Grace Gaustad is speaking on the detrimental societal norms set on young women in her powerful video for the single “Beauty & the Beast,” which dropped Friday. The visual, premiering here at Rolling Stone, features an appearance by TikTok favorite Loren Gray and follows Gaustad as she gets plastic surgery on her face, leaving her unrecognizable.
“In the age of social media, young people find themselves comparing their own identity and beauty to those that are disguised by smoke, mirrors, filters, and plastic surgery,” Gaustad tells Rolling Stone about the song. “We live in a world where it is very easy to be sucked into narcissism and an obsession with one’s outside appearance.”
She adds, ” ‘Beauty & The Beast’ takes aim at what it looks like when this obsession goes too far and where real beauty lies.”
The Van Alpert-directed video starts with her getting a wish granted by “Bodega Man” as she enters an elevator into a magical (read: dystopic) surgery clinic, alongside a character played by Loren Gray, the TikTok queen and Gaustad’s “super authentic” friend and collaborator.
“Beauty culture is something that I’ve seen the negative side of for years and to have the chance to be able to bring attention to that has been really important to me,” Gray says. “Everyone deserves to feel loved and beautiful in their own skin.”
The visual follows a choreographed group of doctors as they perform plastic surgery on Gray’s face as Gaustad waits in the waiting room for her turn. As Gray gets her work done, Gaustad rides a wheelchair in the hospital hallways, showing off here Lady Gaga-esque moves before viewers see the aftermath of her surgery: she transforms into an uber-surged-out version of herself, with exaggerated cheekbones and massive lips that allow her to barely move her face.
The track is the latest single of her upcoming PILLBX: whts ur fantasy? LP and the third episode of a video miniseries that’s accompanying the project. The single follows the release of “Everybody’s Friend,” and her tribute to Lady Gaga, aptly titled “GAGA.” She’s also dropped singles “PILLBX” and “Pink Cadillac” this year.
Gaga even praised the singer following the song’s release: “So proud of her and I feel touched she wrote a song inspired by me. Love her!” the Chromatica queen wrote on Twitter.