selena gomez sitting on a bed surrounded by flowers in the de una vez music video
The "De Una Vez" music video features Gomez exploring different rooms that each symbolize a stage of the post-breakup healing process. (Image via Google Images)
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selena gomez sitting on a bed surrounded by flowers in the de una vez music video

Selena Gomez’s hit song and music video explore the healing process and personal growth that comes with recovery from a broken heart.

Selena Gomez’s “De Una Vez” (“At Once”) is the first song from her Spanish-language EP “Revelación” (“Revelation”), produced by Tainy, Jota Rosa, Albert Hype and NEON16. It was released in January 2021 to all streaming platforms and showcases Gomez’s Mexican roots. The official music video for “De Una Vez” was directed by Los Pérez, produced by Caviar LA and post-produced by Eighty4. The video consists of ethereal scenery, romantic colors and mystical elements. Gomez’s song also inspires a short, beautiful message of self-development after a heartbreak.

With creative and magical visuals, the melodic music video shows Gomez learning to love herself after suffering a broken heart, while the writers paint a beautiful picture of her healing with idyllic lyrics. The camera follows Gomez in her journey through multiple magical rooms — each one portrays a new phase of her personal growth over time with the use of heavy symbolism.

Gomez’s Look

Gomez’s natural Mexican-inspired look is pure and powerful, which fits perfectly with the mesmerizing visuals. Her wavy hair, embellished with flower accessories, resembles Frida Kahlo‘s signature look. Her soft-pink, floral silk dress has puffed sleeves and a crystal Heart Milagro — known as the Sacred Heart — pinned to it over her chest. Her makeup is soft, romantic and feminine, created by her own Rare Beauty line.

The Music and Lyrics of “De Una Vez”

The writers’ organization of soft and carefully-selected phrasing maintains an emotional tone throughout the song, while the sentimental ambiance helps highlight the message of self-worth. The lyrics and appealing visuals complement each other well throughout Gomez’s “De Una Vez” music video.

In the first glimpse of the music video, a wounded Sacred Crystal Heart lies on Gomez’s chest, symbolizing her broken but healing heart. Throughout the video, the heart represents her personal evolution by beaming bright light as a metaphor for overcoming emotional pain.

Beside Gomez is an empty yet dented pillow. It serves as a reminder that her past lover used to sleep there. When she wakes up from bed, the imprint is gone, symbolizing the departure of her partner. Yet, as she rises, the bedroom is decorated with flora, reflecting healing. When the rhythmic beat grows, and the warm tones wash over the screen, she sings, “De una vez por todas / Soy más fuerte sola” (Once and for all / I am stronger on my own). Here, the live instrumentation and classic keyboards match well with the enchanting mood.

The camera then pans to a room with illuminated lamps that turn off in tune with Gomez’s movements, which signifies her closing the chapter of a painful breakup. Her Sacred Crystal Heart pulsates and glows as she sings, “Y es que no me arrepiento del pasado / Sé que el tiempo a tu lado / Cortó mis alas / Pero ahora este pecho es antibalas” (It’s not that I regret the past / I know that the time spent by your side cut my wings / But now this chest is bulletproof). The metaphor conveys Gomez’s empowerment and emotional growth. She has found the resilience within herself to light her own way with her Sacred Crystal Heart.

In the kitchen, Gomez sits at a table with her angelic reflection looking back at her. She sings “No te tengo a ti” (I don’t have you), and her reflection replies, “Me tengo a mí” (I have myself). This exchange symbolizes how she is never truly alone and is her own support system.

Gomez then burns a Polaroid (probably of her ex-boyfriend) to leave anything holding her back and show she doesn’t care about him anymore. Pictures can bring to mind dark times and memories, so burning the picture allows her to forget the pain.

As she moves to the living room, a television screen shows the growth of a flower. Gomez sings, “Yo me fui para que no se te olvide / De una muerte como tú se revive” (I left so that you don’t forget / From a death like you one can be reborn) as the flower finishes blooming. The symbolism focuses on Gomez’s new outlook on life, where she finds herself and is reborn. Just like a flower blooming to life, she blooms anew after healing from her heartbreak.

The camera then pans to a bathroom, where Gomez sits on the edge of a bathtub. Her reflection from the mirror sings, “Ya no te siento, aquí no te siento ya / Nunca supiste, no me supiste valorar” (I no longer feel you, I don’t feel you here anymore / You never knew, You never knew how to value me). Her reflection again serves as a reminder to Gomez she doesn’t need her past lover since he didn’t treat her right.

In the end, the camera follows Gomez to a room with levitating vinyl discs and musical instruments as she sings the chorus one last time. A tornado lifts the items away, as she has let go of the past and forgiven her ex-boyfriend. She allows her once-cherished possessions — the memories with her ex — to blow away because she has moved on, is in control and is ready for the future. The “De Una Vez” video ends with the metal from Gomez’s Sacred Crystal Heart enveloping the crystal it houses, emphasizing that her heart is no longer vulnerable.

The Takeaway from “De Una Vez”

Anyone who is a fan of Gomez or wants to listen to a post-breakup song should listen to “De Una Vez” because the lyrics and visuals make the audience see the silver lining and hope after heartache.

“[It’s] such a beautiful song and I think it has a very powerful meaning behind it for anyone who has had their heart broken,” Gomez said to Vogue. “We all have the pain and the scars from various experiences we go through in life, but it’s really how we heal ourselves. Not only is it about leaving the past behind and forgiveness, but more importantly, it’s also about strength, moving forward, and starting your next chapter.”

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Sophie N. Munoz

University of Texas at San Antonio
English Major, concentration in Creative Writing

She/Her ~ {6w5} ~ INTJ ~ Introvert

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