Full name: Selena Marie Gomez
Birthday: July 22, 1992
Where you’ve seen her: as witch-in-training Alex Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place, guest stints on Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, the music video for the Jonas Brothers single “Burnin’ Up”
Celebrity crushes: Shia LaBeouf, Zac Efron
Real-life happy ending #1: She’s already found her soul sister.
We’ve all witnessed how short-lived and superficial Hollywood friendships can be. But that’s simply not the case for BFFs Selena and Demi Lovato, who met on the set of Barney and Friends when they were little kids. These best buds have remained supportive of each other through the years, having sleepovers, going shopping, posting videos on YouTube, and basically making a normal friendship work despite being in the public eye constantly. They do get into arguments sometimes, but Selena shares with Twist, “Thank goodness Demi and I have the relationship we do. We’ll sit down and talk to each other and say, ‘Look, I’m feeling this way, so let’s fix it because I love you.’ Sometimes we need to be reminded that we need each other.” Demi tells J-14, “Selena has always been the rock in the friendship. She’s the best influence in my life.”
Real-life happy ending #2: She rises above the Hollywood lifestyle.
Her outfits and hairstyles are constantly changing, but Selena chooses to stay true to who she is: a guy’s girl who loves her sweatpants and Converse sneakers, a “boring dork” who once cried over a math test, and a person who keeps herself grounded through her family and friends. She tells Tiger Beat, “I don’t change anything about myself when I’m with different people. I think it’s important to have fun and do different things, but make sure you don’t change yourself.” It’s admirable how she wears her purity ring (which says True Love Waits) with pride, made peace with fellow Disney baby Miley Cyrus after the pop singer made fun of her online, and remained buddies with country crooner Taylor Swift after the latter’s controversial split with Joe Jonas. “We talk all the time,” Taylor says, when asked about Selena. “She’s such a cool person because she’s so real.”
Real-life happy ending #3:She has a healthy home life.
Selena’s parents split when she was five, and she remembers feeling really scared and hurt. But when her mom remarried, she gained a whole new perspective. She tells M, “I have a stepdad. And honestly, I love him with all my heart. I see how happy my mom is with him, which is awesome. I now have more than one family—and it can be great!” She says she misses her quiet, peaceful life back in her hometown in Texas, but has adjusted to her mom’s new family and appreciates the fact that her dad can come up to LA to visit her when she’s not busy working. That’s pretty mature for a teen!
Real-life happy ending #4:She’s living her dream.
A big-screen version of Wizards of Waverly Place is in the works, where BFF Demi is reportedly making a cameo. But what’s really weaving magic into Selena’s life these days is something very close to her heart: recording her own album! “I love music,” she tells Popstar!, “I’m going to do it a bit differently… I’m going to be in a band. I want to be the female lead singer, kind of Paramore-ish. Hayley Williams inspires me. She’s so confident, and even though she’s gone through a lot, look where she is now. I admire her very much. I’m excited for this album.” We are, too!
Real-life happy ending #5: She turns heartbreak into hit songs.
“I’ve been unlucky in love,” she says in an interview with M. “I’m still figuring it all out.” Although she never officially confirmed being Nick Jonas’s girlfriend, fans were devastated when breakup rumors circulated early this year. She announced that she will no longer be doing a duet with the JoBro for her album, and was spotted reading the heartbreak guide He’s Just Not That Into You. She even told Twist, “Nick is a wonderful guy, and anyone would be very lucky to be dating him. But I’m not that lucky.” Instead of wallowing in self-pity, she takes her emotions and writes songs that are bound to be huge hits. One of her tracks, “I’m Sorry,” is about “a boy I fell for, but he couldn’t let his ex-girlfriend go, and I felt like I wasn’t good enough. So I’m sorry it didn’t work out.” She goes on to tell Tiger Beat, “Writing and singing are a gateway to getting out feelings… I’ve been said ‘no’ to a lot. It makes you stronger.”