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Selena Gomez Tells Us About The 'Incredible Freedom' At The Heart Of Her 'Rare' Video

She breaks down the hidden symbolism in her 'ethereal' clip

Just hours after releasing her excellent third album, Selena Gomez has shared her vision of what it's like to feel, well, Rare. On Friday (January 10), Gomez released the video for the album's sparkling title track, on which she assumes the mantle of an ambitious woman who's comfortable on her own and in her own company: "I know that I'm special," she sings. "And I'll bet there's somebody else out there / To tell me I'm rare."

"I hope everyone that listens to the song will know that they have something special to offer," Gomez told MTV News over email. "It's important to wait for someone to come into your life that recognizes and appreciates that."

In the iridescent, BRTHR-directed video, she brings that confidence to life by wandering a colorful forest filled with bubbles, butterflies, and prismatic rainbows. "I had just returned from this incredible trip to Kenya and it was important to me that the video be shot outside in nature," she explained. The only downside to that? "During the bathtub scene it was midnight and freezing outside. I could only do two takes of that scene because it was so cold."

Throughout the video, Gomez becomes visibly more empowered — in the opening scenes, she looks at the camera with upset and restless expressions, but by the end, she's a grinning, glittering goddess with technicolor butterflies surrounding her. Speaking about that symbolism, Gomez explained, "The video is very ethereal and captures the journey through three different states of mind. The moths symbolize determination and attraction. The forest represents the path to freedom and the bathroom self-reflection. At the end of the day, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and self-reflective can lead to this incredible freedom."

As the opener and title track of her new album — her first in over four years — "Rare" sets the tone for Gomez's new era, and it's a special one for her. "I actually recorded the song early on in the process," she revealed. "And when different things happened in my life and I'd take a break from writing and recording, I still knew that song would be the title of the album. It’s a powerful word."