Ariana Grande Is Really Making A Big Deal About Pete Davidson’s Big… Deal
For a brief, manic weekend earlier this year, the internet was obsessed with BDE, and specifically, Pete Davidson’s BD.
Originally coined by Twitter user @imbobswaget about Anthony Bourdain in June, Big Dick Energy really took off when Davidson’s then-fiancée Ariana Grande “””jokingly””” (sure Jan) confirmed long-running rumours and suspicions that he had the hardest-working boxer-briefs in showbiz.
Many of the people who hadn’t been on the Davidson Crush Express since day one (ahem) and didn’t quite get why one of the most famous women in the world wanted to date a lanky comedian who looks like he literally never sleeps now nodded sagely, as if to say “Ah, no wonder she wanted to lock that down”.
Pete and Ariana may be no more, but BDE lives on, and more specifically, so does the “””rumour””” that he is extremely well endowed. So much so that there are not one, not two, but THREE nods to his allegedly massive schlong in her blockbuster new clip for moving-on anthem ‘thank u, next’.
First, there’s the shout out on his burn book page in the Mean Girls part of the clip:
Then, there’s the pretty corny bit in the Legally Blonde homage where Grande’s chatting to guest star Jennifer Coolidge in the nail salon, talking about a guy with a huge….. front tooth. Sure, Jan.
Then there’s the badge on the “UPS guy”… which actually says “BDE”.
So is going on about his size her way of saying sorry for breaking off the engagement? Is she missing one part of Pete more than the rest of him? Por que no los dos?
Bless These Confused Non-Australians Who Thought Troye Sivan's Cameo In Ariana Grande's 'Thank U Next' Teaser Was "Homophobic"
The single most hyped piece of pop culture of the entire year (and yes I am including all Avengers-related content in this reckoning) – the clip for Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next‘ – got a teaser yesterday.
That, by the way, a reference to the fans who misheard the lyrics “Plus, I met someone else / We havin’ better discussions / I know they say I move on too fast / But this one gon’ last / ‘Cause her name is Ari” and thought Grande was talking about someone called Aubrey and not, you know, herself.
But bless their hearts, a lot of presumably non-Australian fans were deeply confused by the meaning of “f**king sick”.
Of course, because this is Stan Twitter, there are about four tweets misinterpreting it and four million going “uM troye is LITERALLY a MEMBER of the comMUNity fr what is going ON I’m -“.
The only logical next step here is that “f**king sick” goes mainstream in the US thanks to this teaser.
You heard it here first – “sick” is going to be the new “lit”. Tell your dad.
Ariana Grande Gets To Work Through Her Grief How She Wants, Whether You Believe Her Or Not
There's a person under the ponytail.
Ariana Grande has had a rough couple of years. While she’s more successful than ever, she’s also endured being at the centre of the shocking and deadly Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017, the end of her two-year relationship with rapper Mac Miller earlier this year, his sudden death by overdose in September, and her brief but clearly intense engagement to Pete Davidson, which broke up within weeks of Miller’s death.
She’s still promoting Sweetener, the critically acclaimed album she made while processing all of the above events (except for the breakup, which came after its release, complete with a song named for Davidson) – though she’s muffled the resonance of its four hit singles with another, ‘thank u, next’, a wistful banger about moving on from hard times while carrying their lessons with you that namechecks Miller, Davidson and two of her other exes directly.
One of the hallmarks of Grande’s public persona is also that she shares her apparently unfiltered thoughts constantly with her fans (and non-fans) through her socials. This ranges from cheeky insta comments about Davidson’s junk and sassing random fans about not seeing her favourite movies, to a select few posts in tribute to Miller, who she called “[her] dearest friend. For so long. Above anything else”, and excited promo for her upcoming music or videos.
If you take away around 135 million or so of her followers, it’s about the same as what any woman in her early 20s would be doing on Insta. Her online presence and her increasingly personal, pointed and unapologetically feminine music fit together in a way that feels authentic and real – unless, of course, you’re one of these guys.
Grande has already had to hit back repeatedly at trolls blaming her – particularly her “flaunting” her relationship with Davidson – for Miller’s death, his mental health and struggles with addiction. Now she’s being told that mourning him openly, whether on her socials or in her work, isn’t acceptable either.
She’s perfectly capable of handling this garbage herself, with grace and eloquence:
But let’s be clear: just because she is already massively successful, that does not mean she doesn’t get to work through her grief and pain and heartbreak in her music or in public.
Artists use their personal lives in their work all the time. If she works with other creative professionals in order to realise her vision and shape it into something expressive and emotional and relatable and enjoyable: THIS IS ALSO FINE.
Kanye West made 808s And Heartbreaks following the death of his mother, and people were baffled by the lack of actual rapping, sure – but there was a real lack of “How dare you exploit your heartbreaking personal loss to sell records” narratives being thrown around.
Gang Of Youths’ massively successful debut album The Positions won them a swag of awards and made them one of Australia’s biggest bands – but nobody is going on Twitter to abuse Dave Le’aupepe for using his personal trauma and grief to make successful art that makes people feel amazing, or for talking about it honestly.
What are the odds that some of the people rolling their eyes at Ariana Grande reflecting on the recent and tragic death of a beloved person in her life in a song or a social post are the same people who believe all Top 40 pop is shallow, manufactured and empty of meaning, especially compared to music made with guitars, or performed by, say, men?
There’s a person under that iconic ponytail, and she doesn’t owe anyone a more authentic version of her grief or her happiness, no matter how many #1 singles she has.
If ‘thank u, next’ is any indication, the follow-up album to Sweetener will continue to see her working through the events we’ve watched unfold in real time, however she wants to.