Selena Gomez explains how online bullying affects her, 'They want to cut to your soul'

The singer is now executive-producing "Thirteen Reasons Why," out March 31.

ByABC News
March 23, 2017, 10:19 AM

— -- Selena Gomez is adding another accomplishment to her resume: executive producer. She's turning popular young-adult novel "Thirteen Reasons Why," by Jay Asher, into a television series.

The singer told The New York Times she was "nervous" when pitching the 13-episode series to Netflix. It premieres March 31.

"Thirteen Reasons Why" centers on high school student Hannah Baker, played by starlet Katherine Langford, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 cassette tapes, explaining who’s to blame for her suffering.

Gomez, 24, said that when she read the book in 2008, she could relate to Baker, especially as someone who deals with online bullying on a daily basis because of social media apps like of Instagram, which acknowledges the potential problem at its help center on a page tilted “Learn How to Address Abuse.”

"You can’t avoid it sometimes," she said of online bullying. "I delete the app from my phone at least once a week. You fixate on the [negative] ones. They’re not like, 'You’re ugly.' It’s like they want to cut to your soul."

"Imagine all the insecurities that you already feel about yourself and having someone write a paragraph pointing out every little thing, even if it’s just physical," Gomez added.

The singer, who was originally slated to star in a film version of the book, said she's happy that she's settled on a role behind the scenes.

"I could do any tomboy-teen princess movie in the world if I wanted to. I could do those for years. But I want to be a part of projects that have value, that really matter," she explained to the Times. "And it’s really hard to do that.

"Sometimes I feel defeated. I’ll audition for a part that I feel very passionate about, meet with people, tell them I’m willing to go places," Gomez continued. "I think they think I won’t go there. To be honest, I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon for me. I think I look really young and, image-wise, it’s difficult for people to grasp."

Gomez concluded, "But early on, my mom taught me that sometimes you just have to create those projects for yourself. That’s what I want this to be: a launching pad."