Unless you've been hiding under a rock (which I recognize is a possibility, considering finals are upon us and anything can happen), you've probably seen Ariana Grande's new video for her hit song "thank u, next" and probably had to watch it several more times to catch all of the easter eggs and cameos hidden throughout the video. Pulling from four major female-dominated films, the music video says something a bit deeper than "thank u, next."
It is vital to consider that the video changes the breakup narrative completely. We often see music videos that will paint women as either a hot mess and a half after a breakup complete with tear-stained faces, crying at rom-coms from their beds, and eating all the chocolate one could imagine. Music videos also can often paint women as vengeful, borderline psychotic, complete with damaging private property, screaming, and the occasional setting things on fire (we can thank T-Swift for that one... in fact, we can thank *cough*blame*cough* her for a large part of the "hate your exes" narrative). Instead of being any kind of extreme, Ariana's picture of a woman after a breakup is *gasp* normal!? Living her best life!? Thriving without causing damage to her exes in any way!? How revolutionary, honestly.
In all seriousness, getting to see a woman say positive things she learned from her exes instead of cussing them out, badmouthing them, or damaging them in any way was refreshing. As a woman who has been through amicable breakups, I look back on relationships and remember the good times and what I learned from each relationship. I feel like I can actually relate to this narrative that Ari is putting out here.
Seeing people burn someone's house down or bash in their car windows might empower some people, but it makes me feel pretty uncomfortable and promotes a dangerous narrative of erratic, illegal, and unreasonable behavior. Ari's narrative shows that truly powerful women can learn and move on, not letting their emotions get the best of them. I think that's a pretty great idea to start putting in people's head.
It's sad that society has had to wait this long for a narrative that doesn't represent women as driven by their emotions, but I'm glad it's finally happening. Now, don't hear me saying I think that all women should fit into this box that Ari is painting here. Emotions are also a very natural part of life, especially during heartbreak, so we shouldn't feel ashamed of anger or sadness or anything else we might feel when hard things happen in life. It is actually proven that the way your brain recognizes the pain from a breakup could also be the same way it recognizes physical pain.
The brain is powerful and can be heavily affected by breakups. If you're someone who has gone through a really hard breakup or other hard time and are having trouble feeling okay, reach out to talk to someone. Mental Health America has a lot of great information on how and when to find help.
In short, this video is a good representation of a healthy way of getting through heartbreak and feeling powerful enough to move on without feeling guilt or shame for what has happened in the past and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is an important lesson for the ladies of society today can learn. Thank you, Ari, for giving us something new to watch and think about.