by: Madeline Weaver-Nolting ’19 A&E Staff
Ariana Grande’s newest song “thank u, next” might be the biggest feminist anthem of the year, or friendliest breakup track, depending on who you ask. The surprise release after her latest break up with her fiancé, comedian Pete Davidson, was expected by many fans to insult Davidson. However, instead Grande thanks him, along with three of her other ex-boyfriends for teaching her different life lessons.
Grande takes the time to demonstrate her maturity at 25-years-old, saying how “grateful” she is for past boyfriends. Grande holds no fear of falling back into a relationship as she sings that she is ready to move onto the next one. The lyrics, “One taught me love,/one taught me patience,/and one taught me pain,” emphasize the singer’s maturity in discussing her often very public breakups.
Davidson had a similar attitude as he joked on Saturday Night Live, “The midterm elections are obviously a huge deal, and after I had to move back in with my mom, I started paying attention…The last thing I will say is I know some of you are curious about the breakup, but the truth is it’s nobody’s business, and sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s okay. She’s a wonderful, strong person, and I genuinely wish her all the happiness in the world.”
Grande name drops famous ex-boyfriends including Big Sean and rapper Mac Miller, who died from a drug overdose in early September. She sings, “Wish I could say, ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm, ‘cause he was an angel.’”
Grande also fit in a dig at the media. She sings about how the media presents her as they often do with women in the spotlight who have ex-boyfriends. “I know they say I move on too fast.” Grande takes aim at the double-standard of women in Hollywood who date, like Taylor Swift, and the slut-shaming that occurs. However, it is clear Grande does not care what the media thinks. After all, the song is debatably about moving from boyfriend to boyfriend until she finds the right person to spend her life with.
The song is a feminist anthem because she focuses on finding herself and “hanging with her friends.” Despite being fresh out of a breakup, Grande is reflective on her exes. She sings about herself in the third-person by saying, “She taught me love,/she taught me patience.” The song gets even more personal as she sings, “One day I’ll walk down the aisle/ holding hands with my mama/ I’ll be thanking my dad/ ‘cause she grew from the drama.” Here, she alludes to how strong her mom is as a single mother.
Instead of being stuck in the past, Grande has learned from her mistakes and is ready to move onto her next chapter.