Her smile is beaming, her skin is gleaming, the way it shines I know you’ve seen it…
Whether you’re a fan of Ariana Grande or not, you can’t deny that she’s had a pretty unforgettable year. Between her breakup from Mac Miller, to her rebound with Pete Davidson, to their hasty engagement, then the tragic death of her ex, to the calling off of her engagement. Oh, and she released an album in the middle of all of that too. Ariana can so easily fall into the category of vanilla-pop-princesses, but she’s proved herself to be so much more than that. With the release of her latest single 7 Rings, and the announcement of another album, titled Thank U, Next on February 8 (her second release in six months), I think we can all agree Ariana Grande is having a bit of a moment right now. So, it just wouldn’t be fair to call her a pop star, because she’s the hero that both pop music, and pop culture needs right now.
I first became aware of the existence of Ariana Grande when she was playing Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s Victorious. I didn’t really take real notice of her influence, and how inspirational she was until the world watched how she handled the aftermath of the horrific attack that happened following her 2017 concert in Manchester England. I didn’t see a fast and heavily fabricated response from a pop princess, but instead a genuine, and heartfelt reaction that honoured her fans. Ariana chooses to lead her crusade with love. Being positive and kind is sort of an act of rebellion, especially in a time where throwing shade via Twitter, and Instagram is cool.
After calling off her short engagement to Pete Davidson, Ariana dropped the biggest musical truth bomb of 2018. Newly single girls everywhere rejoiced, and bowed down to their new queen. We live in a society where it is so easy, and encouraged to throw shade at an ex. Ariana released thank u, next and created a full-blown movement. Instead of tearing our exes to shreds over bottomless mimosas at brunch with our girlfriends (they’re all very tired of listening to us talk about how our exes, by the way) we’re now thanking them for teaching us things like love, patience, and most of all pain. Her anthem of self-love and acceptance started a revolution that we all rallied behind. Rolling on through living her best single life, her newest single 7 Rings, was actually born from a champagne fueled shopping trip to Tiffany’s, where Ariana bought herself, and six of her best friends matching diamond rings, because of course she did. At first listen, 7 Rings could be about just another girl going on a shopping spree of diamonds, hair extensions, and designer shoes. But if you listen closer, it’s about hustling hard, and spending her own money on whatever makes her happy. How cool is it, that because of 7 Ringsyoung girls everywhere are getting inspired to build their own empires, and flex all their hard work without feeling sorry, or guilty about it.
On top of being a total boss babe in the music industry, she’s also outspoken on a number of issues including women’s rights, and LGBTQ+ issues. When it was announced that her latest album Sweetener would be released the same day as Nicki Minaj’s Queen, Ariana took to her socials to promote both albums, and encouraged her fans to stream and enjoy both of them. When thank u, next, came out at the same time Halsey’s Without Me, Ariana posted how happy she was that the both of their post-break-up songs were dominating the charts. We’re so used to seeing women being put against each other, she is instead using her platform and choosing to lift others up. This is an incredible thing for her young women to see, and take note of.
Ariana keeps it real, while also existing truly in a league of her own in a pastel, and cotton candy filled dream world. She’s never shied away about owning up to her mistakes, and tries to try to not make the same ones twice. Ariana is the pop hero we need right now because she’s real, and her power is constantly growing, and inspiring to watch. She’s a real life goddess who also feels like she could be our best friend. She’s outspoken, and makes mistakes, and admits when she’s wrong. On top of everything, she releases catchy and relevant pop music. In the past six months she’s helped us all through break-ups, make-ups, shopping sprees, and buyers remorse. So while I hope I’ve convinced you that she’s your 2019 hero too, she’s certainly mine, and she’s here to stay. If after all this you still don’t agree, thank u, next.