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AUTHOR: SASHA GEFFEN, MTV.COM

When Selena Gomez‘s “Bad Liar” came out last month, the cover art caused almost as much conversation as the singer’s striking new sound. Now, in a new interview with MTV News’s Meredith Graves, Selena explains exactly why she appears in the photo with a hospital bracelet and a bandage on her arm.

It turns out that when Selena went to work with photographer Petra Collins on the single artwork and music video for “Bad Liar,” she had just come from the hospital where she was receiving treatment for lupus. Instead of asking her to take off the bandage, though, Petra encouraged her to keep it on and own the vulnerable look.

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“It was a very real moment,” Selena said. “She thought it was beautiful … It was just exactly where I was emotionally.”

Plus, the image perfectly fit the song. “It kind of symbolizes what the song is and where I am personally,” she added.

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As for where her music is, Selena notes that “Bad Liar” and its video could mark the beginning of a new direction for her. She wrote it after a period of time when she felt stuck in the studio. Luckily, Petra’s photography helped shake her out of her rut and come back to her creative side, which is why they ended up working so well together.

Sounds like we’ve only got more to look forward to from these two.

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