The official music video for Ariana Grande's recent single, “thank u, next,” released in November, went viral immediately after its release. Grande opens the song by singing about her past relationships, addressing her recent public breakup with Pete Davidson and Mac Miller’s passing earlier this year. In the chorus, the singer talks about how much she has grown and learned to love herself after a very difficult year. Previous to its release, the buzz surrounding the most anticipated music video of the year demonstrated how this anthem for women would forever impact pop culture.
Here are reasons why “thank u, next” is the most iconic music video of 2018:
1. She recreates iconic 2000s movies
From Mean Girls, to Bring It On, to 13 Going on 30, and Legally Blonde, the music video paid homage to those binge-worthy movies led by strong female characters. Ariana perfectly embodies the iconic characters of Regina George, Torrance Shipman, Elle Woods, and Jenna Rink. In each respective story, the growth that these female characters experienced can be compared to Grande’s triumphant journey after the Manchester concert attack, Mac Miller’s death, and the short lived engagement with Pete Davidson. Love, patience, and pain are necessary lessons in life for self growth that Ariana has experienced - the music video is about resilience, maturity, and self love.
(Courtesy of Us Weekly)
2. The cameos
- We got to see some of the original actors from the movies! Aaron Samuels, played by Jonathan Bennett, struts behind the iconic “plastics.” We also got to see Stefanie Drummond, one of the original Regina George stans who delivered one of the most iconic lines from the movie.
- Kris Jenner, notoriously known as the Kardashian’s “momager,” was the perfect person to play Regina George’s mother in the Mean Girls Segment.
- Ariana Grande starred in the hit Nickelodeon show Victorious, and featured some of her castmates from the show in her video. Elizabeth Gillies plays Cady Heron, while Matt Bennett plays Cliff Pantone in the flirty toothbrush scene from Bring It On. Daniella Monet is another close friend of the singer, taking on the role of a cheerleader.
- Jennifer Coolidge, who plays the beautician Paulette in Legally Blonde, provides us with some nostalgic comedy. Grande even frequently imitates Coolidge’s voice. It’s uncanny!
(Courtesy of Us Weekly)
3. Ariana Grande pokes fun at the rumors addressed about her
Gossiping plays a huge role in the Mean Girls movie, something Grande also has to deal with as a pop star constantly subjected to intense criticism and crazy rumors. In the beginning of the video, the singer playfully addresses some of the more popular (and ridiculous) of these.
Troye Sivan, an Aussie YouTuber turned popstar, talks about how he heard that Ariana Grande might be a lesbian. This refers to some of the song's lyrics: “But this one gon' last, 'cause her name is Ari, and I'm so good with that.” When the song initially dropped, some fans claimed to have mistaken the word "Ari" for "Aubrey," immediately causing a frenzy within the fandom.
Colleen Ballinger, a YouTube sensation, opens the music video by exclaiming she got pregnant because she had heard Ariana Grande got pregnant, revealing a very big belly. There was fan speculation that Grande was pregnant, which many claimed was the reason behind the quick engagement to Pete Davidson.
"Thank u, next" was an unprecedented song and music video, gaining deserved viral attention and incredible support. Ariana Grande celebrates womanhood, inspiring many with her candidness and relatability. She ended a hard year with a bang, and we are extremely excited to see what she has in store for us in the future.
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