In collaboration with Karen Alvarado
Ariana Grande has become one of the most outstanding performers in recent years, and she has inspired millions of young men and women by remaining genuine, down to earth, and grateful for the love and respect of her fans. Throughout her career, she has allowed herself to live, to be whoever she wants, and to do as she pleases without worrying about what people think. That’s why she’s my new and unexpected role model.
I don’t consider myself an “Arianator.” Yes, I like most of her music, and I always thought that she was a fresh and interesting face in the music industry. However, the way Ariana has handled media scrutiny of her private life is what has earned her my respect and even admiration.
She really is an inspiring woman: she’s not afraid to speak her mind, she enjoys and embraces her sexuality, and she doesn’t care what others think of her. But most of all, she’s become my role model because she practices what she preaches. In other words, she conveys her self-confidence to her fans and encourages them to love themselves for who they are.
It has been a rough year for Ariana. Nonetheless, she keeps going strong, and she doesn’t let media attention get to her. Everything began with the Manchester terrorist attack in 2017, when the eyes of the world were suddenly on her. I thought it was very admirable to see how she empathized with and supported the victims, and how she decided to take some time off to recover, to heal, and to regain her strength after the traumatic experience.
Then, it was her break-up with her on-and-off boyfriend, Mac Miller. Once again, her private life was the talk of the town, and after the rapper’s DWI incident, comments on social media seemed to blame her for Miller’s behavior, with various publications stating that her breaking up with him and getting engaged with Pete Davidson was triggering Miller’s behavior. Later on, Miller’s death and the calling-off of her engagement were simply tabloid gold.
After Miller’s death, she decided it was time to close channels of communication between her and her fans for a while to give herself time to recover. And once more, the press tried to paint her in a negative light, but true Arianators had her back. They understood the importance of her taking some time off and refused to play the game of the industry that demands that the personal life of a pop star be a public commodity, as Rebecca Liu wrote for The Guardian.
Grande has being open about the pain that fame can bring sometimes. By being straightforward and sincere with her fans, she has gained their respect and admiration. As she asks for respect and demands to have some space for herself, she presents herself vulnerable and human. For instance, she has mentioned that therapy saved her life. By doing this, she encourages those around her and the people she inspires to do the same.
Her latest single, “Thank U, Next,” has become every millennial’s new break-up anthem. After all the heartbreak, pain, and disappointments, she rises once again with poise and strength, while addressing her ex-boyfriends. The song is pretty empowering, as if she were saying “girl, yes, this guy you dated hurt you, but please realize that they taught you something. They gave you something: they gave you the chance to realize how much you’re worth and how important it is to commit with the most important person in your life: yourself.”
Ariana has been on the spotlight long enough to realize that her public persona doesn’t necessarily need to be a product. As part of a new generation of pop stars who refuse to be exploited by an industry that sees their private lives as part of their brand, Ariana has inspired people to free themselves from ridiculous expectations. She sets an example for everyone, and she doesn’t allow anyone to judge her or decide what kind of pop star or woman she should be. For that reason, I guess that I have just become a member of Grande’s gospels of truth.
Cover picture by Elle Magazine
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