Like most sentient Americans, I’ve spent the past few weeks in a world where Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” is the only soundtrack. It’s passed well beyond the point of “great song!” and into the realm of “if I don’t get my daily fix, I will probably die.” I am certain I’m not alone in this, given that “thank u, next” has shattered multiple records in the streaming world. More importantly to me, the song and its accompanying video have secured Ariana Grande’s transition from pop star to icon, from whom every social media nugget and on-screen appearance are nothing short of gospel.
As I’ve watched (and wholeheartedly approved of) the reaction to “thank u, next,” one question continued to bug me. When Taylor Swift sings about her exes, she causes a similar flurry—but one filled with sneering, eye rolling, and the suggestion that she can’t be taken seriously as an artist for choosing such diary-like content. Then Grande releases a track in which each of her exes are called out by name, and she’s hailed as the ultimate badass for it. As someone who both genuinely loves Taylor Swift’s music and feels that 90-95% of songs should be about one’s exes, I couldn’t help but wonder: why is Grande celebrated for the very thing Swift is mocked for? I’ve outlined my theories below.
Ariana Grande Is Cool & Confident
Let’s be honest—a huge part of the appeal of “thank u, next” is the fact that, given the option, we would all present ourselves like Grande did after a breakup. “Thank u, next” is perhaps the coolest emotion one can evoke when facing an ex—even more so if done with genuine gratitude and while looking insanely flawless. “Thank u, next” is a song we can all caption our pictures with while drunkenly “accidentally” tagging exes, and the worst thing that happens is you’ve been overly polite to someone who wasted a year of your life. You tag an ex in a pic captioned “got a long list of ex-lovers / they’ll tell you I’m insane,” and you’re not coming back from that so quickly. This brings me to my next point.
Taylor Swift Is Earnest & Emotional
Taylor Swift, almost determinedly, does not put up a “cool girl” façade when she sings about her exes. She painfully scrutinizes where it went wrong, often down to the minute of their breakup. She lingers on their ultimate incompatibility, mourns for the good times, and explicitly details the extent to which both she and her ex will suffer for this loss. Swift is, in my opinion, a far more realistic version of what you look like after a breakup. Contrary to what Grande’s rom-com mash-up video would have you believe, most people do not soar from broken engagements feeling validated in all of their choices and loving themselves like never before. They come out feeling lost, broken, and all too likely to dwell on all the most unhelpful and unattractive things.
In other words, they look like this:
So, if Swift is ultimately more relatable, shouldn’t that mean more critical success? F*ck no! Please. Name the last time someone wanted an honest reflection of themselves, particularly if it’s unflattering. From the bathroom scale to the pop soundtrack of your life, you want to be fed beautiful lies. People yell at Swift for being vulnerable about her exes the same way you yell into the mirror the morning after drunk-dialing your own ex 12 times the night before. Swift isn’t critiqued in spite of being relatable; she’s attacked precisely because of it.
Ariana Grande Is Gracious & Direct
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Grande takes the high road with “thank u, next.” She betrays not one scrap of vitriol toward her exes, talks no sh*t about them or the relationship. She simply thanks them for their time, and reaffirms her commitment to herself. So, that alone is easier to get behind than one of Swift’s “remember those three minutes in 2004 when you said we would die together” tirades.
On top of that, there’s the fact that Grande seems to have no fear of confrontation (can’t relate). She names each of her exes plainly, and even gave many of them a heads-up before the song’s release. So, if her exes themselves don’t have an issue with the song, it’s a little harder for the general public to decry it.
Taylor Swift Is Petty & Secretive
Swift, on the other hand, does everything short of attaching a treasure map to each album with hints to which lyric refers to which ex-boyfriend. Yes, the national obsession with tracking those connections, and stalking her love life in general, has gotten totally out of hand. But when she describes the relationship down to the month (“Back to December”), memorable holiday (4th of July), eye color (too many to count) and so on—it’s a little hard not to engage. Add to that the fact that she decidedly doesn’t take her exes’ feelings into consideration on this—and given the contentious nature of many of her songs, it’s not hard to see why.
To clarify, I’m not in any way saying that artists should have to poll their exes before releasing a breakup track. The world would be a much sadder place if that were the case. I’m just saying that Swift’s refusal to do so—and Grande’s respective decorum toward exes—makes Swift the much easier target to criticize. Basically, Grande is doing all the things you’re supposed to do after a breakup; Swift is doing all the things you hope people never find out about after a breakup. And one of those girls will get dragged a lot harder than the other—it’s just a fact of life.
Moral of the story here? We should all try to be more like Ariana Grande. JK—you guys knew that coming in. But honestly, that is the hidden message behind the song’s unequivocal success. When Swift sings about her exes, she does it emotionally, vindictively, and evasively. She speaks about her exes with all the bitterness of someone still deeply invested in the relationship, or at least actively wounded by it. When Grande sings about her exes, she’s singing from the point of view of someone who’s moved on—and ultimately, just singing about herself. So yeah, do be more like Ariana Grande. Move on from relationships that didn’t work, stop emotionally investing, and celebrate yourself. Apparently, the world has a much harder time tearing that down.
Images: Giphy (2)
In the wake of the Vegas shooting, we talk about our expert opinions on gun control, American society as a whole, Playboy and Hugh Hefner. Then we answered a question from a listener who wasn’t clear on proper wedding invitation etiquette.
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This weekend while you were busy focusing on the 15 hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and tsunamis that were bearing down on the U.S., you may have missed news of another horrifying natural disaster than unexpectedly struck Bristol, U.K. this Saturday. I’m talking, of course, about 34-year-old Luke Howard, who went viral setting up a piano on College Green so that he can play continuously until he “gets his girlfriend back.” Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just groaned so loud my coworkers demanded I go to the hospital.
Ugh. Where to begin? Reading this guy’s fake-romantic scheme literally made me want to fly to Bristol, befriend him, and date him, just so that I could dump his ridiculous ass myself. And before you go all, “Aww! But people do crazy things to win back their true love!” fucking pause yourself because Luke Howard had not found his true love. In fact, he and the “girl who changed his life” had actually only been dating for four months. FOUR MONTHS?!? If I’m dating a guy for four months and he so much as breathes in my direction after I break up with him, that’s grounds for a restraining order. A four month relationship is like, nothing. Was this guy low-key a contestant on The Bachelor? Serious question.
More importantly, unless this girl broke up with him for not playing enough piano (broken up with guys for weirder reasons TBH…), this scheme is not going to work. Hey Luke: Maybe instead of creating an embarrassing public spectacle to try and shame this woman into returning to your
creepy arms, you should just like, work on whatever it is she dumped you for? Radical idea, I know, but maybe, just maybe, this girl broke up with you because of your insane, stalker-ish personality, and playing the first few bars of Vanessa Carlton’s A Thousand Miles over and over again isn’t going to help with that.
And to anyone who says this is romantic: please take every fucking seat. This is exactly the kind of stalker-ish, Edward Cullen-esque behavior that makes women the subject of a Netflix true crime documentary. IDK how laws work in the U.K., but this guy should be arrested immediately on suspicion of being a dumbass. It would def save his poor ex girlfriend a lot of trouble.
Oh, and of course, this guy looks exactly like you’d imagine him to look. Seriously. Take a moment to picture him in your mind. Did he look like this?
See what I mean. And let’s not even get into the fact that this Piano Man 34 years old. This is a grown-ass man. He should be scheduling his first prostate exam, not subjecting his classmates to some pathetic public Seth Cohen impression.
Even more infuriating? While Luke didn’t give up the name of his beloved (how kind), he has referred to her in the media exclusively as his “Rapunzel.” Barf. Every barf. So much barf that it fills up College Green and the area is forced to evacuate. This woman isn’t a princess, dude. She’s a student who is trying to go to class without running into her ex, his piano, and some washed out Sam Smith cover. And let’s not even get into the troubling “I want to trap you in a tower” imagery that comes into play here.
So why did he do this? Apart from like, wanting attention, which I can low-key respect. He said the breakup, “Wasn’t anything nasty or bad, it was just life getting in the way. If it was anything bad why we split up then. I wouldn’t be doing this, but it’s the only thing I can think of doing. I know people in this situation usually send flowers or text or write letters but that only ever seems to make things worse.”
Okay, so, first of all, if there wasn’t a “reason” why you guys broke up apart from “life getting in the way” then the “reason” is that she’s just not that into you, and you should leave her the fuck alone. Second of all, you are literally making it worse. Way, way worse.
And if anyone out there isn’t convinced that Luke did this 10% for love and 90% for the likes, check this out:
That’s right. He put up a sign with his Instagram handle that asked people to “please like and share my page.” I’m sorry, but I thought this was for your girlfriend? Does she not know your Instagram handle? Did you break up because not enough people liked and shared your page? I’m confused. Also, your handwriting looks like shit. Don’t you have a girlfriend who could have written this out for you? Oh…wait…
If I were this girl’s friend, I would tell her to run, not walk, away from this forlorn fuckboy. Here’s hoping he’s stuck playing that piano for a very, very long time.
If there’s anything that The Betches know for sure, it’s that Murphy’s law—anything bad that can happen will happen—is nowhere more applicable than the times you run into your ex. NYC may feel like a big city, but eventually, you’re gonna see him with his new girlfriend in line at the cafe that was once “your place” when you guys were still together. You know, the one that you’ve been avoiding like the plague for this very reason until this fateful day where you wrongly convince yourself you’re being paranoid.
Even if the breakup has inspired you to finally start attending the SoulCycle classes you signed up for when you were feeling bloated and you’ve revamped your wardrobe and makeup game in a futile attempt to “make yourself over” after becoming newly ~single and ready to mingle~, the day you run into your ex inevitably coincides with the day you’re on your period, cheating on your diet, and everything except your college hoodie is in the laundry. Also, the bitch girl he’s with has great hair and is holding a purse that’s definitely three times as expensive as yours. Oh well—you’re still a bad bitch, and this just gives you another thing to complain about at happy hour (we know how you love that). Check out our “When You Try To Run Into Your Ex Vs. When You Actually Run Into Your Ex” video below and subscribe if you can tooootallllyyyyyy relate.
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As part of a new philanthropy program that allows poor people to date her, Mariah Carey was reportedly donating $25,000 each month to her now ex-boyfriend Bryan Tanaka. This was not money to spend on rent, clothes, food, or any of those selfish things that Bryan thought were important before he became Mariah’s number one bitch. It was his monthly allowance for buying her presents. Because she wants more for Christmas than you, Bryan. Sorry.
Who is Bryan Tanaka, you ask, other than a sad poor person? Apparently he’s Mariah’s very ripped 33-year-old backup dancer who quickly became a rebound after she broke off her engagement with Australian billionaire James Packer. The two started dating in February, but it didn’t take long for Mariah to miss something about her fiancé, and it definitely wasn’t his smile.
After realizing her insatiable need for attention and expensive shit, Mariah had two choices: either break up with Bryan while he still had some dignity intact, or start subsidizing his stingy dancer salary so he could buy her enough presents to get through a few more months of their doomed relationship. Being the decent and altruistic person she is, Mariah chose the latter.
Either Bryan is really bad at picking out gifts, or Mariah just got super fucking bored with it all because she just dumped him yesterday and seems totally fine with it. Better luck next time Bryan, maybe if you start saving up now you could afford to hang out with Mariah for like, one afternoon or something.
Just because you broke up with your ex doesn’t mean it has to be over. You might have made a mistake breaking up with him, because let’s face it, nobody’s perfect—especially not you. If you find yourself wanting your ex back, it’s probably a sign he wants you back too. You should definitely let him know how you feel, because he’ll probably feel the same way. There’s so many ways to tell him, and we think you should try all of them. What do you have to lose? Nothing. Not even your dignity. You’re nothing without a man, so go get your man back!
1. Make a Spotify playlist that takes him through the story of your relationship. Starting from “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift and ending with “Against All Odds” by Mariah Carey. Send it to him via email with the note “This made me think of us.” He’ll see from the 142 songs you handpicked that you spent time thinking about him, which will force him to think about you, or at least think about how you spent all that time thinking about him.
2. Post an enigmatic status on Facebook like “Thinking of warm Rio nights and wishing your arms were still around me” so he’ll see it and remember how you went on that luxurious trip to Rio together. He’ll be flattered all your friends know you’re missing him, because even if you didn’t call him out by name they all know who you’re talking about.
3. Post a #TBT photo of the two of you with the caption “wish we could go back to the way it was”. Making it to the #TBT is a high honor and he’ll feel lucky to have been included in this weekly ritual. Maybe he’ll even text you asking for a copy of the pic! You would text him but he blocked your number so you don’t have it anymore.
4. Walk by his work around lunchtime everyday until you “accidentally” bump into him. Then when he asks you what you’re doing there, just tell him you had an interview in his building. The thought that you might work near him will ignite the sparks in his heart again. He’ll be fantasizing about an office romance with you and won’t even wonder what an art major would be doing in a financial building in Wall Street.
5. Give him a custom calendar out of printed out screenshots from your text convos with him. Make sure you circle the important dates in the calendar such as “first kiss”, “first blowjob”, “that time you left me in a Whole Foods because you told me I was too needy” so he can reminisce on the good memories you had together while also knowing exactly what day it is.
6. Get him something way too expensive for his birthday like a laptop computer or Hamilton tickets. Some people say exes shouldn’t be friends, but then who would you spend all your money buying birthday presents for? Don’t just get him a small gift because he might misunderstand and think you’re trying to be friendly. Make sure the gift is so expensive it will make his parents feel uncomfortable if they found out. Also, the more of a necessity the gift is, the better. So you know he has to use it. And he’ll think about you every time he puts that Canada Goose on.
7. Comment on all his photos with the emojis with the heart eyes and like all the compliments he gets from other people. But only the girls. This will send the message to the other girls that you’re the leader of his comment section, and if they try to flirt with him you’ll be watching. He’ll see you doing this and think it’s sweet you’re protecting him from all the fake bitches following him.
8. Tag him in posts that are vaguely related to him. If you see a cute video of puppies swimming for the first time, tag him in it so he knows you thought of him. If it’s an inspirational quote about how you should never give up, tag him in it because he’ll think it’s sweet you want him to be inspired. Basically, any chance you get to tag him in something you think he might like, do it. He’ll appreciate you’re thinking about him so much.
9. Ask him for help writing your Tinder profile. Naturally, he knows you the best since he’s the last person that dated you. Ask him to help you pick the best pictures and write your bio. He’ll realize as he’s doing so that you’re a great catch and ask you to get back together with him in no time. If he doesn’t, you can tell him you’ll help him with his profile and sneak a peek into his DM’s to see if he’s dating someone prettier than you.
10. Call his mom regularly to catch up. His mom loves you, because who doesn’t? Just because you’re broken up doesn’t mean you can’t stay friends with Carol. It’s not weird that you’ve been shopping with her the last four Saturdays since you broke up with her son. You know that she talks to your ex even more than you do, so if she likes you then chances are high that she’ll mention you to him. He’ll see how well you two get along as a sign that he should give your relationship another chance.
11. Write a song about him that goes platinum. If you write a hit song that’s so popular it’s playing in Duane Reades, he’ll never be able to escape it. He’ll hear it on the radio while he’s driving and realize that you’re not over him. Then, when you accept your Grammy award for the number 1 platinum song you wrote about him, wink at the camera and say “It’s not over, it was never over”. His heart will melt and he’ll be yours forever.
He doesn’t have to be an actual ex-boyfriend to have f*cked with your head. Whether you’ve just gotten out of a real relationship or a pseudo one, you still committed your thoughts and emotions to one person. And now that it’s over, your thoughts naturally must go elsewhere.
Sure, you have an uncanny ability to talk at length about this season’s Essie colors, or whether Kourtney and Scott’s love for one another is eternal, but your mind will eventually find its way back to the guy you couldn’t stop thinking about a week—or even a month—ago.
But you have to stop thinking about him before you can let yourself start thinking about someone else (besides yourself, obviously)
“Power is being told you’re not loved and not being destroyed by it.” —Madonna
If you had it easy and had actual closure to your relationship, all you really have to do is wait. Time, Netflix, and SoulCycle heal all wounds. Embrace them.
Keep reminding yourself that your breakup was for the best, and that even though life sucks right now, it will be so much better later on when your mind is clear of your ex and onto better things like the hot guy you’re hooking up with or the new Chanel bag your mom got you for Christmas.
The real way to get over someone you have been under for so long is to find ways to stop thinking about him. But when you do find your mind wandering into ex territory, which typically happens when your phone dies or when the Brazilian wax technician isn’t particularly talkative that day, just let yourself go there.
Allow yourself to feel sad about the situation, that you miss him, you miss having a boyfriend, blah fucking blah. A little sadness is normal, lean into it for a few minutes.
The Boyfriend Mourning Formula:
If You Dated For Under A Year:
(The amount you liked him from a scale 0-5) x = weeks to get over him.
Example: You fell out of love. So you’re basically over it. Zero multiplied by anything is zero. Congrats, Betch, you’re ready to move on.
Second Example: You were together for nine months, you loved him and he broke your heart. 5x=22.5 weeks, or 5–6 months. Remember this is a maximum. If you take longer than this, spare your friends the agony and seek professional help. Please.
If You Dated For 1-3 Years:
You have six months to one year. You’re allowed one month to wallow in your own self-pity, but that’s it. Use the rest of this time of mourning to get back to your old self.
If You Dated For Over Three Years:
You have one year and that’s it. Okay MAYBE one and a half depending on the dramatic nature of the breakup. Just remember, Botox can’t stop your eggs from aging.
But don’t ever pity yourself. You are not hopeless; you will bounce back to your normal self. Allow yourself those few minutes of sadness, but then snap out of it. Remember that you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. Don’t forget, you’re a betch. Don’t make us look bad.
Eventually the sadness will subside and you’ll be able to think clearly. Make it a point to go out when you would have typically stayed in with him. If you had a favorite restaurant at which you two always ate, go find an even better restaurant and make a f*cking new memory with your besties.
Fuck, we feel like sad pathetic losers even writing this. But it’s fine, because being depressed over a guy is a super pathetic sad and loser-y state to be in. Once you are able to look back and laugh at just how sad and pathetic you were during those long weeks or months (hopefully not years, time is the only thing you can’t ever get back), then congrats because you are so over it.
Other Signs You Are Over It
Hearing his name and not getting a weird nauseating feeling in the pit of your stomach. Good sign. Seeing him in public without peeing your pants. Another good sign.
You may also be over it if you go on a date with someone and not once even think of your ex. But by date, we don’t mean a one-night stand.
Sure, go out and have sex with a stranger, we don’t discourage it. But don’t assume that just because you f*cked someone else, you’re through the mourning process. Hook up for yourself, don’t do it out of revenge or sadness. Because eventually the sex will end (probably too quickly), and you will go back to the rut from which you came (or more likely, didn’t come).
However, if you didn’t have closure to your relationship, that’s an entirely different fucked-up playing field. This guy either ghosted you or never really gave you a concise, believable answer as to why he ended things.
When this happens, you have to make your own closure, which is about as easy and exciting as a juice cleanse or having a conversation with a cab driver. Lucky for you, we have a handy guide for you to get over this loser. The name of the game is replay, reconsider and repeat. (Yes, it’s a play on lather, rinse, repeat.) Unless you’re dirty AF, the goal of a hair-shower (not to be confused with a body-shower, which you should do daily) is to get rid of the dirt and oils that have accumulated on your scalp and hair throughout the day(s).
Now think of that dirt you’re removing like the guy you’re seeing. If you can get rid of him with just one rinse, congrats. But if you can’t, keep repeating, Betch. He’s bound to get out of your hair eventually.
Step One: Replay
Replay the relationship in your head. But instead of looking at it from your biased and slightly fantasized perspective, look at it from his. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but imagine what he was thinking during each conversation or situation that you think may have taken part in your relationship’s demise.
When you were saying, “I’m having a birthday party Saturday, you should stop by if you want,” is it possible he heard, “I want you to meet all my friends and celebrate a life milestone with me, and I’m just tricking you into a relationship?”
Step Two: Reconsider
Now that you’ve seen his perspective, it’s time to be realistic and reconsider the situation. Delve deeper into what the actual truth of each situation is. Only then will you uncover what was actually wrong with the relationship and your communication.
Here, even though it hurts, try to be as real as you can. Maybe after some consideration you realized that you didn’t really know him, and he didn’t know you at all. You even asked your friends what they thought of him and they’re like, What’s he look like again? Perhaps you were obsessed with the idea of him and not actually him. You know that saying that goes “there’s your side, his side, and the truth?”
Well the goal of this process is to see the truth. You’re not a 45-year-old alcoholic homemaker from the 1950s; you don’t need to lie to yourself.
Step Three: Repeat
Repeat this until you come to the inevitable conclusion that you two just weren’t right for each other and, more important, he wasn’t right for you.
So whatever happened during whatever period of time you were dating eventually ends up irrelevant, and you accept the fact that you don’t even need to hear his side of the story because your version is about one billion times more profound than any bullsh*t he will have to say.
You’re a betch, so you’re pretty f*cking smart, or at least smart enough to figure out that guys are pretty f*cking stupid. As long as your reasoning isn’t entirely delusional (again, lying to yourself isn’t cute and is instead marginally psychotic), then you’ll be able to get over him 100 percent of the time.
Unless he like, died—then take comfort in the fact that at least you weren’t dumped and like, see a real therapist.
What Would Karen Do?
The complete opposite. She will use this time to dwell on how perfect his jawline is while rereading every text conversation the two of them ever had. She will then Google “how to hack into Snapchat’s database to recover selfies of ex-boyfriend.”
After she sees “Results Not Found,” she will continue to talk about him until her friends kindly tell her to stop bitching about that bro, he was an asshole and never liked you.
She will storm away, feeling offended for about five minutes. When she gets home, she’ll troll Tinder until she finds him, will take a screenshot, send it to him and say, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’VE MOVED ON SO FAST. DIDN’T I MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU!?!?”
He will not respond. She’ll think, he probs just didn’t get the text.