The Kenya trip would happen right in the middle of her promo tour, but Selena was adamant about making sure she went. “I knew it would be a lot but it was my only chance to go before my album came out,” Selena says, as we see her at a doctor’s appointment in preparation for the trip.
Kenya ultimately had a huge impact on Selena, despite her lupus flaring up in the middle of the trip. She bonds with the students at the school, talking to them about her own homeschooling journey, asking them if they believe in love, and even connecting over shared experiences with mental health struggles.
During a dinner with those from the charity, Selena shares her dreams of drafting legislation that requires therapy and counseling in schools, beginning at the elementary level. “What’s holding you back from doing it,” someone asks out of curiosity. “That I’m not able to, that I’m not capable… not good enough,” Selena answers through tears. “I don’t know. That’s something I felt a lot of growing up.”
“The very thing that makes you feel that is why you can relate to others. So it’s the exact reason why you are the perfect person [to do it],” they affirm her.
“The truth is, I’ve never felt good enough,” Selena says in a voiceover as she journals. “When I’m onstage or in front of a crowd, I’ll always find the one person who doesn’t like me. And I’ll believe them. I want to believe in myself. The people I’ve met here in Kenya are so giving, I just want to feel like I deserve to be here with them.”
Near the end of the trip, she and her best friend Raquelle try to unpack Selena’s anxiety towards returning to her own reality. “We also need to talk about why you hate going home so much, why you don’t want to turn on your phone — you shouldn’t feel that way. So what can you implement in your life that makes you not… hate your job? …You don’t have to live your life constantly in that state.”
As Selena returns to London, her anxieties about returning manifest almost immediately. She’s stalked and harassed by paparazzi, followed in cars, and urgently shuffled from place to place. She takes a deep breath in an elevator, a random moment of silence. “It’s very loud here,” she says with her eyes closed. “I do feel a bit of culture shock.” And then the press run begins.
Her Dislike of (Silly) Promotion
Selena does album promo in London and Paris, and is seen in a frenetic montage falling asleep during glam, answering question after question after question, some relevant and some not. She and her friend Raquelle even get into a spat, as Selena feels as though she’s being perceived as ungrateful for wanting to prioritize her rest after such a stressful promo tour.
After one interview in particular, Selena vents to her team in a green room, so upset she’s shaking. “F*cking dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “I’m done. I can’t do that anymore. Do you know how cheap it makes me feel? She’s asking me questions, and like, good ones, then she didn’t even pay attention to what I was saying. I don’t want to do that ever again. I feel like a product. It was making me angry.”