Selena Gomez was overwhelmed with emotion as she gave an inspiring speech at a youth empowerment event in Oakland, California on Wednesday (26Mar14).
The Come and Get It hitmaker took to the Oracle Arena stage in front of thousands for the first annual We Day conference, which gathers kids from all over the country to encourage young people to take action and affect change in their own communities.
Gomez began her passionate speech by saying, "I am not an activist. I haven't changed the world or led a campaign. I'm here to just tell you my path so that you can hopefully take something away from it because I don't like being honest with press and interviews. I like being honest with you directly.
"A lot of you are a part of inspiring me. And maybe you don't get it, maybe you're not told this enough, but you inspire me to be better. We should inspire each other to be better."
The 21 year old, who recently completely a stint in rehab for an unconfirmed issue in January (14), became emotional when talking about her recent struggles, holding back tears as she made her confession to the crowd.
Gomez continued, "I'm surrounded by people who are supposed to guide me. And some of them have and others haven't. They pressure me - 'You gotta be sexy, you gotta be cute, you gotta be nice'... what to wear, how to look, what to say, how I should be.
"Until recently I had given into that pressure. I lost sight of who I was. I listened to opinions of people and I tired to change who I am, because I thought others would accept me for it. And I realized I don't know how to be anything but myself."
The actress ended her passionate speech with words of encouragement for her young fans, and said, "You are changing the world. Please be kind to each other, and love and inspire people. Let's change the game... Stay true to yourself and know that we all have each others' back.
"I'd be lying if I said that I've never tried to make myself better by giving in, because I have. But I've learned from my actions and for all the things I've done, I'm proudest of that... You are who you surround yourself with. I hope I can inspire each and every one of you to just trust yourselves and to be love and be loved."
In addition to Gomez, other celebrities were also on hand to celebrate the youth of America, including Seth Rogen, Orlando Bloom, and Big Sean.