Ariana Grande is being accused of 'queer baiting' in her new music video — but others say it's a representation of self-love

Ariana Grande/YouTubeAriel Yasmine, Ariana Grande, and Charles Melton in the music video for ‘Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.’
  • 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.

Break up with your girlfriend ariana grandeAriana Grande/YouTubeAriana Grande and Ariel Yasmine in the music video for ‘Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.’

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.^tfw

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.”

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.

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.

Break up with your girlfriend ariana grandeAriana Grande/YouTubeYasmine and Grande see each other as their own reflections throughout the video.

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.)

Read more:

Ariana Grande has gotten 36 tattoos (and counting). Here’s where they are and what they all mean.

Ariana grande break up with your girlfriendAriana Grande/YouTubeThe women subtly swap roles in some scenes.

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.

Read more:
Ariana Grande’s new album is full of revealing lyrics, samples, and apparent Pete Davidson references – here’s every detail you may have missed

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.”

Representatives for Grande and the video’s director, Hannah Lux Davis, didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.

You can watch the music video here and see a complete breakdown of all the Easter Eggs here.

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