Selena Gomez’s “Good For You” Transports Us Back to the Early 20th Century

Just as Britney Spears’ “Born to Make You Happy” serves as an anthem for women of the 1950s, now Selena Gomez’s “Good For You” is here to rival it with its auditory and visual presence. As the second single from her sophomore album, Revival, it marks a new low in her lyrical content–though, in her defense, the song was written by two men (and one woman with no excuse), specifically A$AP Rocky, Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels.

Single cover for "Good For You"
Single cover for “Good For You”

Getting right to the core of abasement by saying, “Gonna wear that dress you like, skin-tight/Do my hair up real, real nice/And syncopate my skin to your heart beating.” It’s almost as though we’re supposed to be so impressed by her use of the word “syncopate” (which is one of the most self-debasing words expressed in the entire sentiment, its exact meaning being “to displace beats or accents so that strong beats become weak and vice versa.” In essence, she’s using music as a metaphor for marching along to whatever her man’s beat is.) that we forget entirely how absurdly subservient she’s being.

Queen of subservience
Queen of subservience

The accompanying video for the track doesn’t do much to further one’s opinion of Gomez as much of a feminist. Situated in various positions of prostration, Gomez looks “sexily” at the camera, appears in a shower scene and then showcases a wet white t-shirt afterward. How very gender-forward. Gomez puts the cherry on top of the patheticness by chanting, “Just wanna look good for ya” repeatedly. Really? That’s all you want out of life. Might as well just sign up for a job as whore or housewife now.