Ariana Grande: I’ve been through a lot and don’t know what to say about any of it

Ariana Grande is covering the August issue of American Vogue. This is not the easiest to google, but I’m pretty sure this is her first US Vogue cover and she’s only been on British Vogue before. The cover image is odd, I’ll say that. I don’t know if it’s because her makeup has changed, the image has been edited poorly and/or if we’re not used to seeing her from straight on, but her face looks different. Her dog is adorable and I learned in the piece that she has seven dogs! I was wondering how many dogs she had. The profile is quite good and worth reading. It’s peak Ariana in that she’s vulnerable, playful and open. She talks about Mac Miller’s death, about meeting Pete Davidson and falling in love with him before she knew him, about the Manchester bombing and how she still has survivors guilt (although she doesn’t call it that), and about setting more boundaries. They also have quotes from her famous friends like Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus and Patti LaBelle. I know she’s not everyone’s favorite, but I appreciate her music and find her so interesting. She’s putting herself out there and it doesn’t seem like like a big put on.

She cries when the journalist mentions Coachella, which reminds her of Mac Miller
“I never thought I’d even go to Coachella. I was always a person who never went to festivals and never went out and had fun like that. But the first time I went was to see Malcolm perform, and it was such an incredible experience. I went the second year as well, and I associate…heavily…it was just kind of a mindf-k, processing how much has happened in such a brief period.”

She holds some things back from fans yet feels so connected to them
“I’ve been open in my art and open in my DMs and my conversations with my fans directly, and I want to be there for them, so I share things that I think they’ll find comfort in knowing that I go through as well, But also there are a lot of things that I swallow on a daily basis that I don’t want to share with them, because they’re mine. But they know that. They can literally see it in my eyes. They know when I’m disconnected, when I’m happy, when I’m tired. It’s this weird thing we have. We’re like fucking E.T. and Elliott. I’m a person who’s been through a lot and doesn’t know what to say about any of it to myself, let alone the world.”

How she coped after Mac Miller passed
“If I’m completely honest, I don’t remember those months of my life because I was (a) so drunk and (b) so sad. I don’t really remember how it started or how it finished, or how all of a sudden there were 10 songs on the board. I think that this is the first album and also the first year of my life where I’m realizing that I can no longer put off spending time with myself, just as me. I’ve been boo’d up my entire adult life. I’ve always had someone to say goodnight to. So Thank U, Next was this moment of self-realization. It was this scary moment of ‘Wow, you have to face all this stuff now. No more distractions. You have to heal all this shit.’ ”

On Manchester and how she feels hopeless
“It’s not my trauma. It’s those families’. It’s their losses, and so it’s hard to just let it all out without thinking about them reading this and reopening the memory for them. I’m proud that we were able to raise a lot of money with the intention of giving people a feeling of love or unity, but at the end of the day, it didn’t bring anyone back. Everyone was like, Wow, look at this amazing thing, and I was like, What the f-k are you guys talking about? We did the best we could, but on a totally real level we did nothing.”

On playing a character
“I like having my funny character that I play… that feels like this exaggerated version of myself. It protects me. But also I love disrupting it for the sake of my fans and making clear that I’m a person—because that’s something I enjoy fighting for. I can’t help disrupt it. I’m incredibly impulsive and passionate and emotional and just reckless. The music is very personal and very real, but yes, if you can be me for Halloween, if drag queens can dress up as me, then I’m a character. Go to your local drag bar, and you’ll see it. That’s, like, the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s better than winning a Grammy.”

On being politically outspoken
“I would rather sell fewer records and be outspoken about what I think is some f-ery than sell more records and be . . . Switzerland. Am I allowed to say that? I love Switzerland. The fake wokes are waiting to attack!”

On meeting and falling for Pete Davidson
“My friends were like, ‘Come! We’re gonna have a fun summer.’ And then I met Pete, and it was an amazing distraction. It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him. I’m like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don’t trust myself with the life stuff.”

[From Vogue]

The piece also details Ariana’s early interest in music, how she sung as a young child and wanted to be a singer but ended up acting first. I came away with the same impression I’ve always had of her post-Manchester, that she’s trying to be authentic and to learn and grow. Oh and she said something that really spoke to the fact that she’s been breaking down during her tour. She said “It’s hard to sing songs that are about wounds that are so fresh. It’s fun, it’s pop music… but these songs to me really do represent some heavy s–t.

Ariana also has a new video released with Vogue, for her song In My Head. This song is highly personal for Ari and I can relate to it so much. She’s describing so many women’s experiences. She puts her heart into her music and that resonates with people. Also I like the disembodied boots, this is fun too.

Here’s just a clip of that if you don’t want to watch the whole thing:

Embed from Getty Images

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54 Responses to “Ariana Grande: I’ve been through a lot and don’t know what to say about any of it”

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  1. Digital Unicorn says:

    I like this cover and almost didn’t recognise her. I think its the makeup and styling, its subtle and she looks great, grown up.

    • A random commenter says:

      Yes, they toned down the liner and god rid of the ridiculous pony for the cover, and I love it. She looks smashing.

    • Otaku fairy... says:

      I like it. The cover gives off Betty Boop at the beach vibes.

    • Kitten says:

      She looks really pretty without all the…stuff.

  2. Neners says:

    It’s jarring seeing Ari without the winged liner. I never realized it until this cover! I love her and respect her so much. She’s been through hell.

  3. Seraphina says:

    I appreciate what she said about the raising of the money. At the end of the day it doesn’t bring anyone back. I feel she has been wounded and still needs help through what she went through. We all process differently and sometimes there are individuals who need help to get passed trauma. I believe she’s still on the road to recovery.

  4. Becks1 says:

    Wow, she looks so different without the heavy eyeliner.

    I am lol-ing at “the fake wokes are waiting to attack!” that really does describe so much of the internet these days.

    • Otaku fairy... says:

      Lol yep. And the bar is definitely higher, the forgiveness slower, and the benefit of the doubt/ room for growth smaller for some than it is for others.

  5. lucy2 says:

    She looks good on the cover.
    I hope she’s got a good therapist or something, because she has been through a lot.

  6. Annie... says:

    For such a natural pale girl, she really looks darker

    • Enn says:

      There’s some chatter on social media that the cover is edited into blackfishing territory.

      • sassafras says:

        If I didn’t know who she was, I’d think she was Black from this cover. Especially the way they styled her edges.

      • Kitten says:

        Really? Not saying they’re wrong but honestly, I don’t see it.

      • Cindy says:

        I wouldn’t call it blackfishing, but it was clearly photoshopped to death like most Vogue covers are. It’s not uncommon for celebs to look nothing like themselves on magazine covers.

    • Mina says:

      I’ve never seen her look pale, she always seems heavily tanned. Wasn’t there a twitter debate last year in which a lot of (black) people thought she was actually black? She’s always had that ambiguous ethnicity look going on.

    • styla says:

      She looks Italian to me, which is part of her ancestry I believe. The idea that white people are all stereotypically white is getting a bit ridiculous. I mean obviously she tans a lot… but as a southern Eastern European woman I get asked if I am “mixed” quite a bit. Brown skin, brown eyes and not straight dark hair is pretty universal.

      • Janie says:

        Yeah, I’m a super white German girl and I get asked pretty often if I’m mixed because I have darker colouring and thick black eyebrows. I’m pale-ish in the winter but I tan like crazy in the summer (I’ve also never had a sunburn) so I get a lot of “why are you trying to look darker?” comments. I’m like, “Sorry dude, this is just how my skin works. I’m not trying to do anything.”

  7. Lucy says:

    Wow. Great interview. I hope she’s okay.

  8. serena says:

    I think the cover looks weird because we’re not used to see her with a very natural look (although she looks pretty in whichever). That being said, I like her, she’s really growing on me.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I think it looks weird because they are reflecting light into her eyes, and it is making her squint. I know the feeling, and its almost like I can feel her pain!

  9. elimaeby says:

    I’m not a huge fan of her music (even though girl has a serious voice), but I’ve always had a soft spot for Ari. She comes off genuine and honest in her interviews. Sometimes she seems wacky or immature or scared, but you can tell that’s just her.

  10. McMe says:

    She looks black or bi-racial on the cover. I guess it’s cool to look like a black girl now?? Unless you actually are a black girl…
    It’s getting old.

    • stacey says:

      I dont think she looks black or biracial at all. She is italian and dark skinned italian. She might be of southern italian descent. Really confused why you are implying that she is trying to pull a rachel dolezal on the cover- she is very proud and vocal about her italian heritage.

      My Dad is mexican and very dark. One time a drunk guy called him the n-word because he thought my dad was black. Racist people are so f-ing stupid.

    • Joanna says:

      Yes, I agree! There were a lot of comments on it on other sites. I think it’s messed up how black women would get insulted for wearing weave. But now, white women are wearing weave, false eyelashes, cornrows etc and it’s seen as no big deal. And to me, Arianna is ALWAYS trying to look like a different race and I’m tired of people defending it. Yes, some of the people here naturally get darker during the summer months. The key word is naturally! Arianna is always trying to pass as a Hispanic/African woman intentionally imo. It’s not just the tan, it’s all of it put together. The tan, the hair, the clothing and makeup styles. And yes she looks like a light skinned black woman here.

      • Otaku fairy... says:

        The hair (not the ponytail) is natural. She naturally has curly, almost black hair that she actually straightens and lightens on a regular basis- another thing that makes the assumption that her tanning is about tricking people into thinking she’s another race doubt-worthy. That doesn’t mean I don’t agree with your first sentence 100%. 100%. Cultural appropriation is absolutely a real thing (that’s more complex than it’s often made out to be on the internet. For example, opinions are divided on whether or not Rihanna’s latest photo shoot should be called cultural appropriation). Part of the problem is that there have been instamodels who apparently actually were doing brownface & blackface. And Ariana has done other things that kind of cross into appropriation territory- like her overuse of AAVE last year. But that doesn’t mean she’s tanning for any racial reason.

  11. sassafras says:

    I think it was Lainey who pointed out several years ago that Ariana never really lets you see one side of her face. It used to be worse, she’d practically always walk diagonal from photographers/ across stages. Then I think she got a little more confident, the eyeliner/ highlighter/ sunglasses were a distraction too. I think she’s a gorgeous girl, with talent and compassion, but I hope she takes care of herself and her issues, big and small.

  12. Kitten says:

    But..I don’t see a black girl on the cover? A tan girl, sure..*maybe* Hispanic but isn’t she Italian? She’s the color that a lot of Italian ladies get during the summertime. It’s like we all forgot about Jersey Shore.

    • Otaku fairy... says:

      Neither do I. Even without the tan and with her natural hair ( which is curly and almost black) she has a look similar to Alessia Cara’s- two Italian girls who can sometimes be mistaken for Latina.

    • leskat says:

      She is Italian, so olive skin tone combined with sun=deep tan. My sister is exactly the same way. Curly dark hair, olive skin that tans super well. I don’t think she’s “blackfishing” as others think, I think she’s heavy on the bronzer on an already tan skintone.

    • Janie says:

      I’m a super white German girl and my current boyfriend thought I was mixed when we met. I don’t try to tan or use bronzer or dark contouring or anything. It’s just how my skin looks in the summer. I’ve got thick black eyebrows and very dark eyes. I get the “are you mixed?” and “why are you trying to look mixed?” questions pretty frequently. I’m like, “This is just what God gave me, sorry.”

      My dad (also very white German man) gets pulled aside at the airport a lot because he looks vaguely Arab. Not all white people are pale and blond, y’all.

    • Joanna says:

      But she’s not olive skin toned like Italians. She’s pasty white, she does NOT tan. I have her exact skin tone from her younger years. Look at old pics. She doesn’t look Italian to me. She’s deliberately browning it up. I get wanting to be tan, I get spray tans occasionally. She’s wearing so much tanning/makeup, she appears non white. How do y’all not see it?

      • Otaku fairy... says:

        She may not have that phenotype naturally herself, but there definitely are other people who do, so it’s kind of a reach to attribute that skin tone to just one group. It would be like accusing a goth person (or anybody) of brownface just because they dye their hair jet black and you associate that hair color more with Indian people, for example. At some point it really does devolve to unnecessary body-policing.

      • SKF says:

        That’s not true. You can clearly see the olive cast to her pale skin when she was young. I have light olive skin and I have that, and my sister has dark olive skin and has it too. Both of us go extremely white and pale if we don’t get any sun; and both of us can tan deeply – especially my sister. We have entirely English, Irish and Scottish heritage, and yet my sister has had people think she was Italian, Spanish, Greek, Israeli, Arabic and more. She can tan like crazy but, since we live in Australia, these days she’s mostly pale because, you know, skin cancer. So hats, shades, 50+ sunscreen and cover-ups. Ariana was working inside on a tv show most of her youth. She had pale skin – it’s not shocking. She has that olive tint to her paleness which indicates that chica can TAN. But she’s smart and she tans the fake way. The reason she can pull it off is that she is capable of tanning naturally too. If a genuinely super pale person fake tanned to that colour, they would look weird. And this idea that only biracial or Latina or black eomrn can get that tanned is ridiculous. I have Spanish friends, for example, who tan so dark it’s crazy, and they are white women.

    • Dani says:

      I am pretty white like her naturally, but if I sit in the sun long enough (like in the summer) I’m constantly mistaken for Spanish or even biracial because I’m of middle eastern descent and I turn a deep brown as opposed to orange or tan. It’s not done to appropriate or be rude, I literally cannot help how my skin tans.

  13. perplexed says:

    I think she sounds realistic and self-aware about what she was able to do. I don’t think she’s trying to sound authentic there. I think she really is authentic in that quote. I’m certain all of us have had thoughts like that when something tragic has happened.

  14. Ai says:

    Before I was always conflicted about her and her image (not a fan of the Lolita styling). I thought she was an annoying brat and didn’t really like her first few albums. But then I listened to Dangerous Woman and do acknowledge that the girl has an amazing voice, can sing and both DW and Thank You, Next are solid albums. No one should go through what she has gone through recently and so close in timing. But I do see that she is genuinely trying and I hope she gets a good therapist, stays off social media and really focus on herself/take care of herself and not drunk work her way through it as therapy.

  15. Harryg says:

    The dog is great.

  16. Whatever gurl says:

    She is Italian. She calls her grandmother Nonna. Last name Grande. ✅ ✅ ✅

    We get realllllly tan in the summer.
    And greenish pale in the winter.

    How is that ethnically ambiguous or wanting to be black?

  17. Fluffy Princess says:

    I think people are always looking for drama. She just looks super tan, and as everyone has said she is Italian with an Olive complexion. My dad has an olive complexion and can get a super dark tan–easily. I like the natural styling on her, she’s such a pretty girl.

    • Joanna says:

      She doesn’t have an olive complexion. Look at pics from her Disney days. I have that skin tone, I burn. She’s deliberately trying to look ethnically ambiguous

      • Otaku fairy... says:

        Someone who was truly trying to look another race probably would not go on about how Italian they are like Ariana does. It really doesn’t seem like she’s trying to deceive here.

  18. jennifer says:

    girl needs a break. a long one. and she looks so pretty without all the makeup.

  19. hogtowngooner says:

    It’s okay to be not okay.

  20. Grant says:

    People are throwing shade at her for the baby hairs. However, if you watch her carpool karaoke with James Corden (which was hilarious and THAT VOICE!) you can see that girlfriend is, well, kind of hairy there. I think she’s just an Italian American woman with dark Italian hair.

    I thought this was a great article! She’s been through a lot but she’s very funny, sharp, and self-deprecating. I feel for her. Also, I loved Thank U, Next. Great album, if a bit dark and sad at times.

  21. Ann says:

    That song is excellent. So cool. Great video too. I think Ari has such a beautiful voice but she doesn’t enunciate enough and I have a hard time understanding her. She’s growing on me. Mac Miller was such a talent and loosing him continues to suck. I can’t imagine how hard it’s been on her but this song really lays a lot of it out.

  22. Yes Doubtful says:

    I’m glad she’s taking the time to know herself as a single woman. It’s so important IMO. Her song Ghostin about Mac and Pete is so beautiful and deeply personal. I am not a huge fan of her or her music, but that is an amazing song. She writes and speaks a lot about Pete, I’m wondering if they will find their way back to each other at some point? Hopefully with more maturity.

    • Grant says:

      Ghostin’ is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Definitely a stand-out track on a great album.

  23. Pib says:

    This cover is giving me real Jennifer Lopez vibes – specifically the I’m Real 2001-ish J-Lo!

  24. Busyann says:

    I like her and she is growing on me more and more.