The pain and beauty of letting go in the new music video by Selena Gomez demanded to be felt and we are still ugly crying. The flower crown she was wearing? There might be more to it than meets the eye.
“I actually think I sing better in Spanish,” says Selena in a recent interview. In case you missed it, she released her latest single, De Una Vez (At Once), after teasing a full Spanish album for almost a decade. Before you point fingers at her for appropriating cultures, the Hispanic singer revealed that she worked with Spanish-speaking creators in order to get things right as she reconnected with her roots. With magical realism at the core, Tania Verduzco (1/2 of the director tandem along with her husband, Los Perez) explained that they wanted the video to feel like an emotional journey, and that it’s “a song about a mature woman healing a wound, leaving the past behind, and entering into a new chapter.” Now that seems like a tale all too familiar, not just for Selena, but for everyone.
One of the most infamous Hispanic female artists who got her heart broken yet made beautifully painful art was Frida Kahlo. From struggling with her turbulent relationship with ex-husband Diego Rivera, estabishing herself as a female artist in a man’s world, and battling with polio and her long-term injuries, she definitely had her fair share of heartaches. Come to think of it, it’s no surprise that Selena would take inspiration from the icon herself, especially with her widely-publicized life and her fight with lupus. In fact, the singer also made use of the sacred heart symbolism that’s popular in Mexican culture as seen on some of the artist’s work, and they both sport flowers in their hair, too.
While this remains a theory, we can’t help but compare the strength these women have carried all throughout their lives. Scroll down below for the scenes we spotted that closely mirrored Frida Kahlo’s paintings.
THE DREAM (THE BED), 1940.
In the opening scene of the video, Selena wakes up next to the shadow of her lover despite nobody being actually in the frame. Leaving her heartbroken, almost in a deathbed. In The Dream (The Bed) by Frida, she expresses her feelings about perishing (a recurring theme in her work), despite her former husband Diego claiming that it was her “lover” when in reality, it was just an amusing reminder of “people’s morality.”
In this scene, Selena lays down on the floor, surrounded by things that belong to her past, until the ceiling blows up and everything else gets sucked by the storm—leaving no more excess baggage for her to carry and just herself in the room, to heal. With Roots, Frida’s torso opens up as the vines grow out of her: symbolizing growth and life.
THE TWO FRIDAS, 1939.
Duality was a common theme in Frida’s work as shown in The Two Fridas, where she compared her Mexican and European persona. In De Una Vez, Selena sees a reflection of herself in the clouds, contrary to what is seen in her reality.
SELF PORTRAIT ALONG THE BOARDER LINE BETWEEN MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES, 1932.
In the last scene, Selena knows that she is control of everything in her life and towards the end of the video, she leaves the house and is finally ready to face what lies ahead of her before briefly hinting on what could possibly be her next track. With this self-portrait by Frida in a pink dress, she is torn between being in the USA (her husband worked on several commissions and she felt homesick), and her hometown in Mexico. She holds a Mexican flag on her hand, showing the world where her heart truly belongs.
Drop everything now and watch Selena’s breathtaking video below:
(Photos of Frida’s works courtesy of fridakahlo.org)