Hey, remember when all the Disney Channel kids proudly and loudly wore their purity rings? Of course you do, because it was a whole big thing that loads of people on the internet/South Park made fun of. The status of the mini celebs' purity rings was closely analyzed and picked apart, with the stars' professed sexual status ridiculed whatever happened—the Jonas Brothers were a preachy cult for wearing them, but then everyone laughed and poked fun when they took them off. Same for Demi and Selena Gomez.
But now, Selena wants to make it clear that no matter what anyone says, she's not ashamed of wearing a purity ring. Or of her decision to take it off.
Selena was seen wearing a purity ring around age 13, when she was dating Nick Jonas. When she began dating Justin Bieber in 2010, and the ring disappeared, she faced heavy scrutiny.
"I'm not embarrassed," Selena told The Sunday Times. "I'm also not embarrassed to say that the ring has come off. I got it when I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn't for everyone."
To which we say: BRAVO for owning your choices and sexuality, Selena. Genuine applause.
She explains how she first started wearing the ring—"I said, 'Dad, I want a promise ring.'' He went to the church and got it blessed. He actually used me as an example for other kids"—and shares how much it hurt when she faced a bunch of criticism for her commitment to virginity: "Sometimes you have to lie to yourself to get through the criticism, and then you're in your closet crying."
The interview also sees Selena discuss her past relationship with Justin Bieber, and her request that we all just leave it the heck alone. Because seriously, they broke up over a YEAR ago. Let it be.
"The Internet wants to freeze this moment in time and constantly repeat it," she says. "It's difficult for people to separate us. I didn't think I was doing anything bad by falling in love [...] there's such an emphasis on people being the perfect thing and then destroying them because it's good press."
She's hopeful for her next relationship, though, commenting that "the next relationship will be something dear to me. There is no way I will ever hide my life."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.