In a recent interview with People magazine, 22-year-old former Disney star Selena Gomez said of her latest single, “Good for You,” “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. It’s good!”
In a lot of contexts—perhaps most of them, actually—confidence is a good thing. And vulnerability can be too. In the case of “Good for You,” however, Gomez’s confidence and vulnerability are expressed exclusively in sexual terms.
“Good for You”—both the song and its literally steamy video—showcase Gomez’s sultry side. The song imagines pleasing a man physically, while its accompanying video adds smoldering, nearly naked imagery to an already suggestive song.
“Good for You” is about a young woman dressing up, then dressing down—all the way down—for a man she wants to please.
The song begins cinematically, with Gomez describing each fashion accoutrement she’s adding to her seductive ensemble before rendezvousing with her guy. There’s gold (“I’m on my 14 carats”), an irresistibly coiffed look (“Do my hair up real, real nice”) and a dress she dons like a silky second skin (“Gonna wear that dress you like, skin tight”). Gomez’s end goal? “I just wanna look good for you.”
Or, perhaps we should say that’s her penultimate goal. Because it’s not long before the dress outlives its purpose: “Let me show you how proud I am to be yours/Leave this dress a mess on the floor/And still look good for you, good for you, uh huh.” Elsewhere in the song, Gomez adds, “Now you say I got a touch/So good, so good” and she plans to “syncopate my skin to your heart beating.” Things get more suggestive when she coos, “You say I give it to you hard/So bad, so bad/Make you never wanna leave.”
Toward the end of the track, guest rapper A$AP Rocky pushes things even further with a crude, unprintable double entendre referring to his male anatomy. A couple of profanities get bleeped as well (“s—,” “a–“) before he exclaims, “Jackpot! Hit the jackpot!” (presumably, one suspects, after that aforementioned dress hits the floor).
If the song intentionally cultivates a sexy vibe, the video (helmed by veteran director Sophie Miller, who’s done videos for Beyoncé, Rihanna and Robin Thicke, among many others) pushes that sensuality factor far past anything we’ve seen from Selena Gomez up to this point.
Gomez does a lot of flirting with and pouting for the camera, not unlike the kinds of expressions you’d expect to see in vintage Marilyn Monroe photo shoots. Throughout, she wears little … or nothing.
A cleavage-baring robe barely covers her as she writhes and undulates on a couch. Erotic shots in a shower with steamed up glass barely avoid showing her breasts. A wet T-shirt is quite revealing, too.
Selena Gomez says of her “confidence” and “vulnerability” on display here, “It’s good!” But is it?
Genesis affirms that when God created Adam and Eve, the gift of marriage and sexuality He bestowed upon them was a good, beautiful and bonding thing. But outside the protection of the covenantal marital relationship that God ordained, sexual expression becomes something that does indeed leave us vulnerable—but not vulnerable in a good way. Instead, it leaves us perilously exposed to emotional, spiritual, relational and physical consequences.
I thought about that while listening to and watching Selena Gomez in “Good for You.” She says her artistic expression represents goodness and confidence. But the way those “virtues” are seductively showcased here, it seems as if Gomez has fallen victim to a kind of seduction, one that seeks to define her entire identity in terms of her sexuality.
And when the man she’s trying so hard to please whoops “Jackpot!” after he sees her naked, I have to wonder how good it all really is for Selena—and for the myriad young fans whom she’s influenced since her Disney days.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.