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Why Selena Gomez’s “Rare” is the Perfect Self-Love Album

Almost five years after the release of her last album, Revival, Selena Gomez has released her long-awaited third album, Rare – her most personal and intimate piece yet. Considering all that Gomez has been through during the past few years – breakups, a kidney transplant, a lupus diagnosis and the anxiety and depression that came with it – this is hardly surprising. In contrast with her breakup album Revival, Rare is an ode to self love and shows the growth and peace Gomez has finally reached at this point in her life.


Leading up to the album’s release, Gomez stated that this is her “diary from the past few years”, and is “the most honest music I’ve ever made”, “I can’t wait for you to hear my heart”.



After listening to her album through, you can see exactly what she means. When she released her first singles off the album in October of 2019, “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look At Her Now”, fans could quickly pick up on the messages in the song linking to her public breakup with longtime on-again-off-again boyfriend, Justin Bieber. However, though many connections can be made to the breakup throughout the album, Rare focuses more on Gomez and her self growth through her times of struggle instead of the men involved in her relationships. 


There must be a sweeter place. #Rare

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

All of these themes are evident throughout the album, such as her title track with the lyrics “Why don’t you recognize I’m so rare?” and “I know that I’m special / And I’ll bet there’s somebody else out there / To tell me I’m rare, to make me feel rare”. 


This continues throughout the album, with “Vulnerable,” “Lose You to Love Me,” and “Cut You Off,” paralleling “Rare” in Gomez realizing her self worth and drawing the strength to grow and leave situations that she realizes aren’t good for her.


“If I was the greatest thing that happened to you, would you know it? / I would tell you all my secrets, wrap your arms around my weakness, if the only other option’s letting go, I’ll stay vulnerable” – Vulnerable 


“In two months, you replaced us, like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it, in the thick of healing / I needed to lose you to find me, this dance, it was killing me softly / I needed to hate you to love me” – Lose You to Love Me


“Gotta chop-chop all the extra weight I’ve been carrying for 1460 days / The truth is that I think I’ve had enough, professionally messing with my trust, emotionally messing with my health, how could I confuse that s*** for love? / Get you out my head now, I just cut you off” – Cut You Off


Other tracks in the album then show Gomez embracing her newfound freedom – showing she’s cut ready to cut people out of her life who don’t treat her well, or don’t deserve to be a part of her life anymore – such as “Dance Again,” “Ring,” “Look at Her Now,” and “Let Me Get Me,”.


“Happiness ain’t something you sit back and you wait for / Vulnerable, ain’t easy, believe me, but I go there / It’s like I’m ten feet tall, I’m high off the weight of them shoulders” – Dance Again


“I’m one in a billion, baby, don’t you agree? / Yeah, I received your message, all twenty-three, you know I’m Jordan with it, G-O-A-T” – Ring


“Of course she was sad, but now she’s glad she dodged a bullet / Took a few years to soak up the tears, but look at her now “ – Look At Her Now


“No self-sabotage, no letting my thoughts run, me and the spiral are done / Burn this camouflage I’ve been wearing for months, tryna let a little happy in for once / I’m letting go, so anonymously, I guess this is what it feels like to be free” – Let Me Get Me


Though Revival was a groundbreaking album for Selena – giving us an album full of emotional strength and recovery – the emotional growth and self-awareness showcased on Rare is a public acknowledgment of all she’s grown through. Her self-acceptance is palpable throughout these tracks; Rare truly shows Gomez’s growth in the years since her last album, and tells the story of the work it took for her to get to the healthier, happier place she’s found herself in now. 

black headphones on a yellow background
Malte Wingen on Unsplash


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

*Images courtesy of Her Campus’s photo database*


Samira Sayan

U Mass Amherst '23

Samira is a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is double majoring in marketing and communications. She enjoys spin classes, listening to music, hanging out with friends and traveling.
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