Ariana Grande as a Feminist Icon for Young Girls
Ariana Grande isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think of feminist icons. Until recently, Grande has been to most of the word just another cute pop star. With her signature high ponytail and itty bitty costumes she isn’t exactly societies idea of a feminist. In reality, Grande stands up for women on and off the stage. She uses her platform to promote body positivity and equality with empowering lyrics and public speaking. Grande is giving little girls something to aspire to be.
For the little girls that idolize pop stars, a song about sexual empowerment can stick with them for years. I still remember the first music video I saw. I was hardly seven years old dancing in my living room to Jennifer Lopez’s “If You Had My Love.” Seeing powerful women in the media is important for young girls confidence and sense of belonging in the world. Grande described her latest album “Dangerous Woman” as “a 22-year-old girl coming into her own trying to balance growing up, love, and a lot of other bullshit along the way.” For many young girls, that’s exactly what they need to hear.
The way a woman dresses follows her in all aspects of her life. A belief that Grande adamantly tries to question and change. Grande has often gained flack over the way she dresses, with her short skirts and midriff baring crop tops. Even so called feminist Bette Midler commented on Grande’s appearance saying "You don't have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead." Grande receives these comments with poise and continues to stand up for body positivity. She brushed off the comment by tweeting “Bette was always a feminist who stood for women being able to do whatever the F they wanted without judgement! Not sure where that Bette went but I want that sexy mermaid back!” Grande continues to change the narrative that women's worth is a product of their modesty.
Perhaps Grande’s most impressive show of character was one she never wanted to exhibit. After the Manchester attack Grande fought hate with the ultimate show of love, a benefit concert for the victims of the attack. During this time of duress Grande gave a show of maturity far beyond her 24 years with a statement our dear president could take notes from. Young girls around the world were able to see a girl they can relate to show leadership in the face of tragedy at a time where the world is so polarized. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a pop star use their platform to lift their young female audience up to be whatever they want to be.