Ariana and the Aesthetic of Excess

Ariana Grande has been difficult to avoid in recent months. From her instant classic, thank u, next, to her recent single 7 rings. And, one thing is especially distinct about the pop queen’s new imagery: the idyllic depiction of excess.

Unlike recent trends of pop artist, such as the late Mac Miller in 2009, to preach of the dangers of fame, Ariana seems to take no qualm with drowning any possible sorrow in material riches: this choice is reflected aesthetically in her recent music videos. Just as thank u, next indulges in gratuitous cameos and references, 7 rings douses itself in neon pink, expensive set pieces, and mile-long hair extensions. Ariana sends a clear message in her lyrics and in her new imagery: “whoever said money can’t solve your problems must not have had enough money to solve ’em.

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