ariana grande: she’ll sweetened your tea

by clairetattersfield

I’m just going to come out and say it: if Ariana Grande fingering a hurricane in her “God is a Woman” music video didn’t make you question your sexuality (or reaffirm it, for that matter) you’re not an American. 

Just this past month, Ariana released her newest album “Sweetener” featuring bops such as the title track, “no tears left to cry,” “breathin,” and “borderline.” Her songs feature artists from the likes of Pharrell, Nicki Minaj, and 90’s God, Missy Elliott. 

Ariana Grande’s wonderful weirdness hasn’t flickered even since her days as a vibrant redhead on the Nickelodeon show “Victorious.” She was then able to transition from  “Sam and Cat” to her first hit, “Into You.” In addition to her colorful background, she’s a musical impression savant. If you haven’t seen her impressions, look them up. Her Celine Dion is better than Celine Dion’s. The main difference between the two (besides the generational gap and overall lack of being French-Canadian) is that her heart can go the fuck off.

This album shows off this same wonderful weirdness, as well as her voice that could shatter your ear drums as efficiently as it shatters the glass ceiling. What initially caught my eye on the album was the song titled “Pete Davidson.” Does this boost his level of Big Dick Energy? Did it lessen his under eye bags from sheer relevancy? Is the only way to get a song named after you on an Ariana Grande album to seduce her? These are the pressing questions that keep me up at night.

Never mind that it’s a catchy album that’s fun to listen to, I’d like to focus on the feminist elements of the album, particularly in the wake of #metoo and women being unashamedly, well, women. Female artists have been experimenting with pushing the boundaries in which female artists are typically confined. Ariana’s is no different – it’s assertive, shows off her own talent, and addresses the beauty of her own body and the effects she has on men. She’s dynamite. 

 “God is a woman” is a track about rocking somebody’s world so hard that they’d afterward believe that God is a woman. The music video has more vaginas than you’d see in the locker room of a public gym attended primarily by senior citizens. “successful” is a straight brag track. The song is just about how she’s a badass woman who’s made a name for herself as a young artist – the hook of the chorus is “I’m so successful.” I can’t relate, but I’m glad this song gives the illusion that I can. “no tears left to cry” is about overcoming emotional obstacles. She’s in a state of mind she wants to be in, like, all the time. She used up all of her tears and now she’s picking herself up by her bootstraps and starting fresh. “get well soon” is the outro to the album and is all about self care. She’s an overworked lady – taking down the patriarchy brick by brick can have that effect. 

We live in a time when female role models are necessary and seem scarce, particularly with the amount of white (emphasis on the white) noise of the news, it’s important to pinpoint women celebrating womanhood and female badassery. “Sweetener” is pure pop bliss, and fun to listen to. It’s a celebration of womanhood and it’s a celebration of Ariana. If Grande is going to continue making albums that are just as catchy and feminist as this one, she’ll fulfill her own legacy of being “successful.

Categories: claire tattersfield, culture, tunes


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