- On Friday, Ariana Grande dropped her newest album “Thank U, Next” – along with a music video for the album’s final track, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.”
- The video follows Grande as she flirts with both a boy and his girlfriend, who’s styled to resemble the singer.
- The twist ending (spoiler alert) sees Grande turn away from the boy and lean in to kiss the girl.
- Some fans have accused Grande, who identifies as straight, of “queer baiting” and using bisexuality for shock value.
- Others have interpreted the girlfriend character as a representation of Grande herself and believe the video is an illustration of self-love.
Ariana Grande has sparked another controversy with her most recent music video for “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” which dropped on Friday alongside Grande’s newest album “Thank U, Next.”
As suggested by the title, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” follows Grande as she covets and flirts with another girl’s boyfriend, played by model Ariel Yasmine and “Riverdale” actor Charles Melton, respectively.
However, Grande is also seen throughout the video flirting with the girlfriend character. The twist ending (spoiler alert) sees Grande turn away from Melton and lean in to kiss Yasmine instead. The video ends before their lips touch.
In response, some fans have accused Grande, who has thus far identified as straight, of “queer baiting.” The term describes a practice – usually used in visual media, like movies and TV shows – to entice queer viewers with hints of an LGBTQ character or love story without any meaningful follow-through.
While Grande has been an outspoken supporter of the LGBTQ community, many have noted that it’s a tired trope and a symptom of privilege to use same-sex attraction purely for shock value.
is ariana heterosexual or nah i need answers pls bc this…queer baiting thing is making me annoyed
— ???????????????????????????? (@reallychalamet) February 8, 2019
if ariana isn’t bisexual and just kissed a girl in break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored, then i’ll have to unstan. sorry sis it’s 2019 and i won’t accept queer baiting in this bisexual girl’s house. thank u, next ????
— simin (@mimisbutterflys) February 8, 2019
let’s hope that was ariana’s way of coming out and she wasn’t just queer baiting
— jen (@lgbtjoy) February 8, 2019
if Ariana is bi, then you go girl
but if she's queerbaiting us and using bisexuality just as a plot twist…
bisexuality isn't something you decide bc you're bored
bisexuality isn't here for shock value
— aphrodite ???? | jimtober (@ssweetae) February 8, 2019
ok tea but if ariana isnt bi and had that ending to break up with ur gf im bored idk im gonna be a lil :/ bc lgbt themes shouldn't be used in music videos just to add shock value or be like wow look at me idk
— ya boi ⭐ (@galaxy_pal) February 8, 2019
Others, however, interpret Yasmine’s girlfriend character as a representation of Grande herself and believe the video is actually an illustration of self-love.
To many, this feels particularly viable following the focus on self-love in the album’s titular track: “I met someone else / We havin’ better discussions,” Grande sings in “Thank U, Next.” “I know they say I move on too fast / But this one gon’ last / ‘Cause her name is Ari / And I’m so good with that.”
So it's not my place to say anything about the issue in ariana's new mv bc I'm not queer and if it offends you or is queer-baiting to you then okay, I just want to say I think the video is about her breaking up w/ her bf and loving herself, thus why the girl is dressed like her.
— mia (@bts_jjba) February 8, 2019
Yasmine is clearly styled to resemble the pop star. At the beginning of the video, the model appears wearing an oversized black sweatshirt, over-the-knee boots, and a high ponytail with a barrette.
Later, Yasmine and Grande match in black outfits and identical hairstyles.
the girl in the buwygib video intentionally looks like ariana. when she kisses her it’s symbolising that ariana is loving herself FIRST before loving a new man. pic.twitter.com/u0xD4QpV8d
— paige (@betturoffs) February 8, 2019
wait a minute….is she trying to promote self love in buwygib?
because both the women are dressed the same way…so what if she's trying to tell her boyfriend to break up with her cause she's bored and she wants to love herself only?
— leah ⚯͛ (@howneedy) February 8, 2019
ariana using buwygib as a way to show that she’s better off single by showing a reflection of herself and seeing the relationship from the outside was truly so incredible,, her mind pic.twitter.com/kIgqUk0xEf
— t (@arianaschan) February 8, 2019
There are even multiple scenes and shots that treat Yasmine and Grande as mirror images, or even suggest they may be different versions of the same person.
There are also brief moments when the women appear to subtly switch roles.
The video introduces Grande hanging out in a club with long blonde hair, for example. In one shot from the club scene, it appears as though Grande is watching Yasmine and Melton dance, but we can see it’s actually a blonde Yasmine watching and Grande dancing, because of her tattoos. (Yasmine’s character doesn’t appear to have these tattoos elsewhere in the video.)
There seem to be consistent visual cues that point towards Grande’s attraction to the girlfriend as a metaphor for prioritising herself before seeking another relationship.
It’s also important to note that both interpretations of the video can exist simultaneously. The video can be an illustration of self-love while simultaneously using bisexuality as “an aesthetic.”
if ariana grande was trying to promote self-love with that song, then she should’ve gone about it in a way that wasn’t queerbaiting. as a straight woman, ariana wouldn’t suffer consequences of kissing women that queer women are discriminated against. she used wlw as an aesthetic.
— ???????????????? semi-i/a new pinned!! (@toduvuki) February 8, 2019
Representatives for Grande and the video’s director, Hannah Lux Davis, didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
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