Simply put, Ariana Grande is the role model we all need for self-love and appreciation.
Early Saturday, November 3, Ariana Grande released what may just be her best song yet, Thank U, Next to the entire world. Her song, Thank U, Next, is an ode to the emotional challenges she endured in her previous romantic relationships, and the upbringing of her newest (and possibly most profound) relationship — the one with herself.
These last couple of years Ariana Grande has experienced a whirlwind of pivotal, emotional challenges that have been poignant in popular culture. However, through it all, Ariana has demonstrated such a persevering charisma that has ultimately allowed her to thrive in the world. Shaken by the horrors of the Manchester bombing, Ariana was able to come back and hold the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims and families affected in the tragedy. Additionally, Grande has proceeded to maintain mature and sophisticated composure in her recent separation from Pete Davidson and the loss of her former boyfriend and rapper, Mac Miller. Evidently, Ariana Grande is the role model that our society truly needs.
On November 1, Ariana Grande went to Twitter with the words “thank u, next.” Fans and viewers mistakenly attributed this tweet as a reply to Grande’s former fiancee, Pete Davidson, and his role in a skit on SNL. The show highlighted him asking musician Maggie Rogers to get married after their first encounter. Rogers’ subsequent response was a denial of his mocked proposal and Davidson replies “0 for 3,” clearly mocking his two prior engagements. However, this was not the source of Grande’s tweet. Two days later, Grande released her new single, and it is reported that this will be the name of her new album which will debut in 2019.
Thank U, Next is an anthem that combines a reminiscence of young love, heartbreak, and the ensuing growth following relationships. Ariana Grande details how each unique relationship she has experienced has been a significant part of her life. In the first verse of her new song, she mentions her initial naive hopes to be with Sean Anderson (Big Sean), one of her first formal relationships, her relationship with Ricky Anderson, her backup dancer, her recently terminated relationship with Pete Davidson, and her commemoration of Malcolm McCormick (Mac Miller), who passed away on September 7, 2018. The pre-chorus features her listing all the lessons she learned in her previous relationships and explains how she will take these experiences with her for her next steps in life.
The second verse of the song symbolizes the new relationship she has with the most important person in her life — herself. Through her trials and tribulations these last couple of years, she has cultivated this love and appreciation for herself. As the song proceeds, she expresses her hopes to meet the person truly for her, how life has just been one learning lesson and how her former relationships have only been positive experiences for her.
Something I think we, as a society, overall neglect to recognize is that relationships that end in the media are not always as dramatic and horrible as we suspect them to be. Women and men all across the media can endure separations that do not end in dramatic he-said-she-said rhetoric. It is unfortunate that the reports of celebrity break-ups are always the fault of one person in the relationship, because more likely than not (and whether society chooses to believe it or not), relationships end mutually and in healthy patterns.
Ariana Grande has been the prime example of a woman who has been able to participate in healthy breakups and still come out stronger at the other end. She expresses the notion that women are stronger when they can tackle the world on their own. In her life, she has tackled loss, trauma, and pain, and eloquently confronts her issues head-on, coming out stronger at the end. She stresses the importance of self-love and care, she expresses the value in being vulnerable, and she emphasizes the ability to persevere. Our generation is more than fortunate to have Ariana Grande as a forthright, prominent role model.