By Gabrielle Marceau
She lives in a loft with no furniture save two couches and a shower. It's not much but it's good enough for fucking.
Everything is lit by a 5am kind of light, she’s sleepy but not because she just woke up. The video has that kind of hornyness that makes you useless for most activities, so she spends most of it on the very edge of a nap.
Good For You, Selena Gomez’ new song is a narcotic, lazy, sparse track written by Julia Michaels, Justin tranter and Nick Monsoon. It's not even funny to me that it took three people to write a song that contains maybe seven different sentences and whose chorus sounds like the title repeated a dozen times. Good For You is a master class in saying a lot with very little.
The colours and textures of the video remind me of Sam Taylor Wood’s 1998 Soliloquy series. It has that kind of late 90s lower east side esthetic: broke baroque.
Unlike Sam Taylor Wood’s model, and Velazquez’ Rokeby Venus which it references, Selena is looking at you (a Lacanian trap meant to convince every man, and sometimes woman, watching that he is the you of the song). But Good For You is unmistakably about Selena’s pleasure: she is alone and in every single frame, she mumbles her delivery like there isn't anyone to hear it, she sings about wearing her hair up and a skintight dress while wearing an oversized white t-shirt, a black and gold beaded kimono and her hair down. It’s what women find sexy.
Good for you is the sophisticated mirror image of her 2013 song Come and Get It which includes lines like “I’ll be sittin’ right here, real patient / All day, all night, I’ll be waitin’ standby” that attracted the ire of Lorde. "I’m a feminist and the theme of her song is, when you’re ready come and get it from me. I’m sick of women being portrayed this way."
This struck me as misguided and reductive, exemplary of the kind of feminist criticism which would have all representations of women tailored, censored and sugar coated at the risk of killing the romance, grit and variety from the art women make. Admittedly Come and Get It's gorgeous video does come across as the product of sex marketing and not an artist expressing desire. In response to the controversy of her comment Lorde said "Most of the time I will stand by what I say. I knew I was right." Maybe you were, but a dogged attachment to an opinion is in service of ego, not of knowledge.
Two years later, Selena still has to contend with her baby face, which seems at odds with the maturity and intelligence she carries in interviews, and the low gravel of her voice.
Two years older, Selena sings “Let me show you how proud I am to be yours.” and it speaks to the release of self when alone in her pleasure, unencumbered by the presence of an other.
"This song represents the confidence that I truly have inside of me, and I think it's the vulnerable side that I've expressed, but it's also the combination of just feeling myself." Selena Gomez