So, this is interesting. According to a super-sleuth fan theory, as reported by StyleCaster, Selena Gomez's "Back to You" music video subtly references more than a few of her famous ex-boyfriends. Didn't notice? Well, take a closer look.
It's been a minute since Gomez last put out a music video — her last video, for the song "Wolves" featuring Marshmello, came out in November 2017. Gomez's recent work has taken a decidedly more grown-up, at times risqué turn, but the video for "Back to You" is pretty playful. The whole thing has a very Audrey Hepburn-in-a-Wes Anderson-rom-com vibe, and if you were too preoccupied by Gomez's retro threads and stylish new bob to notice the blink-and-you'll-miss-it nods to her exes, well, you're not alone.
Instagram account @selenander was reportedly the first to point out the wily acknowledgements of several of Gomez's exes, as per StyleCaster, which appear to include Justin Bieber (duh), Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd, Anton Zaslavski aka Zedd, and Taylor Lautner (blast from the past, right?). In no way has this theory as of yet been confirmed by the video's director and/or Gomez herself, but it's kind of hard not to see it once you've actually seen it.
The video opens with a shot of Gomez looking beyond bored at a house party. While listening — but, not really listening — to some dude ramble on about the price of tea in China or whatever, she zeroes in on an equally bored-looking guy across the room. There's something ... familiar .... about the guy, though. Oh. Right. His hair. It's oh-so-very Justin Bieber circa 2010. But wait! There's more.
Gomez and the Bieber-coifed bored boy unite, and together they decide to steal a car. The subtitled conversation between the two literally reads, Gomez: "Do you want to steal a car?" Bieber-Coifed Bored Boy: "Sure." Gomez takes the boy's hand, they climb out a window — because walking out the front door would be way too easy to do in a cocktail dress — and then they proceed to embark upon a road trip/supposed tour-de-Gomez's exes.
"So where are we going?" the Bieber-coifed boy asks Gomez. The pop star then rattles off an array of seemingly random destinations, which — according to @selenander — actually aren't random at all. "Italy. France. Canada. Russia. Michigan," she says.
Italy and France, as per the fan theory, are references to Gomez's nearly year-long relationship with The Weeknd. In January 2017, right after they'd reportedly started dating, the new couple took a romantic trip to Florence and Venice together, E! News reported. Shortly thereafter, Gomez was spotted in Paris, France at one of The Weeknd's concerts.
Canada, of course, is Justin Bieber's home country (as well as The Weeknd's). No need to get into all the hairy details of Gomez's history with Bieber. Let's just say they've been on-and-off for the better part of a decade, in case you weren't aware/have been living under a rock.
Russia happens to be the birthplace of Zedd — he and Gomez were briefly together back in 2015, according to Billboard — and, Taylor Lautner — who, as per People, Gomez dated for a minute in 2009 — is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Neither Gomez nor Lautner has ever confirmed nor denied that they dated, but Gomez's friend, actor Jennifer Stone, told E! News at the time that they were just friends.) Mind. Blown.
Now, again, this is just a fan theory about the "Back to You" video, and not a confirmed fact. But, it's a pretty convincing fan theory, right? It's safe to assume that Gomez probably won't be copping to any of this one way or another, but it definitely adds another interesting *alleged* element to an already creative video.