Have you watched Selena Gomez’s new video for The Heart Wants What It Wants yet? It was just released this morning. The song is OK. It’s the video that really makes it…something. But first, let’s talk about this expression, “the heart wants what it wants”. She’s not the first person who’s ever said it. Maybe we’ve all said it at some point. Have you noticed though that, usually, it’s only ever said in …defence? When confronted with disapproval?

You know who else said “the heart wants what the heart wants”?

Woody Allen.

Yeah. Him. 

I have a friend who thinks it’s bullsh-t, the heart wanting what it wants. She refuses to accept that as a justification. Just because the heart wants it doesn’t make it acceptable. Just because it sounds romantic doesn’t make it right.

So here’s Selena Gomez, opening her video with an emotional monologue, on the verge of breakdown, struggling with her heart and what it wants. We then see her with her video boyfriend playing Justin Bieber (um, is that how she sees him? Because…), unhappy but unable to leave, living for the small moments when he pays attention to her, until they can’t make up for all the longer, terrible moments in between.

Selena told Ryan Seacrest today that the video was shot a year ago and it’s only being released now because she’s ready for it, she’s ready to end a chapter. She speaks kindly about JB, about how she’ll always support him, and while she won’t definitively say they’ll never happen again, she seems to concede that, right now, it’s not a good idea.

There’s still a lot of anger though. There’s a lot of “people have been talking sh-t about me and they’ve never known and I’ve been treated unfairly”. That’s the kind of talk that often precedes “the heart wants what it wants”. The unspoken part of “the heart wants what it wants” is “you don’t understand how this feels, because if you did, you would see that I can’t stop it, I’m powerless to stop it”.

Think about all the terrible things that people do to one another, the hurt that they inflict. Is the heart wanting what it wants a good enough reason?