Selena Gomez's message may not be 'good for you'

Selena Gomez is hitting the the top of the charts with “Good For You.” This song is pure gold and apparently, so is Gomez, claiming, “I’m 14 carats,” as well as, “I’m a marquise diamond.”

I see what Gomez is getting at here. She is valuable. The fact that she asserts her value is empowering and it has been the theme of some of her other songs, particularly "Who Says," in which she asks, “Who says you’re not perfect? Who says you’re not worth it?”

Unfortunately, in the song "Good For You," she has to state this value by comparing herself to luxury items. This song is all about being an object of someone’s affection, emphasis on the "object" part. Gomez prioritizes looks, objectifies herself and advocates for superficial relationships. 

Gomez proposes to package herself in a skin-tight dress with “real, real nice” hair and (here is where it gets super confusing) make her skin palpitate in sync with her lover’s heartbeat. I have to ask, is that even possible?

I guess love makes anything possible for Gomez. It has even changed the messages of her songs. In the song "Who Says," Gomez claims that she “wouldn’t want to be anybody else.” Now, she says she just wants to look good and be whoever her lover wants her to be.

The “just” part is what really gets to me because it blocks out all other possibilities. Looking good for this one person is evidently the only single thing she wants to do.

Instead of just wanting to end misogyny or simply wanting to be a nice person and touch the lives of youth, Gomez just wants to look good. I must say, these are really high personal ambitions.

No, this is sad, and Gomez subconsciously realizes this as she rolls on the hardwood floor singing her shallow song.

Moreover, Gomez says she wants to show how proud she is to belong to this one person by just looking good and then taking off her clothes. First off, the idea of ownership between lovers should be dispelled. It doesn’t serve any purpose other than to limit and maintain control over the other person. There can be healthy agreements to establish monogamy, but I think it is psychologically damaging to think you can own a person the way you can own a pet or a coat jacket.

Secondly, this idea that Gomez shows pride for being with this person by dressing up for them is pretty typical, but lame. There are a lot of other ways to express how you feel about someone that go beyond outward appearance.

According to Gomez’s relationship 101, a successful relationship with someone requires two simple tasks: 1. Just look good for them and 2. Give it to them hard and make it “so bad” they “never wanna leave.”

Closer to Gomez’s Disney days, she sings in "Who Says," “I’m no beauty queen. I’m just beautiful me.” I think Gomez is accessing something a teensy bit deeper here — that she doesn’t need to be physically beautiful to be a beautiful person and lead a beautiful life, affirming that everyone has a “right to a beautiful life.” In this song, she even states that “the price of beauty” is hurting. I wonder if Gomez has learned the lesson of her song yet. 

Related Links:

In a world full of objectification, the Body Project aims to promote body acceptance

Both women and men stereotyped by revealing clothing


Reach the columnist at ralydfor@asu.edu or follow @ralydford on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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