Remember the song “Fetish” by Selena Gomez? The music video was published on July 26th of last year. When I first watched the video, I had no idea what it was about. It seemed to be Selena’s most bizarre music video yet. I understood the lyrics but couldn’t connect them to the visuals.
The video starts with Selena walking down a road, carrying bags of groceries in both hands. Once she reaches home, she throws the bags away and begins doing strange things like wrapping her tongue in a string, eating soap, and painting her teeth with lipstick (I’m not sure what exactly that was). She becomes self-destructive, but why? Is she crazy?
For the first time, I thought it was one of those meaningless videos. At some point, I suggested my friend Madhu watch the video. She doesn’t listen to English songs and I wanted a different perspective on the content. “I think the girl is going through post-breakup trauma. She’s acting out and doing crazy things,” she told me. “What about this? Watch the video again and tell me your thoughts in a few days,” I asked her because I wasn’t satisfied with her answer. “Cool! I can do that,” she assured me.
The next time she explained, “…this girl is alone. She’s turned on right now and there’s no one to fulfill her desires. Maybe that’s why? I don’t know what they’re trying to say…”
None of the explanations were something I could agree with. But it’s good to know how differently people interpret a situation. This is my final thought about the song. The girl in the video talks to her lover. They have an on and off relationship (You have a fetish for my love. I push you out, you come right back). The girl can’t get over the unhealthy relationship and she sympathizes with her lover too (I don’t see a point in blaming you. If I were you, I’d do me too). Eating inedible things out of addiction is the same as being in a toxic relationship – it’s not good yet it feels right. The rain inside the house/water leakage shows how dysfunctional her life has become and she drowns in her own tears.
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