the memo and that day temps were in the 80s). Sofia was impatient, but behaved beautifully until her golden moment arrived. As we approached the waiting room/photo set where the meet and greet took place, my daughter stared in awe at the gorgeous brunette dressed in black that was greeting her. She was speechless. Then Selena Gomez said she had beautiful hair and my daughter melted. They hugged. Selena then took my daughter’s huge card and thanked her, they took their photo and I could see my little girl holding back her happy tears. Seeing that look in her face made every penny I had spent totally worth it. This was one of those mother-daughter moments that make your eyes watery every time you remember them and for me, that’s priceless.
And then, Selena Gomez graciously invited me to take another picture, so all three of us could be together. This took me by surprise, because her security team had adamantly said that each party could have only one photo taken. My daughter beamed at her and I too fell under the actress and singer’s spell. Even though I never get star struck, all I could mutter was “thank you, this means the world to my daughter” and we then walked away. A couple of hours later, we enjoyed a fantastic show, where you could see Selena Gomez smiling and totally enjoying what she was doing. She interacted with fans, danced, sung her lungs out and looked gorgeous.
I know that in this business, artists need their fans. But all too often, celebrities forget how important those brief encounters with their youngest fans can be. A few years ago, my daughter was fortunate enough to meet another big singer, but she refused to keep the card my then 6-year-old girl had drawn for her. I never forgot her questioning eyes because she didn’t understand why she was being returned her gift.
Thank you, Selena Gomez, for understanding and respecting your fans, no matter their ages. Thank you for a wonderful, fun and impeccable show in which you even addressed how girls need to be confident in their own skins. But most of all, thank you for loving what you do and showing it. Thank you for not being like anybody else.
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