“The Heart Wants What It Wants,” sings a luminous Selena Gomez in the hypnotic — and, yes — presently on-repeat music video for her devastating, yet fantastic new single.
The body also knows what it wants. As Justin Bieber, the inspiration behind the ex-Disney starlet’s astonishingly raw song, knows all too well.
Released yesterday, the video starts with an emotional Gomez revealing the heartache in her relationship with the Biebs.
Through tears, she says,”I felt like I know, I know him though, and I know his heart, and I know he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.”
Selena continued, “But I didn’t realize that feeling so confident and feeling so great about myself and then it just be completely shattered by one thing.
“You make me feel crazy, you make feel like it’s my fault. I was in pain,” the 22-year-old’s gut-wrenching monologue ends.
Lyrics of the song reveal a startling insight into the one of the most relentlessly scrutinized celebrity relationships in recent times.
“But I’m not alive until you call /And I’ll bet the odds against it all / Save your advice ’cause I won’t hear / You might be right but I don’t care.”
“There’s a million reasons why I should give you up / But the heart wants what it wants.”
A few hours after the single’s debut, Selena got even more candid with Ryan Seacrest on his radio show, opening up about the background to recording the song, Justin’s reaction to it and why she felt it was important to share her story.
“Everybody wants to form their own opinions anyway,” she said bluntly. “I think the biggest problem I had this year – even with [Justin] and on his side – is identity.”
She also pointedly noted that critics who “kicked” her “down” for constantly going back to Justin weren’t allowing her the freedom to say, “‘This is what I want, this is where I am.'”
Selena then openly admitted, “Yeah, I made some decisions that weren’t great, and so did he and that’s why we went through all that to only make us better… and it’s something that I feel like girls need hear, and it’s something I’m willing to share with people.”
The pop princess also revealed Justin’s take on the song.
“He thought it was beautiful. I think it was really hard. I think he was a little jealous of the video guy at first,” she quipped at the end.
But the Latina insisted, “Honestly, music is an expression, and if you will be that voice for these girls, there are so many people that feel this. This is universal.”
Inevitably, after Selena’s revelations, lots of people have opinions, and there’s a fair bit of nasty judgment going on in some quarters.
With that in mind, if we may, consider this:
Once upon a time Justin and Selena’s relationship was every little girl’s dream, and maybe a few little boys too. Many of those boys and girls have since grown up and probably gone on to dysfunctional relationships of their own.
Most of us do at one time or another. Because most people are dysfunctional in one way or another. And human beings can only relate to each other the same way they relate to themselves.
How we learn and grow in relationships is by having them, and eventually figuring out what makes us authentically happy and what doesn’t.
Going by old footage and interviews, the Bieber and Gomez that went on iHOP pancake dates in 2010, and only had eyes for each other up right until 2012, appeared very happy together.
Then Bieber hit 18. An important number for a former child star under, at least, a degree of control while he lived with his mother, Pattie Mallette.
For the first time, the “Baby” singer was able to legally access his money. Pattie previously revealed Justin asked for freedom as his 18th B-Day gift. In real terms, this meant Mallette no longer toured with her son. Bieber also bought his own place in Calabasas, California. And we all know how that turned out.
Essentially, an immature kid was suddenly given the freedom and resources of a man — but with no limits. Around that time, just as Pattie took a step back, Bieber’s dad Jeremy, a man with a reportedly irresponsible history, began spending more time with his eldest.
In November 2012, Jelena broke up for the first time. Days before, Justin was rumored to have flirted with the supermodel Miranda Kerr at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show where they met.
Roll to July 2014, Orlando Bloom’s almost fisticuff’s with the Canadian seems to confirm this.
But it’s not uncommon for a partner to stray “for something so stupid,” certainly not a then teenage idol surrounded by temptation and an older, married woman who definitely knew better. Allegedly.
And the one who’s betrayed and goes back after the “sorry?” That’s not rare either. Selena and Justin reunited in December 2012 but split up during a Christmas vacation. Countless reunions followed.
A standout lesson from Selena’s “The Heart Wants What It Wants?” Perhaps it’s what she called her “biggest” takeaway from her experience: “How to love myself first.”
Of her current relationship with Justin, Selena confirmed they are still close. And while she said her single is a “perfect way to end a chapter,” it’s clear the door is not slammed shut.
“I support him. I think I always will. I’m upset when he’s upset, I’m happy when he’s happy. I don’t want anything bad ever to happen to him. It hurts me. That’s all,” she told Seacrest quietly, but firmly.
Going back and forth in a relationship that is unhealthy, yet feels so good in other ways, is something millions of people will relate to. What both sides learn about themselves in the process is more useful and important than judgment.
That is universal.
[Images via Fanpop.com and Instagram.]