To be totally honest, I think Ariana Grande is amazing. Girl can sing, she's clearly got an all-star team both in the studio and on stage, and she often feels like a very genuine, 20-something-year-old woman.
But with that said, some of the drama she's been embroiled in over the past year has shone a light on some behaviour I can't help but call hypocritical.
Please don't kill me, Ari stans. Just hear me out.
TL;DR There's no question our girl Grande has had a whirlwind of a year. But as a fan, I've been a little disappointed with some of her stances lately. Call me a softie for Pete Davidson, but I think everyone deserves the same level of empathy and understanding.. of romantic choices, professional choices.... even tattoo choices...
The first issue that arose for me was just after her break-up with Pete Davidson. I have to say, I was rooting for the couple and even had high hopes that they'd pull a Miam (that's Miley Cyrus+Liam Hemsworth, if you didn't know) and eventually get back together.
It's clear to me now: that's not going to happen. But it's unfortunate that things didn't end as amicably as possible.
The downfall began when Davidson went ahead and made a joke about their called-off engagement on Saturday Night Live.
Ariana Grande swiftly caught wind of the joke and was quick to clapback on Twitter.
In the now-deleted tweet, she said, "for somebody who claims to hate relevancy u sure love clinging to it huh."
A screengrab of the tweet can be seen below:
SNL’s promo for next week has Pete Davidson jokingly proposing to musical guest Maggie Rogers...— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) November 2, 2018
Ariana Grande responded to it with just a “.” in one tweet, a “thank u, next” in another, and a goddamn slam dunk on Davidson wanting to cling to “relevancy” in another.
Mic. Drop. pic.twitter.com/Tuag0S7hrf
This is where the hypocrisy comes in.
Just two days after that tweet calling Pete Davidson out for capitalizing on the relevancy of their break-up to land a joke...
She releases, "thank u, next," the song that famously says, "Even almost got married, / And for Pete, I'm so thankful."
So... a man that makes jokes for a living (and likely uses them to help deal with what is happening in his life, as well) isn't allowed to make a joke about the situation of which he is equally a part...
But she's allowed to release a song that CALLS HIM OUT BY NAME.
Because, let's clarify: in the joke made on SNL, Davidson does not mention Grande by name. If anyone is the butt of the joke, it's him.
ariana deleted the tweet defending pete omg she SNAPPED pic.twitter.com/lWdhz4B04X— 🅹 (@needymiIa) November 2, 2018
So I can't help but feel like Pete is being held to a different standard. Why can Grande make money off their break-up, or otherwise use her art to heal, but Davidson is denied the same freedoms of expression?
Then, more recently, Davidson opened up about how hard the Internet hate had been affecting him, even going so far as to express that he had been thinking about taking his own life.
Of course, Grande faced undue criticism over Davidson's emotional state. There is absolutely no blame to fall on Grande in regards to Davidson's emotional state or the state of his mental health.
However, amidst the whole ordeal, she did take the time to tweet, "stop weaponizing mental health."
y’all complain about pete weaponizing mental health but y’all do the same shit FOR ariana. like she isn’t even online and all y’all do is use her mental health as an excuse for hate comments. just sit down and eat your food— marieIiz | 54 (@AGBANDITO) February 4, 2019
This is a delicate issue because we know that people being open about their mental health struggles helps to deal with the stigma.
That said, where do we draw the line?
Now, in the past couple weeks, we all know Grande has been facing serious backlash because of her most recent single, "7 rings."
First people accused the singer of ripping off Princess Nokia, Soulja Boy, and 2 Chainz.
Then, there was some confusion about the inclusion of Japanese characters and iconography in the promotion of the song as well as in the music video.
Amidst all the criticism, Grande still went ahead and did what so many 20-year-olds before her have done: got a tattoo in a language she neither speaks nor reads.
i’ll give y’all a million to get off my nuts https://t.co/7yMyP0eHtt— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 2, 2019
I personally don't find this terribly offensive, people get these kinds of tattoos all the time. She's the one who has to live with a tiny BBQ grill on her hand.
I do appreciate, however, that some Japanese people felt the video and a lot of her merch to be pretty appropriative.
So in an attempt to apologize/explain her side of the story, Grande tweeted again, explaining that she has "crippling anxiety."
Now, didn't we say we weren't going to weaponize mental health issues? Does victimizing yourself in this way count?
Ariana: "stop weaponizing mental health"— 🐣 ʏᴀɴᴀ #ᴡᴀɴᴛ (@kibummys) February 3, 2019
Also ariana: "omg but guys I have crippling anxiety I don't deserve this!!!"
The reality is I can only imagine the kind of anxiety and stress that Ariana Grande must face on a daily basis. So I don't actually find the tweet above to be anything other than explanatory.
But, still, it seems she is holding herself to a different standard.
A very good friend of mine dropped a truth bomb on me a couple weeks ago and I think it applies to this whole situation.
He said to me, "when we do something and someone miscontrues it, we explain our intention. We always judge our actions based on our intentions... but we never judge other people's actions on their intentions, we just hold them accountable for their actions. Why do we do that?"
Well, because we never know other people's true intentions.
But I think it's safe to assume that Ariana Grande usually has pretty good intentions. Which is why I still think she's hilarious and amazingly talented.
know what https://t.co/Z2x2dgRYUA— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 1, 2019
It's also why I'm beyond excited for her new album to drop in 3 days.
That said, I think the girl knows she's still got some growing to do. All I can say is I hope she, and all of us, really, can start to hold accountable the actions of others while simultaneously appreciating that their intentions are likely never as malicious as we assume.
The girl still has some growing to do and so I don't really hold anything against her. I hope she can keep up her awesome senses of humour despite people like me, sharing pointless opinions on the Internet.