Imagine Ariana Grande. Whether you picture a young, red-headed ditz from Victorious, or a sassy pop diva, Grande carries an air of innocence with her youthful image. For a bestselling 22-year-old pop star, Ariana Grande looks remarkably young—and the world has made sure she’s aware of that fact. When she was involved with Big Sean, the internet constantly mocked their relationship, calling him her “babysitter” or “sugar daddy” while he was only a few years her senior. Even after they broke up, the joke prevailed, with comments about her elementary school enrollment or Little League championships constantly being made.
With her video series for provocative single “Dangerous Woman,” Grande is trying to prove that she is a woman—not the child everyone thinks she is. Before releasing “Dangerous Woman (Visual 1),” Grande performed an a cappella version of the song for video release, clad in a latex bunny outfit. No, it was not enough to ask for “all you got, skin to skin” in the song’s risqué lyrics—a leather mask and gloves were necessary as well. While her vocal performance is truly impressive, if not remarkable, the gimmick is distracting and detracts from the video’s quality.
“Dangerous Woman (Visual 1),” the track’s first official video release, falls into the same trap of shameless sex appeal. The video consists of Grande dancing around in lingerie, seductively serenading the camera under soft pink and blue lights. With no costar or plot, the video should by default be called performance-based, but the performance Grande is advertising is not her singing.
Embracing her sexuality and being comfortable in her body, however, is not Grande’s flaw with this video. It’s the apparent fact that this song and its accompanying videos are an attempt to prove herself as an adult. Maturity isn’t something that’s earned through sexuality, but through emotional resilience, which Grande clearly does not yet possess if she’s sinking to the level of her tormentors and compromising her music in order to retaliate to their jokes.
Featured Image By Republic Records