Inside The Real Meaning Behind Ariana Grande's Yes, And?

Arianators, aka Ariana Grande fans, were in for a treat on January 7, 2024, when she announced "Yes, And?" on Instagram — the inaugural single from her upcoming seventh album. On January 12, the singer released the track and its corresponding music video. The lyrics to "Yes, And?" seem to reference some of Grande's real-life struggles and her desire to ignore people's negative perceptions and focus on herself.

Some lines in the opening verse likely allude to Grande and Dalton Gomez's divorce: "Well, everybody's tired / And healin' from somebody." The "Yes, And?" pre-chorus advises people to pay no attention to what other people say or think about you. In the pre-chorus and into the chorus, Grande sings, "And if you find yourself in a dark situation / Just turn on your light and be like / 'Yes, and?' / Say that s*** with your chest, and / Be your own f***in' best friend." The chorus also tells listeners to keep looking ahead.

The principle of saying "Yes, and..." is foundational for improvisational comedy. Actors use it to establish trust in a scene partner and to keep things moving forward. Grande may be doing something similar in her real life as well. The usage of "Yes, and?" throughout the song could also be a reference to Grande's own acting work.

What 'disguise' is Ariana Grande shedding?

The second verse of Ariana Grande's "Yes, And?" likely alludes to the drama surrounding Grande's romance with Ethan Slater. In July 2023, their relationship was confirmed, and it was reported that both Grande and Slater were separated from their spouses (via TMZ). Slater's wife Lilly Jay fired shots at Grande for the situation. "[Ariana's] the story, really. Not a girl's girl. My family is just collateral damage," Jay told Page Six.

In the song, Grande sings, " ... I won't hide / underneath your own projections / or change my most authentic life." That could be her way of saying she's over whatever negativity people throw her way.  

The "Yes, And?" bridge asserts Grande isn't focusing on what doesn't serve her. The "7 Rings" singer also seems to express newfound confidence with the line, "My face is sitting, I don't need no disguise." That line's Genius annotation links to a Vogue makeup tutorial where Grande expressed her previous relationship with makeup.

"I, over the years, used makeup as a disguise or as something to hide behind. ... But I think as I get older, I don't love that being the intention behind it anymore," Grande said. "I think of it as self-expression now and accentuating what is here." She mentioned former cosmetic procedures, but that she quit getting them in 2018. "For a long time beauty was about hiding for me," Grande added. "And now I feel like maybe it's not."

The Yes, And? music video ties into the song's meaning

The "Yes, And?" bridge also includes a line telling trolls to keep their opinions on Ariana Grande's body to herself. Then, she sings: "Your business is yours and mine is mine / Why do you care so much whose **** I ride? / Why?" This line probably also alludes to the Ethan Slater drama, and also society's obsession with Grande and her past relationships. "

In a December 2023 Instagram story, Grande mentioned the difficulties she experienced throughout the year and how it had changed her. At one point she wrote, "I have never felt more pride or joy or love while simultaneously feeling so deeply misunderstood by people who don't know me, who piece whispers together and make what they want out of me and their assumptions of my life" (via Page Six).

The "Yes, And?" music video seems to go hand-in-hand with those sentiments since it starts with music critics gossiping about Grande. However, after hearing her new single, the critics leave transformed. Grande and her backup dancers turn to stone when the song ends, and one fan on X, formerly known as Twitter, explained why that could be: "And once the music is over she's stone because she's unreachable to everyone." The theory solidifies the song's meaning about Grande letting go and living for herself.