Ok. Can we just step to one side and acknowledge that there is definitely the potential for the lyrics to this song to be a real shitbag of sexism? ‘Cause I just wanna look good for you, good for you, Uh-Huh/ I just wanna look good for you, good for you, Uh-Huh‘ hardly says burn the bras, after all, and the rest of the lyrics espouse similar ponderings – the narrator (rather brilliantly probably not Gomez but in fact a random songwriter, somewhere) doesn’t really want to do much except please their special one. That implies that she sees her importance only in relation to him (/her but, come on, this is modern pop music). Strong independent women, indeed.
On the other hand, it’s often been argued that real equality means freedom of choice for women (and, indeed everyone), no matter what lifestyle they choose to lead. That includes that of a housewife, or the doting Gomez here. I’m not convinced, in this case. Freedom of choice is all well and good, but it’s still infused with a bit of stinky patriarchy if the choice is taken freely but taken using patriarchal values – here, that a women’s importance is only in relation to a man. Fuck that.
It’s a real shame, because this is a great song, and one in which Gomez is brilliant, and A$AP, frankly, is shit. She teases the melody brilliantly, selling it better than a stockbroker. ASAP Rocky, meanwhile, wades into a perfectly wonderful pop song and performs a rap which not only fails to contribute any energy to the song but actually breaks it up. It’s also weirdly less overtly less sexist than the rest of the song.
You know you’ve done really well if you write a song in which a rapper’s contribution is the less sexist bit.