In the wake of the recent announcement that Ariana Grande and her husband, Dalton Gomez, are getting divorced, an even more salacious story has come to light. Grande is reportedly dating her “Wicked” co-star, Ethan Slater.
The 31-year-old actor was cast in the role of a munchkin named Boq, while Grande is playing Glinda The Good Witch. Yet their work isn’t the only connection they share.
Ariana Grande’s new boyfriend, Ethan Slater, is the spitting image of her brother, Frankie Grande.
A TikTok post from a woman named Alexandra Hopfenberg highlights the uncanny physical resemblance between Ariana’s new romantic partner and her 40-year-old half-brother.
“If you, too, were thinking Ariana Grande’s alleged new BF looks familiar, I got you,” reads the text overlaid on a photo of Ethan.
“Let me introduce you to Ariana’s brother, Frankie,” states the text on the second photo in the slideshow, which features Frankie in a pale pink suit, his spiky hair bleached, with bright pink tips.
A third photo places Ethan and Frankie side-by-side, along with the statement, “I meannn.”
The TikTok post comparing Ethan and Frankie received over 2,000 comments, a majority of which agreed whole-heartedly that the two look exactly alike.
“I literally said that the first time the story broke — he’s Frankie with red hair,” said one person. “I legit thought they were the same person, but that her brother was the glow-up version,” exclaimed someone else. “Freud is cackling,” came another person’s assessment.
There is a possible reason, rooted in psychology, to explain why Ariana Grande’s boyfriend looks like her brother, Frankie.
An article published in Psychology Today analyzed a study conducted by psychologist Tamsin Saxton, of Northumbria University in the UK, which questioned whether women choose male partners who resemble their brothers.
As the article explained, there exists “a wealth of research showing that individuals, across a wide range of species, are more reproductively successful — that is, they produce more offspring — if their mate is not too genetically similar or dissimilar.”
The article posits that humans, and other sexually-reproducing organisms, try to find “a partner who is genetically similar but not too similar.”
The results of the UK study “suggest that women are not choosing male partners who look indistinguishable from their brothers, but that there is a ‘family resemblance’ between brothers-in-law above and beyond what we would expect by chance.”
Therefore, it’s not an entirely uncommon occurrence for women to choose romantic partners who resemble their brothers.
Ethan and Frankie not only look alike, they also have fairly similar career trajectories — both have acted in well-known Broadway musicals.
Ethan rose to fame in the role of SpongeBob SquarePants on Broadway in 2018, in the musical “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Playing the cartoon character, who lives in a pineapple under the sea, garnered Ethan a Tony Award nomination.
Frankie has also performed on Broadway. He was part of the “Mamma Mia!” musical from 2007 to 2010. He later took on the role of Franz in the “Rock of Ages” musical from 2014 to 2015.
Frankie expressed his adoration for his younger sister in an Instagram post on June 26, 2020, on Ariana’s 27th birthday. He recalled seeing her as a newborn for the first time, exclaiming, “I knew then and there that I would do anything for you for the rest of our lives and have stood by your side as you have stood by mine ever since.”
“I will forever be eternally grateful to you for being the greatest sister on the planet and forever strive to be the greatest big brother in return,” he ended the celebratory post.
It’s clear that Frankie’s love for Ariana is deep and abiding. Given the affection he shows her, maybe it’s not really a surprise that she’s dating a man who resembles her brother.