More Than Just a Music Video: The Underlying Messages in Ariana Grande’s Latest Music Video

By Michaela Meleca, Media and Communications ’24

On Thursday night, October 22nd, millions of eager Ariana Grande fans waited for the song,  ‘Positions’— the lead single for Grande’s sixth studio album— to come out. Along with the song, a ‘Positions’ music video was premiering that same night. Although not even three minutes long, the music video has a lot of meaning behind it. 

When the music video begins, the opening scene is a shot of the White House. The next scene zooms into a window of the White House, to reveal Ariana Grande at the head of a table surrounded by several women and people of color. By the second scene, it is obvious to viewers that Ariana Grande is the president in this video. The boardroom scene then transitions to Grande cooking in the White House kitchen. The next shot is of Grande sitting in the Oval Office, surrounded by the same group of people. As the video continues, it goes back and forth between shots of Grande fulfilling her presidential duties and shots of her in traditional “female” roles (for example: cooking in the kitchen). Obviously, a music video is exciting for Ariana Grande fans, but, this music video is way more meaningful than that. This music video is full of symbols that empower women and challenge our current government.

First of all, the fact that Grande is a female president in the music video is a clear symbol of female empowerment. Our country has never had a woman as president, but Grande’s video shows that women are more than capable of being in positions of power. Also, the fact that Grande’s multi-tasking character is seen throughout the video doing tasks like cooking in the kitchen while being president is conveying the message that women can “do it all”. Lastly, in terms of the feminist message in the music video, Grande’s cabinet is made up of mostly women. One scene in particular (at minute 1:12) shows Grande strutting down the halls of the White House, surrounded entirely by women. This scene is very powerful, for, once again, it provides the much needed  representation of women in power. While the feminist message comes across loud and clear to viewers, the video also hints at current issues in our country’s government.

First of all, it was no coincidence that Ariana Grande dropped this video the same night as the final presidential debate. It seems that Grande wanted to  make a public statement on her stance in the upcoming election. Along with dropping this video on the night of the debate, Grande featured several people of color in her video (as briefly mentioned earlier). Racial inequality is a major issue that our country has faced since its beginning. Grande’s video is providing a scenario where people of color are in positions of power in the government; expressing  that  we need to have the diversity that our government lacks. Lastly, the video shows Grande awarding a UPS worker Medal of Freedom (at minute 2:37) . This is a clear aim at President Trump, who has previously refused to adequately fund UPS. Clearly, this  video gives a not- so- subtle reflection on Grande’s liberal politics.

Overall, the ‘Positions’ music video conveys beliefs of feminism —by portraying a female president and a majority female cabinet— and liberal politics that were explained in the previous paragraph. Grande’s music video exemplifies a government that many people long to see in the near future.