Selena Gomez’s Instagram Followers & Her Strong Connection With Them Has Led To A Big Honor For The Singer

Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

As a part of TIME magazine's "FIRSTS" project, which chronicles 46 women who are changing the world, Selena Gomez was named TIME's "Tastemaker." That title, and her appearance on the project, is tied to Gomez becoming the first person to reach 100 million followers on Instagram. In the interview, Gomez noted that she finds strength in vulnerability, which is also a message that she hopes to send to all of her followers.

"I think it’s really hard to be a kid now, especially with social media," she said. "It’s already difficult to get up every day and just feel good about yourself without seeing the highlights of everyone else’s life." This fault-finding environment that kids and young adults, who make up a big part of Gomez's fan base, live in is what makes her social media presence so unique and important. Her open portrayal of herself speaks to her followers, and this vulnerability seems to be on her mind with every post.

"I like that they've seen my mistakes," Gomez explained. "I try to use that as a way to connect with them. That's all I can do. I hope that they know that strength doesn't mean you have to put on a façade. Strength is being vulnerable."

TIME

With her 100 million-plus following, Gomez is no doubt the Queen of Instagram. But she didn't get there by having the most selfies or the best filters; she achieved it by connecting with her fans on a deeper level. Gomez speaks to her followers and tells them that it's OK to be vulnerable in a public setting where you think everyone is watching. Then, she sets an example for them by posting something in line with the message she's trying to teach them.

Gomez shared another positive and relatable message with fans when she posted the following along with a picture of her TIME magazine cover:

Sometimes it's incredibly difficult to wake up every day knowing there is so much going on in the world. At times I feel selfish, I ask why, I ask how can this change? Will it actually ever change? I try to contribute my heart before anything because it can be so easy to lose the desire to have hope when sometimes all I want to be is angry. When I read about the beautiful women who wake up consciously every day to make a change, it inspires me to want to do so much more. Not really sure how I got so lucky @time but thank you for highlighting the power of what we can and will always strive to be. I believe in the goodness in the land of the living. I hope this is just the beginning of more change.

Clearly, Gomez understands how important her position as a role model for her fans is, because she can reach them in a way that no other person can. They look to her as someone who they can relate to and aspire to be like — not just as another celebrity they can be envious of. "There's a trust that I have with people my age, or a little bit younger, that I don't think I would have if I started later," Gomez told TIME. "I hope my fans learn that who they are is beautiful, how they can connect with people by sharing what they're feeling. It's very personal to me."

The singer's Instagram following continues to grow and she now has over 126 million followers. And her thought-provoking and personal posts, which garner millions of likes each, continue to be at the heart of her success.