"13 Reasons Why," the new Netflix series executive produced by Selena Gomez and her mom, Mandy Teefey, looks at the bullying and other pressures that can lead a teenager to commit suicide. The show hit home for both Mandy, who was bullied as a teen when she became pregnant, and Selena, who took a few months out of the spotlight last year to regroup while she was dealing with anxiety and depression.
The time off was so good for Selena, her mom says, it's given her a visible glow.
"She looks like the sun," Mandy, 40, told Entertainment Tonight at the Los Angeles premiere of the Netflix show.
"I think it was actually [from] taking a break," she explained. "You asked what it is [like] to feel like you're in this world, we're in a bubble. It's not a real world. You don't really realize it until you go out of this bubble and you're like, 'Oh, OK.'"
That bubble, Mandy said, can start to feel normal — and the realization that it's neither normal nor real can come as a shock.
"… With [Selena], when she was becoming famous, I was like, 'Aren't you so shocked' …?" Mandy recalled. "It's not an arrogant thing, it's just your day to day, and that's what becomes your life. Then when you go home, or [when I] go to my husband's home in the Midwest, you're like, 'This isn't really real.' That 'all of this about me' and, you know, this lifestyle isn't real."
Selena, 24, is back to work now that she's completed a rehab program, but she recently told the New York Times she remains vigilant about staying healthy and is careful not to let things like negative comments on social media get to her. "I delete the [Instagram] app from my phone at least once a week," she said.
In the same interview, Selena pointed out that her mom has been open with her about the pressures she faced growing up.
"I was a teen mom with Selena, obviously, and was very judged by that, even by my counselors and my teachers [who said] that I failed and just let go of it," Mandy told ET.
"My neighborhood was a really rough neighborhood [with] gangs. With all of that stuff, and when I got pregnant, I think that's what triggered, because I was like, 'OK, I have another person depending on me. I gotta get straight,' and that's when I started hammering through. I'm like, 'I'm not going to let her have the upbringing I did.' I kind of kept powering through — you get used to it."