The heady mix of sex and girl power that makes up a huge chunk of pop music has been endlessly discussed and obsessed over since the birth of said genre, and as “feminism” has been turned into a product that many are looking to sell, there is even more to unpack lately. Ariana Grande’s particular brand of self-love, embrace of her sexuality, and message of empowerment has people dancing during their commutes and clutching their pearls in equal measure.
Your mileage with Grande’s music may vary. While there are some genuine bops in her catalog, there are only so many times you want to hear about dick so bomb it changed your life. I mean, good for you, girl, but it’s not particularly interesting. Add into that the rumors that she only allowed people to photograph her left side (her “good side”), allegedly demanded to be carried around like a baby, and the Great Donut Incident of 2015, Grande seemed like your typical spoiled starlet.
And then Manchester happened. When 22 people were killed by a bomber following Grande’s concert in the Arena, the pop star handled the devastating situation with more grace than most 23-year-olds could have managed. Grande took her time to grieve before returning for a benefit concert. While many would have shied away from the responsibility, Grande was there doing her best to make things right.
Grande has always been relatively outspoken about the double standards that women are held to, but she really doubled down on an important message to her fans following her break up with something called a Mac Miller. Miller has struggled with sobriety and was recently issued a DUI, and of course, some dude on Twitter blamed his behavior on Grande breaking up with him. She shut that shit down right away.
“How absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship because he wrote an album about them, which btw isn’t the case (just Cinderella is ab me). I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem. Let’s please stop doing that.”
As women are constantly blamed for the behavior of men, in particularly dark ways of late, we really shouldn’t discount Grande promoting such a message to her impressionable fans. Sure, they may start sporting high ponytails and cat ears, but at least they’ll know that this kind of toxicity shouldn’t be tolerated.