The singer Ariana Grande is done. She has publicly said “enough” to the comments about her body that she has faced daily for months. She posted a three-minute video on TikTok in which she comments on the health problems that she used to suffer, reflecting on how difficult it is to be constantly exposed to criticism. “I don’t do this often. I don’t like it, and I’m not good at it. I just want to address your concerns about my body,” the artist begins off by saying.
The singer of “Bang Bang” and “God Is a Woman” goes on to explain her discomfort with constant body-shaming. “There are many different ways to look healthy and beautiful. Personally, for me, the body you’ve been comparing my current body to was the unhealthiest version of my body.” She confesses that, not too long ago, she abused medications, directly affecting her health: “I was on a lot of antidepressants and drinking on them and eating poorly and at the lowest point of my life when I looked the way you consider my healthy. But that, in fact, wasn’t my healthy.”
Although Ariana Grandee did not specify what period she was referring to, the artist likely refers to several moments that marked her life between 2017 and 2020. Those years were plagued with traumatic events: from the 2017 attack during her concert in Manchester, in which 22 people died, to the death by overdose of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller in September 2018, to her broken engagement with Pete Davidson in October of the same year.
She doesn’t sound angry in the video, instead speaking vulnerably about how she has felt in recent weeks, receiving thousands of anonymous comments criticizing her current physical state. In the video Grande appears au natural, a departure from her typical image: “I’m not wearing eyelashes or eyeliner right now, this is my face, these are my eyes, so please don’t freak out.”
The artist recognizes that she does not need to give explanations about her health issues. She decided to do so, she says, with the hope that “something good might come from it.” “You never know what someone is going through. So even if you are coming from a loving place and a caring place, that person probably is working on it or has a support system that they are working on it with, and you never know. So be gentle with each other and with yourselves,” she says.
But despite it all, Grande sent a message of love and support to all those watching the video: “You’re beautiful, no matter what you’re going through, no matter what weight, no matter how you like to do your makeup these days, no matter what cosmetic procedures you’ve had or not.”
The singer of “Thank U, Next” has spent the last few years far from the musical industry, focusing instead on her makeup brand REM Beauty. Her last album release was the 2020 Positions. Just a few weeks ago, though, she released the remix of “Die For You” with The Weeknd. Grande is currently working on the film adaptation of Wicked, the successful Broadway musical that will reach the big screen with two installments, the first of which is almost finished shooting.
In the four months of 2023 so far, multiple celebrities have spoken publicly against the criticisms of their body: from Madonna, who in February said she was “caught in the glare of age discrimination and misogyny,” to Selena Gomez, who also spoke about the innumerable critiques of her weight gain. “I would rather be healthy and take care of myself. My medications are important,” the actress and singer said in February.
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