Ariana Grande: ‘Insecurity has been the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome’

September 2014 - Ariana Grande

I’m not “up” on all of the cool music that the kids listen to, so I basically only know Ariana Grande as A) the girl who sounds like vintage Mariah on “The Way,” B) the girl who did “The Problem” with I-G-G-Y, C) the girl with dimples, D) the girl who has a hardcore belief in ghosts and E) the girl who cried on the Grammys red carpet because someone tweeted bad stuff about her dress. So, I’m not really down with her as a super-fan, but I’m also not down with making fun of her for nothing. She’s working. She’s doing her thing. She’s sort of annoying but let her figure it out. Anyway, Ariana covers the new issue of Seventeen and she talks all about her insecurities and… she sounds sort of pleasantly neurotic, like Chris Evans.

On putting herself out there and being totally exposed: “It’s tough to spend some of the most important years of your life in front of so many strangers who want to pick you apart. Insecurity has been the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome. I think everyone my age struggles with that because everyone strives for approval and wants to feel loved.”

Insecurities: “Everybody has certain things that make them feel insecure. Even when you overcome a huge battle in your life and you make a ton of progress as a person, there are still things that will upset you and break your heart. But I feel like I’m at a point in my life where love is the most important thing, and I won’t let anything come before it.”

The biggest lesson she’s learned in the past few years: “Being okay with not having the answers to everything. I feel like for the first time in my life, I’m really okay. I used to freak out about everything all the time. I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, somebody said this!’ Everything used to be such a big deal! But now, I feel I can handle everything that comes my way with a calm energy.”

The toughest thing she has ever had to deal with: “Falling out of touch with my dad. It’s private, but it happened last year. It took me so long to be okay with it. The thing that got me there was embracing the fact that that I am made up of half my dad, and a lot of my traits come from him. So much of me comes from my father, and for so long, I didn’t like that about myself. I had to accept that it’s okay not to get along with somebody and still love them.”

[From Seventeen]

Now we see why she cried on the red carpet of the Grammys. I guess it’s good that she’s developing a thicker skin about criticism, although I think a bigger issue might be that Ariana is checking her Twitter on the red carpet of the Grammys. Enough already. As for the dealing-with-criticism thing… she’s of that “special snowflake” generation. She’s 21 – and it seems like a lot of the youths in their late teens and early 20s have grown up with helicopter parents. They were told all their lives that they were the most special and unique people in the world and when real life crashes in, whether it’s mean internet comments or something actually important, they tend to not know how to handle it.


Photos courtesy of Kenneth Willardt/Seventeen.

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38 Responses to “Ariana Grande: ‘Insecurity has been the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome’”

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  1. Chris says:

    You forgot to mention her turn in Victorious. My kids loved that show.

  2. Micha says:

    ha, i can conclude that because of the EXPLODING comments section that people care just as much as I do – meaning, not at all 😉

  3. Evie says:

    I just wish she would enunciate. Her songs are catchy but I can’t understand a word she says.

    • Dancinnancy says:

      Agreed. I can’t understand her. Not sure if it her words or the register she’s singing on. Because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

      I’ve had exposure to her through Sam and Cat which I ultimately wouldn’t allow my daughter to watch. Tagging her mostly harmless. For now.

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        Why wouldn’t you let her watch it? Honestly curious. I’ve never seen it. I stopped my borderline weirdoness after the Jonas Brothers went off the air when I was….way too old to be watching the Jonas Brothers.

      • Chris says:

        It’s a shame you can’t understand the words. They’re life changing.

      • Emma13 says:

        Yep, I listen to heavy metal that’s easier to understand.

        @Dancinnancy, why wouldn’t you allow her to watch Sam and Cat? I don’t know anything about the show other than she is in it. Just curious.

    • QQ says:

      Hahaha I Told My BF that this weekend: What Exactly is she saying in this song? I’m not being facetious I just cant make out a single thing!!

      P.S she still looks like a Girl who is about to cry cause her Bat Mitzvah is going to shit before her very eyes

      • Dancinnancy says:

        My issue with Sam & Cat was the example it set. arianna plays Cat – at first I couldn’t decide if she was truly that ditzy or if she was acting. (Cat – not Arianna). We established that she just isn’t very bright. Which makes the manipulation and bullying of her friend Sam crueler. Sam is supposed to be this bad ass take no prisoners girl. But she comes off as a bully and manipulator. My daughter and I talked about Sam’s behavior and how she would feel if she was Cat. We agreed that it wasn’t a healthy relationship and not something we wanted to watch as an example of fun teen hijinx.

        Who knew I would miss Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montanna this much…

        (Sorry for typing mess. On an iPhone and struggling to punctuate.)

      • ol cranky says:

        “P.S she still looks like a Girl who is about to cry cause her Bat Mitzvah is going to shit before her very eyes ”

        OMG QQ, I’ve been trying to think of what it is about her that weirds me out and I think you nailed it!

  4. lassie says:

    Her breathy baby voice is annoying.

  5. Emma13 says:

    I don’t care one way or another about her. I just came here to comment on how many teenage girls are starting to take pictures/selfies with that same “oh, I’m shocked and maybe a little concerned” face she makes in EVERY photo. I work at a theme park and see a lot of photos being taken.

    • Yolie says:

      Yes! I came here just to see if anyone else noticed that annoying look that’s on her face!

    • lylaooo says:

      uggh!! i hate that stupid face she makes.. she´s 21 !!!! grow up already! its the same face Beiber and Jaden Smith do! hate it hate it hate it!

  6. SpookySpooks says:

    She used to annoy me, but not so much anymore. At least she has talent, unlike other Disney stars.

    As for insecurities and criticism, you learn to roll with the punches sooner or later. After a while, it doesn’t hurt as much. Although the feeling of insecurity stays, at least in my case.

    And I can’t believe she’s my age, she looks so young.

  7. We Are All Made of Stars says:

    Okay, hold up: Why would you equate being upset at internet nastiness with the oversensitivity of a “special snowflake?” A Snowflake is devastated over imaginary and minor slights because they’ve been raised in a bubble where they’ve been protected from the reality of conflict and the fact that not everyone is going to lurve you and think you’re the best thing since sliced bread.

    The internet is a Wild Wild West of horrible and abusive anonymous behavior, and frankly I don’t think most of the things said by people in her age range should be taken lightly. They are pretty awful most of the time! So, it was stupid of her to read the Twitter while she was at the event. She’ll grow up and learn. But it isn’t easy dealing with the critical eyes of millions of people on you judging you and waiting for you to mess up. That is seriously crazy-making stuff, and not at all a sign of a spoiled upbringing.

  8. Orlanda says:

    Everything you said about helicopter parents, etc. Amazing and incredibly true.

  9. LDUB says:

    this chick is BEYOND annoying. but at least she’s a young female out here who can sang. not “sing” but SANG.

  10. Jenny12 says:

    Completely agree with the helicopter parents and their poor kids remarks. My kids love this performer and to me, she doesn’t even sing clearly and has a one note act: the ditz.

    • Aussie girl says:

      I have a work mate that coaches under 12 football. These helicopter parents make it so hard for him to do his job.

  11. mkyarwood says:

    Pretty sure she hasn’t overcome anything. And that Disney Princess head has to go.

  12. Sally Tomato says:

    I know none of her songs but I will say that as far as the Mariah comparisons go, those two obviously pose with their “good side” on display.

  13. Christo says:

    I think she is very cute and definitely has a great voice. That being said, her allusions to insecurity have most definitely been overcome, considering the half-eagle pose on the cover and the coy smile courtesy of the Jessica Alba School of Blank-Stared Sexiness.

  14. Em says:

    Her constant, ridiculous ”who me?” expression is so g*ddamn annoying and her voice is a little on the thin side which means it’s hard to understand what she’s singing – plus, her music is waaaaay to bubblegum for me.

  15. Julie says:

    She looks like Jessica Alba.

  16. Savanna says:

    I can’t be the only person who genuinely thought she was 14…

  17. Grant says:

    Her voice is incredible and her debut album, Yours Truly, was a flawless retro throwback that really showcased her amazing gift: that voice. I love her. To me, she *is* a special snowflake.

  18. Blythe says:

    Watered-down Mariah Carey impersonator. Boo, you.

  19. Tswise says:

    God, this is so accurate: “she’s of that “special snowflake” generation. She’s 21 – and it seems like a lot of the youths in their late teens and early 20s have grown up with helicopter parents. They were told all their lives that they were the most special and unique people in the world and when real life crashes in, whether it’s mean internet comments or something actually important, they tend to not know how to handle it. ”

    I’m 29 and the under-25 set just f’ing kills me and not in a good way. They all need to grow up. Quickly. And their parents are a-holes for turning them into such little monsters.

  20. JenniferJustice says:

    Hate on me all you want, but I think this girl is adorable! She can actually sing and I’m happy for her. For years my son and his friends watched Victorius and you can see them understaing Grande in every scene because she wasn’t the star of the show. She only sang back up/harmony for Victoria, but I always knew she was the real talent. So, yeah, I’m happy for her to be no longer be shoved in the corner.

  21. whatevs says:

    I have heard of her because my daughter is 15, but honestly the name never stuck in my head or would have been remembered if it wasn’t for her brother Frankie on Big Brother. Lol 😃

  22. bambilee23 says:

    Having her phone in every single picture is incredibly annoying! Not only is she checking Twitter on the red carpet, she’s probably checking it all through this photoshoot!

  23. Lucy says:

    I don’t dislike her nor do I think she’s the most annoying person that has ever walked this Earth, but I can’t help but compare her with Chloe Moretz, who’s younger and seems way more mature.

  24. lemon says:

    team Frankie #BB16

  25. Veronica Knowles says:

    Her voice is OK, but eye hate her smug eyebrow expression…