Avatar the Last Airbender is off Netflix’s Top Ten in the U.S. list

Its no secret that Avatar the Last Airbender is the best children’s show ever created (debate your auntie). Now that the hype has died down, I question the future of television culture, or lack thereof.

On June 28th, Avatar the Last Airbender dropped off of Netflix’s Top Ten after holding this ranking since its premiere in the U.S. on May 15th. For over a month, people relived their childhoods while other people discovered theirs for the first time. Its no secret I regard this show highly, and that’s because it single-handedly shaped a generation.

If you think I’m exaggerating, you’re going to have to show me the Pulitzer prizes you’ve won. I reckon its less than a children’s show.

Personally, I have wanted to own a DVD set of that ATLA ever since the final credits of the last episode rolled onto my boxy television screen on July 19th, 2008. For YEARS I have been itching to watch this show again. There have been a few banned YouTube videos that have tried to release episodes, but the closest I could ever get was reviews and analyses online. Then, on the legendary day of May 15th, 2020, Netflix Headquarters decided to bless us.

But maybe that wasn’t the best option.

Blasphemy, I know. Before you burn me at the stake, let me explain.

If you’re a millennial, you remember having to tune into a show in order to watch the next episode. It’s strange to realize that this is not the reality future generations will experience. Everyone used to be excited to attend school or work after an episode aired that night, just so they could discuss the evening’s highlights. It was a slow burn to a season’s end, and the payoff lead to catharsis or chaos. Either way, it was an experience that one shared with others.

I believe the rise of streaming is pushing towards an even more individualistic culture rather than a collectivistic culture.

I understand that streaming has existed for a while now. This individualistic culture isn’t new, but it is continuously adapting. There is enough content to suffice an individual’s narrow scope of acceptable entertainment. If there isn’t, they can just watch the same things over again.

Have you ever wanted to rave to a group of people about a show, but no one was watching it? Or they hadn’t caught up in the season, so you couldn’t spoil it for them? Or worst of all – everyone was watching a show you knew was arguably terrible by comparison? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have turned to the internet to find comfort in that show’s fandom.

For the cavemen out there, a “fandom” by Urban Dictionary’s terms is “an innocent word used for describing a cult of sleep-deprived people who obsess over one or multiple comics, books, tv shows, movies, video games, etc.”

Fandoms have allowed people to foster mini-communities which make them feel less ridiculous for investing their time and emotions into fictional characters. I am proudly a part of the Avatar the Last Airbender fandom. However, I don’t know how long fandoms can even survive. I had been waiting YEARS to be able to freely watch Avatar the Last Airbender. Now that I can watch it whenever I want…I don’t. I still love it and always will, but watching it now doesn’t feel the same.

I have been doing an analysis of every episode as to compare my views as an adult to my experience of the show as a child. So far I’ve gotten through 13 episodes. My two small nieces have watched episodes sporadically, and almost never in consecutive order. Two other family members have sped through the series in days, then promptly said “I need to watch it again, I didn’t really absorb it.” None of us have watched an episode together as a family, and this is because we like to operate on our own, individual schedules. Even though we are all watching the same show, the way we are watching it distances us.

It has been said that Game of Thrones was the last cultural T.V. show. People gathered to see its season premiere and there is one video in particular that showcases the vibrancy of that community. You know the one.

Game of Thrones fans rejoice when Arya Stark kills Night King

People gathered this way for Harry Potter movie premieres (dressing up in wizard gowns like complete nerds…I totally wasn’t one of them.)

Ultimately, I’m afraid that people won’t gather like this again. Physically, or otherwise.

COVID has prevented us from being in crowds and streaming has prevented us from gathering online, so what’s left? I’d love to say watch parties, but even those are pretty niche.

I remember as a child, seeing Aang battling Ozai on the night of that final episode of ATLA. I knew that millions of people were watching and experiencing the same things I was. At that moment, I knew that there had been a shift in history. I wish I was exaggerating, and maybe that would make me seem less obsessed, but even as a child I truly knew. I had never seen a character choose peace over violence and still win. The next day at school, I had to decide whether I agreed with his final choice or not, before I discussed it with my friends, and what that said about me, and what their opinions said about them.

Having immediate access to television and movies is convenient, but convenience doesn’t equate to a greater experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we should return to old broadcasting methods (frankly, I don’t have the patience either). There should instead be a new way to showcase entertainment that once again brings people together through their similarities rather than driving them apart through their differences.

Overall, I hope the next generations are able to experience cultural shifts in entertainment as they happen – collectively.

Deuces,

popgirl

Learning to Love Yourself

Nadine Bourne's Blog

Self Love Series- Part 1

Does anyone feel like the DUFF in your friend group? For the longest time, I’ve always felt like that. And if you don’t know what DUFF means, it means Designated Ugly Fat Friend. I saw my friends and I saw how skinny and beautiful they were, and guys would want to talk to them and not me. I thought that everything changed when I got into a relationship. For four years, I had a handsome and wonderful boyfriend who always told me how beautiful I was, how he loved my curves and everything about me.

But this is the thing. I would never truly believe him. It wasn’t until after we broke up that I realized how much I put myself down. I would constantly try to look in the mirror every day and tell myself that I was beautiful. But the attempts stopped short…

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Black Mirror episode “Striking Vipers” is striking chords

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! Netflix has released their 5th season of critically acclaimed show Black Mirror so if you’re not up to date stop reading RIGHT NOW and go watch it!

And if you haven’t watched the other seasons – seriously? C’mon. Keep up.

Arguably the most interesting, and undoubtedly the gayest episode of the season, “Striking Vipers” has given us many topics to consider. The hour long episode addresses sexuality, masculinity, commitment, love and friendship. It asks questions such as – what does it mean to be committed? When a friendship becomes a medium of exploring sexuality, is it still a friendship? How can you move forward as a couple when you want different things?

At the beginning of the episode, Danny and his girlfriend Theo are role-playing at a bar, then have exciting sex later on in their apartment that they share with Danny’s friend, Karl. It is early on in Danny and Theo’s relationship, so things are still new and exciting. Afterwards, Danny and Karl play video games. It’s apparent that they are incredibly close friends that feel safe by bonding through virtual fighting. Flash forward years later, Danny and Theo are in a dull suburban marriage with their first child. They no longer have frequent sex and Danny is often shown looking at other women. Karl, who is also in an unsatisfying relationship, visits Danny for his birthday with a new virtual reality video game – “Striking Vipers.” Karl logs on to play the game as a female character and Danny as a male character – both game characters are Asian and over sexualized. The game mimics all physical sensations, so of course, as they continue to play, they end up having sex.

Throughout the episode both Danny and Karl question their sexuality and the status of their friendship. Karl had been the first to kiss Danny in the game, which may reflect romantic emotions rather than sexual feelings. There is also a scene after the characters have sex, where Karl rests his head on Danny’s lap and describes the feeling of being a woman. There is a moment of playing with gender fluidity and masculinity, as both of the men are vulnerable and unguarded in this moment.

Meanwhile, Theo is unaware of the whole situation. She ends up being the victim of an affair as she tries to beg for her husband’s honesty. Two of the most important people in Danny’s life now beg for his affection, and it is interesting to wonder what would have happened if he had not been married or had children yet. She brings up their faltering relationship at their anniversary dinner, which Danny had forgotten. She demonstrates her unwavering commitment to their partnership by describing how someone had hit on her not moments before and, this snaps Danny back into reality. So he chooses to hide the game.

This doesn’t keep Karl away, though. Theo unknowingly invites Karl to a dinner with just the three of them, and the night is awkward, at best. As Theo goes to grab desert, Karl begs Danny to play the game again, saying that he has tried with other characters but nothing works. This may be a roundabout way of saying that Danny is the only person for him, because they play the game later that night and during sex Karl says “I love you.”

Danny becomes irritated with the inconsistency of his feelings and demands that they meet up in person to kiss. When they do, they both say that they feel nothing romantic, and Karl insists that they still play the game. Danny says “Get that shit out of your head,” and they fight. This is a complete juxtaposition to their game characters openly communicating with each other. It may be that they only feel comfortable being emotionally vulnerable in private, when they look unlike themselves.

They get arrested by the police and Theo bails Danny out of jail. She demands his honesty again, and this time Danny tells her everything. They come to an agreement that on his birthday every year, Danny can play the game with Karl and Theo can have a night with another man.

This may demonstrate one of the ways couples maintain their relationships over a long period of time, but its unknown how healthy or effective this is. For the sake of commitment, both Theo and Danny are restricted to one day a year to be sexually satisfied.

This may be on part of the writer as well, because this was a great opportunity to show how African-American men frequently display hyper-masculinity and are not given the opportunity to express themselves romantically or sexually. However, the possibility of a romance between the two men was invalidated by the decision to make the relationship between Danny and Karl purely sexual, through virtual characters. Other than Danny’s look of disappointment at the end and Karl’s “I love you” during virtual sex, there is no real evidence that their love was romantic. The fact that they are satisfied having virtual sex one day a year, either says that they are completely liberated or completely oppressed.

A lot of comparisons have also been made to Black Mirror Season 3 Episode 4 “San Junipero”, which features a lesbian couple falling in love. Another reason I feel as though this episode’s potential has been squashed is because it was set up to have the men fall in love, and under the circumstances of an affair. “San Junipero” had a beautiful, everlasting ending meanwhile “Striking Vipers” had a anticlimactic throw-a-bandaid-over-it solution. Then the question proposes itself – if Black Mirror had fully realized the romance between these black men, would it have been as widely accepted as the romance between an interracial lesbian couple?

Overall, the episode was incredibly thought-provoking, I just wish its message was more definitive.

Before I conclude, I must give light to a BOLD statement that I’ve been seeing across the internet in reference not only to this episode but also the whole season.

That it simply wasn’t “good”.

The expectations for “Black Mirror” are already astronomical so I was not surprised. At the same time, I can’t gloss over this statement without defending the work that artists have invested to complete this season. “Bandersnatch” alone was a huge part of season 5. It not only creatively written but also brilliantly executed, so it was bound to take up a greater portion of the season’s budget as well. The other episodes also told compelling stories with important messages.

But I digress.

“Striking Vipers” was especially relevant and necessary. If it didn’t make sense to you, then maybe you weren’t the intended audience. That DOES NOT mean you shouldn’t watch it – on the contrary – you should listen to the opinions of those it WAS meant for.

Everyone’s story matters.

Deuces,

Popgirl

*Cover art Butcher Billy @billythebutcher

new sci-fi Netflix original from the writer of Marvel Studio’s “Thor”

I was fortunate enough to snag an interview with the writer of Netflix’s new hit summer film Rim of the World through the professional and progressive medium of Twitter. This sci-fi adventure involves a rag-tag group of teenagers at a summer camp who have to quickly switch from roasting marshmallows and playing tug-o-war to combating an alien invasion. Simple.

From one glimpse this show has an instant “Stranger Things” vibe, and Netflix knows we are excitedly awaiting the Season 3 release in July. Luckily, we’ll have this blockbuster as soon as May 24th ( only one week!) to hold us off until then.

Rim of the World is written by Zach Stentz, who is known for Thor (2011), X-Men: First Class (2011), Booster Gold, Agent Cody Banks (2003) and CW’s The Flash. He is also an Executive Producer for Rim of the World, and a pretty cool guy.

Now, for the interview!

Q: What is the concept of this film and how did you come up with this idea? (Unless of course that’s a surprise.)

A: The movie is a science fiction adventure about four very different teenagers who come together at summer camp in the mountains east of LA when an alien invasion breaks out. They end up in possession of a key that can stop the invasion…if only they can work together and overcome their fears to get it across 70 miles of a Los Angeles that’s now a war zone.

Q: Just by the picture we can tell there’s a certain tone to this film; how did you fine-tune this style?

A: The style and tone of the film kept changing, going from a warm, 1980s throwback family adventure to a more adult and even raunchy tone when the director signed on, then back in a family-friendly direction during shooting and then editing. It’s been a fascinating process!

Q: Any advice for fellow writers?

A: Yes! There is no shame by starting by imitating the works you really enjoy…then start finding your own voice and discovering what YOU have to say that needs to be shared with the world.

Without further ado….

The break-out stars are as shown, respectively: Jack Gore (Alex), Benjamin Flores Jr. (Dariush), Miya Cech (ZhenZhen), and Alessio Scalzotto (Gabriel).

This film is directed by McG who’s known for Charlie’s Angels (2000), Netflix’s The Babysitter (2017), and many more. He is a also a producer on this project, along with Mary Viola, Matt Smith, and Susan Solomon-Shapiro. The executive producers are Steven Bello, Corey Marsh, and Brad Mendelson.

Don’t miss out on this thrilling saga!

Deuces,

Popgirl

Technological Classism (or the time I lost my phone)

Our phones have progressed from being mediums of communication to parts of our identity. But what happens when you lose your phone and everything with it? Do you, as a result, lose your sense of self?

I was faced with this question when I recently lost my phone. I should specify it is an iPhone 6s, which will become relevant later. I was on my way to hang out with friends, as one does, and I realized my phone wasn’t on my person. I was sure I had left it at home. I didn’t think I had lost it at that point. Even then, I saw how being without a phone changed my experience of being with other people. I try to leave my phone in my pocket when engaging with others, but will occasionally take it out when others do to ignore awkward silences. But in this case I had nothing to entertain myself except my own thoughts. All I could think about was where in my room my phone could be, how people spend too much time on their phones instead of focusing on the humans around them, and that being without a phone was lonely, even when surrounded by people.

Nevertheless it was a fun shindig, and I headed home to immediately retrieve my phone and stop my incessant worrying. When I got home, however, I couldn’t find it. My first instinct was to call my sister to express how frustrated and discouraged I was, but how would I do that? My next instinct was to tell others that I had lost my phone, but how would I do that? I am fortunate enough to have a laptop and a social media presence, so I was able to let people know I could not answer them. The next few days consisted of persistently searching for my phone. I borrowed other peoples phones to call my own, used “Find my iPhone” to no avail, and retraced my steps religiously.

My initial worries were all logistical.

I didn’t have the money to get another thousand dollar iPhone. I would lose my contacts, my pictures, and my data because I couldn’t afford iCloud storage to back it up. I have a banking app; what if someone hacked into my phone and wiped me out? How would I apply to jobs on the go? How would I schedule anything without the Calendar app?
How would I keep track of my period?

Then my worries became social.

How would I speak to any of my friends whenever I felt the slightest inkling of loneliness? What messages weren’t I receiving? What was I missing on social media? And a question I felt ashamed and ungrateful for thinking:

Would I have to go back to using an Android?

It is sad fact of life, but we judge others for the phones they have. And some of that isn’t our fault.

I believe the conceived hierarchy of status in terms of phone models is as much:

  1. people with the latest iPhone
  2. people with older iPhones
  3. Android Users
  4. the homeless

People without smartphones is an outlier, because I feel as though in this age that means you’re running from the law and need a disposable device. Or you think not having a smartphone suddenly makes you more mature and self-aware than your counterparts. And hey, maybe it does (jk please get over yourself).

Anyway, this list succinctly sums up our modern-day third world caste system. People with iPhones see people with Androids and pity them. People with older iPhones see the people with the newer version and envy them. People with Androids see people with iPhones and scoff at them. And people without phones aren’t seen.

Even so, maybe you don’t look down on your friend Jimmy with the Android. But you do silently resent his life choices because this means you’re not able to FaceTime him and his messages pop up green. And for Jimmy, your dumb emojis are just annoying squares. And the Apple company definitely made it this way. Their technology also serves as a fashion statement (take AirPods for example – completely unnecessary, but “in”) and their devices are incompatible with other companies. So if you wanna stay friends with Jimmy, one of you has to change or suffer through constant miscommunication.

My makeshift caste system is inherently flawed (as many systems are) and does not begin to encompass the complex situations that revolve around these statuses. For example, someone can have an iPhone and be homeless. Take the famous Vine star Jerome Jarre*. He made viral videos on his iPhone all while he slept on the floor of his job and friend’s apartments. The point is that because he had an iPhone, he was still seen as someone of a higher status. No one would have guessed that he had nowhere to live. Similarly, someone on the street can be begging for money – but if they suddenly whip out an iPhone, they would be seen to be greedy, or not “really” poor. “Why can’t they sell their phone?” A thousand dollars may be a lot, but usually not enough to pay the rent. People on the street who are told to get jobs may be trying their hardest to, but if they don’t have a phone, how is an employer supposed to contact them in this fast-paced society? The job would already be given to someone who could answer the call.

We often don’t think of the privilege that goes along with possessing a phone, but it has many impacts on our day-to-day practices and a lasting effect on our life.

I eventually swallowed my ridiculous pride and purchased an Android (for emergency purposes only). I felt so detached from the device. There were none of my pictures on it and none of my contacts. I realized how extremely attached I was to my iPhone. It was a part of my existence for four years.

I went through my day trying to suppress the envy of others with iPhones that held all of their precious information, but grateful to be able to communicate with others again.

Later that day, I randomly decided to check the spam folder of my email and saw that the “Find My iPhone” notification had appeared multiple times. Each location was a checkpoint on the way to my job, and I realized my phone must have been somewhere in my car. I rushed outside at 3 a.m. in the morning in the dead of Winter to feverishly search for it, using the flashlight of the Android I was ecstatic to return when morning came. I spotted the rose gold device lodged under my seat, and rushed back into my house to charge it. Once it got to a sufficient battery level, I immediately turned it on to see how life had changed since I had been disconnected.

There were indeed several notifications – all of the calls I had made to try and find my phone. A couple of likes on Instagram. A reminder to take my Iron pill. And not much else.

In that moment I became uncomfortably aware of my need to be constantly entertained by random videos, distracted by nonsensical content and connected to…what, exactly?

Spoiler: it was to the idea of “existing” in this superficial and meaningless way. A running meme revolves around the idea “If you don’t post about __, did you actually do it?”

If you aren’t constantly available, do you even exist? Scarily enough, I can neither completely agree nor disagree.

To be honest, I’m just happy to have found my phone.

Deuces,

Popgirl

*More on Jerome’s story: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/style/jerome-jarre-the-making-of-a-vine-celebrity.html

the best shows on Netflix and why you shouldn’t watch them

If you haven’t seen these shows yet, you’re missing out on the best part of our fast-growing hi-tech instant gratification pop culture – Netflix. But also, are you missing out on anything at all?

Just 10 years ago, back in my pre-teens, you could find countless articles about how television is poisoning the minds of our children and should be abolished. People of my generation said “facts, but fuck that.” They now use television to connect with each other, learn new skills and improve themselves (a.k.a “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Talk about a third-world problem, am I right?). Nowadays, you can’t find a child who doesn’t stare at a screen at least once a day, or better yet, doesn’t have their own smart device. T.V. has become our culture.

One of my favorite books is called “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business” by Neil Postman. In this book that was written nearly 20 years ago, he predicts the course of our communication as a society – that being through the medium of technology, including television.

He argues that there were two paths our society could’ve taken – the Huxleian version or the Orwellian version. If you aren’t well-read on dystopian society novels, “1984” by George Orwell depicts a society completely overruled by government surveillance. People are constantly under observation by screens, giving them no free will. The juxtaposed “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley (and the more probable dystopia) is a dystopia disguised as a utopia, and people willingly submit their freedom to the powers that be because they are happily fulfilled in superficial, meaningless ways. Entertaining ways. Like television. (cough cough).

So although I thoroughly enjoying watching shows on Netflix, Hulu and occasionally Amazon Prime, I would like to argue that the time we give to television distracts us from our purpose. I believe that what we consume changes us, and not always for the better. Sometimes the most malicious of destinations are our own personal paradises (or the list of shows “recommended for you”).

Anyways!

The Best Shows on Netflix

Take into account I obviously have a personal bias, but it doesn’t take an expert to recognize great writing, acting, directing, and sfx. Also, let’s be real, I haven’t watched every single show on Netflix. So these are really just honorable mentions.

8. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Who knew feminism and Satanism worked so well together?

7. A Series of Unfortunate Events

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Those poor Baudelaires. “Poor” here meaning, “to be deserving of pity or sympathy.”

6. 3%

3%

It’s everything you’ve ever wanted out of a dystopian teen movie – extended. And in Portuguese.

5. One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time

A down-to-earth sitcom that the whole family can joy. A wicked slice of wholesome pie.

4. Queer Eye

Queer Eye

Five fucking fantabulous queens spreading rainbows and joy to poor lost souls. Guaranteed ugly cry EVERY episode.

3. Sense 8

Sense 8

Ever seen an 8 person orgy on screen where no one touches each other?
You have now.

2. Big Mouth

Big Mouth

This show about puberty will make you feel uncomfortable that you’re watching it, and even worse that you like it. John Mulaney has that effect on people.

1. Black Mirror

Black Mirror

Apparently controversial…? I personally think it is the most socially self-aware masterpiece to challenge our sense of reality at the moment. It’s number 1 on this list because ties back to my aforementioned point about technological advancements in television and how it has changed human connection our society.

These are some of my favorites, but let me know yours!

And while you’re watching and laughing, I also hope you’re thinking.

Deuces,

Pop girl

MAGA hats, Facebook, and Catholic students

Technology has completely warped the way we receive news.

If you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr (jk we all know Tumblr is useless now that there’s no porn) you’re likely receiving information about our crumbling society. Sites like LADbible and NowThis these have become news outlets that take information from more conventional, credible news sources like The New York Times or completely random sources, like an onlookers video footage of an event, slap an interpretation on them and that interpretation spreads like wildfire. Everything becomes an opinion piece. And then countless memes get made:

Image result for nick sandmann meme

In the case of the Kentucky Covington Catholic High School in MAGA hats and Native American Nathan Phillips, a photo of one of the students facing Phillips surfaced and the internet went wild. Shown below:

From first glance it obviously comes across as a douchey Trump supporting white kid leading a mob of mini-trumpers in the disrespecting taunting of a Native American chanting in protest. Or a random Native American man yelling in a kid’s face. Anything taken out of context can be misinterpreted, which is the first problem with the way news spreads. Here’s the 9-minute video from the scene:

It shows this a web of confusion amongst these ignorant kids, with repeated shouts of “what is happening.” The most confusion coming from the one kid in the picture, whom I call “kid with the smirk” because that’s all that he’s doing. Even as another student behind him is getting into an argument with another Native American man, kid with the smirk obviously sees the tension and tries to get him to stop. Obviously these children don’t see the severity of Trump planning to build a wall through Native American land, they simply don’t care because it doesn’t effect them, or they don’t even know why Phillips is marching in the first place (*cough cough the Indigenous Peoples March*). The students mock his chants, the protestors argue with the children (which is nothing but ineffective), and its a whole mess. Then, later in the video an African-American group is preaching homophobia which is a WHOLE other mess and catches these kids way off guard.

The one thing that all these groups have in common – the protestors, the Catholic school kids and the hate group – is that they are talking, but not listening. And the kid with the smirk is the only one not saying a word.

I think the outrage formulated over this event was towards the wrong person. The kid with the smirk wasn’t doing anything but standing there… with a smirk. Everyone around him was being intolerant, making mocking yelling noises at the native american people and at one point a native american person told the kids to “go back to Europe.” The native american protestors had their right to protest but unfortunately that meant this random kid wearing a MAGA hat (views I definitely don’t agree with) became the face of intolerance when he was (probably) the most tolerant individual present.

It’s hard to formulate an opinion on a situation I wasn’t present for, which is probably the hardest thing when it comes to technology and politics. Even more unfortunate, is that although they are immature and are probably following the political views of their parents, since their insensitivity is recorded it will stay with them for years. However, boys will not be boys. They should still be held responsible for their actions, but I doubt their parents will do so. Hopefully the backlash from this video will make those children think about how their actions affect others and gracefully leave this event behind them. We all do insensitive, stupid things when we’re younger, the important part is that we learn from them.

Although the ignorant children mocking Nathan Phillips (a activist, veteran, etc. fighting for what he believes in) is abysmal and sadly an accurate representation of our political climate, the outrage over this one kid is a distraction from what is actually important.

The wall Trump wants to build would go through Native American land, and as far as I’m aware there are no plans to stop it.

Deuces,

Popgirl

on ariana grande flexin on us

Homegirl is a princess, no doubt. And everything she’s been making is a bop. “7 rings” is no exception. She flexes her wealth, her friends, her talent and her independence.

Before we get into the rant, let’s educate ourselves:

I used to be impartial about Ariana Grande’s music. It was clear that her vocals were impressive, but I just didn’t understand the hype. After seeing her authenticity and ode to the greats in “thank u, next” I became a fan. And now the confidence in “7 rings” has got me rooting for her success.

In the video she literally and figuratively lists her favorite things, including but not limited to: the color pink, lashes, money, Japanese culture (appreciation, not appropriation – don’t get it twisted) and champagne.

Now for the lyrics. The inspiration for the song and video came from a day out with her girls, where they all got matching diamond rings. She starts off with the tune to “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, which she did a skit of on SNL. Then she glides into some rap, which is new, but we’re totally here for it.

“Been through some bad shit I should be a sad bitch, who would’ve thought it’d turn me to a savage.”

Here, she’s probably talking about the death of her ex Mac Miller, and how the internet found reasons to blame her for it. This must’ve been a devastating time for her, which is probably why she blocked comments on all of her Instagram posts and stepped away from social media for a while. Then she came out with “thank u, next”, stronger than ever.

“My gloss – is poppin'”

We see you Lil Mama.

“You like my hair, gee thanks, just bought it”

Ariana has gotten backlash over her high ponytail since the beginning of her career. Even though she’s expressed that the extensions are painful and the haters have their opinions, the star continues to rock her infamous look.

“Wearing a ring but aint gon’ be no Mrs.”

Ouch. @ Pete Davidson.

“I’d rather spoil all my friends with my riches/
Think retail therapy my new addiction”

This line made me think the most, oddly enough. Everyone wants to have an abundance of money, and we’d want to spend it one the one’s closest to us. Ariana Grande is one of those insanely rich young celebrities who’s already gone far in their career. She been through a lot lately, with the death of Mac Miller and breaking her engagement with Pete Davidson. And maybe this is her way of coping with these downfalls. If so, all the power to her – but aren’t there other ways to spend your money? I see celebrities flaunting their wealth and wonder if they try to give back to the less fortunate, not because they have to (because they don’t) but because they want to help.

“Whoever said money can’t solve your problems, must’ve not had enough to solve them”

This is my only vice with the song, because I am a big believer in money not eclipsing your moral values. And although its a clever line, I don’t agree. Because money can’t buy everything, like self-worth. But she’s got that, so…

Other aspects of the video allude to her Dangerous Woman album, and let’s not forget the @snitchery cameo (if you haven’t heard of her, she a great cosplayer/makeup artist on Instagram.)

The best lines are:
“You like my hair, gee thanks, just bought it”
“Write my own checks like I write what I sing” and last but not least,
“Ain’t got enough money to pay me respect”

Don’t fight me on that.

Overall, Ariana is a certified baddie.

Although the idea of money being everything is a little shallow, we all deserve our moments to flex and this song will have us continuing to chant “I want it\
I got it.”

Deuces,

Popgirl

Hey, let’s be better people together.

“Popconnection” : (noun) the analysis of pop culture and its effects on human connection, or lack thereof; (noun) our technological reality.

This blog contains material about: celebrities, awesome t.v. shows, psychology, politics, relationships….

And other thoughts I tend to have.

Thank for joining me!

“Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.”
-Danny, The Champion of the World

popgirl