Ariana Grande & Victoria Monet’s “Monopoly” Lyrics Raise An Important Point About Labeling Sexuality
Get ready to pass "GO!" and collect 200 plays (at least!) of a new jam from Ari G. and Vicky M. Just as the BFF duo promised, Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét dropped "Monopoly" on Monday, April 1. The song touches on topics like female friendship and success, but one lyric in particular has caught many fans' attention. In the post-chorus, both Grande and Monét sing, "I like women and men," and this got a lot of people talkin'. Monét has publicly come out before; Grande has not. So it's no surprise that the lyric sparked a never-ending stream of tweets regarding Grande's sexual identity. (Bustle reached out to Grande's rep for comment, but did not hear back at the time of publication.)
Since Grande did not officially label her sexual identity, fans should not, either. And they should respect that if she comes out, it's her choice entirely. Monét, however, has opened up about her sexuality before. "I want everyone to know that I’m single (since people wanna pretend I’m not) and make imaginary rules for me,” she tweeted on Nov. 9, 2018. “I secretly and respectfully went through a difficult break up this summer but enough is enough. I also like girls. Thank U, Next. Bye.” Two weeks later, she posted, “After coming out, this thanksgiving coulda went waaaay left!! But she love meeeee how I am and I’m so happy.”
The "I like women and men" line in "Monopoly" could very well be from Monét's perspective. Or it could be from both of their perspectives. Or it could be from someone else's perspective entirely. We may never know the answer, and that is the artists' prerogative.
Grande has not answered fans' questions regarding her sexual identity and this song, and again, she may never answer said questions. (And again, that is her prerogative.) However, she did respond to Twitter user @fl0w3rbloom's tweet about needing "I like women and men (yeah)" inked to their rear end. "Everyone does," replied Grande.
Whether Grande identifies as bisexual or not, "Monopoly" is major; hearing one of the biggest pop stars on the planet and one of the most exciting pop songwriters in the biz sing “I like women and men" feels significant. "If Ariana is bisexual and this is her way of coming out then I'm so proud of her," wrote Twitter user @betturoffs. "If it isn’t then thank you for the bisexual anthem ma’am!"
Ultimately, the most significant thing about "Monopoly" is how it's making people feel seen. As Twitter user @nate_grover1 wrote, "also the bi community gonna start using this song to come out now...ur rlly out here making life easier for everyone huh." The response from fans makes it clear that the inclusive nature of the song is resonating in a major way.
TL; DR: Do not stick labels on people who have not already shared their label journey. Oh, and keep celebrating Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét's wonderful friendship and their glorious collaborations. And enjoy this inclusive anthem for the amazing bop that it is.