Ariana Grande’s new song “thank u, next” is the self-love anthem we need


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Ariana Grande is an artist whose image and music has grown along with her since she began her career in 2009.

Her resilience is what has stood out to me over this past year and it truly demonstrates how strong she is, both as an artist and as a human being.

She certainly comes from a place of immeasurable privilege that people like to use to write off her challenges and experiences, but that shouldn’t override the fact that she’s a person who goes through hardships just like anyone else.

Grande’s romantic relationships have been the focus and object of scrutiny in the public eye and media, particularly with rapper Mac Miller and SNL comedian Pete Davidson.

After breaking up with Mac Miller after roughly two years together, her whirlwind romance with Pete Davidson became one of the most buzzworthy topics of discussion and speculation until they called off their engagement in October.

The tragic death of Mac Miller in September caused an onslaught of online abuse and accusations directed towards Grande that depicted her as the villain who indirectly caused his passing.

This misdirected mob-mentality and witch burning tirade that swept over the internet during the period of grief that overwhelmed fans of Miller’s music and more pointedly, Grande, who knew him intimately — showcased her ability to rise above the unreasonable treatment celebrities are often dished out, simply because they’re famous.

Regardless of whether she moved on “too fast” from Miller into her relationship with Davidson is literally no one’s business and it was never her job as a woman to “fix” Miller, like the internet seemed to expect her to.

Female empowerment has become rooted in her music and with tracks like this and my previously most played on-repeat-ballad, “God is a woman,” I’m really loving the direction she’s taken with her music.

After releasing the massively popular single “thank u, next,” my appreciation and admiration for Grande were cemented even further.

The song, which highlights the importance of self-love, forgiveness and loving without fear of heartbreak, has broken Spotify’s single-day record for a female artist twice.

Accumulating nearly 29 million streams on the platform since its surprise release, her smash hit has taken the online world by storm. I’ve listened to the song myself dozens of times on repeat and I keep falling in love with it the more I listen to it.

It’s unabashedly direct with its mention of her ex-boyfriends by name but it flips the script of nearly every popular song recorded about past relationships by making them positive.

Her self-reflectiveness and gratitude towards the men who have come and gone in her life — each serving their own unique and specific purpose —  touches on her ability to call out the good in the relationships that didn’t work out, whatever those reasons may have been.

More importantly though, “thank u next” celebrates her relationship with herself — because that’s the one that matters the most.

My favourite part of the song and one that’s been quoted by countless Twitter users in praiseworthy agreement is; “I know they say I move on too fast, But this one gon’ last, ‘Cause her name is AriAnd I’m so good with that.”

Female empowerment has become rooted in her music and with tracks like this and my previously most played on-repeat-ballad, “God is a woman,” I’m really loving the direction she’s taken with her music.

Handling and addressing the criticisms she’s given no matter what her relationship status is with nothing but grace and dignity and holding her head high with this song as her commentary on it, is commendable, to say the least.

Pushing a narrative where we can be grateful for our exes because they inevitably teach us lessons about ourselves and hyping up the importance of loving yourself outside of relationships is something that I can get behind just as much, if not more, than a classic angry breakup anthem.

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