Selena Gomez, Effortlessly Sensual, Digs Deep to Find Herself (Photos!) 1

Selena Gomez is a picture of strength and beauty in her new Puma shoe campaign. (Photo: Puma)

Selena Gomez is stunning and sensual–effortlessly so–in a new photo spread for Elle magazine, but what’s going on inside her head preoccupies her the most these days. She’s still trying to come to grips with who she really is after all she’s been through.

Right off the bat, there’s Justin Bieber.

It’s pretty clear that she was totally smitten with him and deeply hurt by the way he used her and kept her on an emotional roller coaster.

Related: Selena Gomez Still Living Dangerously; Gets Tattoo Despite Infection Danger (See!)

The tabloids had a field day with it. Sites like HollywoodLife and the weeklies ruthlessly exploited her with baseless story after baseless story about the couple getting back together. Every little development in her life became another Selena-Justin story.

Last year they appeared to have their final fling. She spent New Year’s and Valentine’s Day holidays with him, touching off a new round of speculation. But now that Bieber is engaged to Hailey Baldwin, she’s clearly put that part of her life behind her.

Related: Selena Gomez Exudes Strength, Sensuality in New Puma Campaign (Photos, Video)

She sings about cutting a man out of her life after “1,460 days” and “cleaning my slate,” the magazine notes.

“Without you, I don’t overthink it.”
“I’m drunk and I might as well tell you,
Get you ooh ooh ooh out of my head now.”

She credits “amazing women who were very close in my life” for helping her refocus, she tells the magazine.

“It was kind of a rough moment. And I just had all of them there, encouraging me, and it was one of those moments that you imagine when you’re a young girl and you go talk to your aunts and your mom and you’re like, This is what’s going on in my life.” She’d been going at breakneck speed, finishing up her next album, which could come out as early as this fall. “I had been working for so long, and I don’t like taking things in my life. I just wanted to serve.”

So, since March, she’s been devoting a large part of her life to A21, the low-key global anti–human-trafficking nonprofit organization.

Related: Selena Gomez Does Sexy Dance, Flashes Cleavage In Bra Top (Watch!)

“I’m going back to simplicity. That’s always who I’ve been. It’s not me saying, ‘I feel the best I’ve ever felt,’” she continues. “It’s me saying, ‘I’m exactly where I am. And I’m so happy I’m in this place.’ It’s a lot of self-discovery. From 20 to 26? Oh my gosh. I feel like a totally different person,” she says.

That’s not easy to say for a singer, actress, producer and fashion designer (her second Coach collaboration debuted in August).

Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest celebrity news. Check out the full interview in Elle.

Click here to see her sexy video.