Selena Gomez is confident in the skin she’s in ― scars and all.
For the first time, the singer proudly showed off one of her kidney transplant scars in a photo posted to Instagram on Thursday, posing poolside in a sky-blue bathing suit.
“When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar. I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up,” she wrote in the caption. “Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through ... and I’m proud of that.”
Gomez went on to declare that “all bodies are beautiful” before giving a shoutout to the bathing suit designer.
Gomez, a former Disney Channel star who recently launched her Rare Beauty cosmetics company, became severely ill due to complications from lupus, an autoimmune disease that has plagued her for years. She underwent a kidney transplant with an organ from her friend, actor Francia Raisa, in 2017.
During the procedure, she experienced emergency complications that required surgeons to remove a femoral vein from her leg and construct a new artery to support Raisa’s kidney, which left additional scarring.
“A few hours after our surgery, I woke up and had a text from her that said, ‘I’m really scared,’” Raisa recalled about the experience in a 2018 interview. “My kidney was very active, and when it turned, I broke an artery. They had to take her into emergency surgery and get a vein from her leg and build a new artery to keep my kidney in place. She could have died.”
Gomez called the kidney donation the “ultimate gift and sacrifice” in a post announcing the transplant, which she said greatly improved her quality of life.
“As soon as I got the kidney transplant, my arthritis went away,” she told “Today” at the time. “My lupus is about a 3 to 5% chance it’ll ever come back, my blood pressure is better, my energy, my life has been better.”
But until now, scars had been a sensitive subject for Gomez, as she’s taken measures to cover them in public. Last year, when she designed a bathing suit, she revealed she constructed a special “high waisted” garment to conceal the scars.
“I did have a really good time designing,” Gomez said during an interview at the time. “The design I did, one of them, it was the high-waisted one with the belt. I’ve had a kidney transplant and I like bathing suits that kind of cover where that’s been and make me feel comfortable.”