09 April 2019 - Queerbaiting: Ariana Grande’s song accused of manipulating the gay community
Queerbaiting - exploitation or a sign of progress?
Holly Honderich (BBC News, 08/04/2019)
Grande's new song, a collaboration with friend Victoria Monét dubbed Monopoly, claimed the number one spot on the iTunes chart 24 hours after its release.
But a particular lyric, in which Grande sings of liking "women and men" has added scrutiny to the customary buzz that now follows the American singer.
Some fans have celebrated it as an expression of bisexuality. Others, however, have levelled charges of queerbaiting, which is the practice of using hints of sexual ambiguity to tease an audience.
Ariana Grande’s ‘MONOPOLY’: Queer-baiting or Self-affirming?
Tadhg Larabee (The Crimson, 09/04/2019)
Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét’s new single “MONOPOLY” is the kind of song you can play over and over again and never get sick of. This infectiousness is the strength of Grande’s sparkling and swaggering pop-rap anthem — the latest iteration of the formula that produced smash hits “7 rings” and “thank u, next.”
“MONOPOLY” is a piece of polished pop machinery that’s easy on the ears. Unlike many mainstream rap songs, its dominant sounds are not thumping bass or gaudy samples; instead, the track rests on a soft bed of compressed drums, wispy organs, and an occasional playful glockenspiel. This sparse and unsurprising beat gives “MONOPOLY” a subtle scent of the prepackaged cheerfulness concocted in a boardroom. Despite this, its music video gives the track an air of authentic celebration in which Grande and Monét joke around in front of a vintage camcorder and make surprisingly un-forced references to online culture.
Ariana Grande has been exploiting minority identities for years
Liyanga de Silva (The Diamondback, 09/04/2019)
Ariana Grande, known for her catchy music and iconic high ponytail, has quickly become one of the most famous musical artists in the world today. Despite her enduring popularity, there are plenty of reasons to say “thank u, next” to the pop star.
Let’s start with Grande’s willingness to use queerbaiting — the teasing of a queer romance or identity without actually showing it to draw in LGBTQ audiences. This is perhaps most prominent in the music video for Grande’s song “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” where she comes very close to kissing another woman.
There was plenty of backlash against this, most of which I agree with. This is queerbaiting in every sense of the word — instead of committing to any kind of queer identity, Grande capitalizes off the hypersexualization of queer women. She also recklessly draws on the stereotype of bisexual people being more likely to cheat in relationships.
Why Everyone Is Obsessed With Ariana Grande's Bicurious Songs
Gabrielle Alexa (Broadly., 05/04/2019)
I didn’t believe Ariana Grande was coming out, and that’s OK. On the pop star’s latest song, “Monopoly,” some speculated that the singer subtly came out as bisexual with the lyrics, “I like women and men (yeah)” after months of discussion about who and when she would start dating, following a very public breakup. The song also dropped on April 1, amidst doctored pregnancy announcements and marketing gags on April Fool’s Day, so who wouldn’t be a little skeptical?
Now that the smoke has cleared and we can trust the internet slightly more than on the first of April, fans are still questioning Grande’s truthfulness. Many responding to “Monopoly” believe she’s guilty of queerbaiting, hinting at queerness to appeal to the LGBT community but not actually presenting it so that her heterosexual audience remains intact. The same critique was made when she dropped the “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” music video a month ago. Grande teases us with a queer storyline, flirting with a strikingly similar-looking woman only to repackage it as a metaphor for self love later. Understandably, people were pissed.