Let Ariana Grande Be an Adult

Ariana Grande announced her new album and single titled “Positions” on Instagram on October 15th, 2020 by simply typing the album/single name on a keyboard. There weren’t any context clues about what the title meant or what the album would sound like but the anticipation was there, and people eagerly counted down the days on a countdown she provided on her website. Ariana has released a new album almost every year with “k thank you bye now” and “thank u, next” coming out in 2019, “Sweetener” in  2018, “Dangerous Woman” in 2016, “Christmas and Chill” in 2015, “My Everything” in 2014, and “Yours Truly” in 2013.  Her albums are all so different, representing parts of her life in which she was in love, experiencing heartbreak, grieving the death of her long-term ex-boyfriend, or dealing with anxiety and PTSD.  She has also empowered women to invest in their careers and believe in their strength and power with songs like “7 rings” and “God is a woman”  That is why Ariana is so successful: she sings about real and raw emotions that everyone can relate to, and her voice is amazing. However, it was clear that with her new album “Positions”, Ariana was going to focus on embracing her sexuality- and the internet was not happy.

This is not surprising, but it is disappointing. Many actors/singers who have been working since childhood are criticized by the public for making their new material more mature.  Twitter users commented under Ariana’s album tweets “Your fans are children!” and “Don’t you know you have young fans, why are you exposing them to this!”. However, Ariana is 27 years old. It is unfair and wrong to expect her to cater to a younger audience just because she has done that in the past. She dedicated years to Nickelodeon and singing for a young fan base and the public should allow and want her to change and grow as she gets older. The young fan base she sang to while she was on Nickelodeon (my age group actually) is about 18-23 years old now. Even her original fan base are adults! There are plenty of other age-appropriate artists for younger teens and children. Stop expecting 27-year-olds to write music for your 12-year-old children forever.

A large majority of the criticism can be attributed to slut-shaming. People do not like that Ariana publicly embraces her sexuality and is not ashamed of it. The single “Positions” was released Friday, October 23rd, and it is not even obscene! It discusses sex in a tasteful way, the lyrics and melody are well thought out, and the youtube video is empowering, depicting Ariana as the President of the United States. Sex is a natural adult thing to discuss and it is okay to have different opinions and levels of comfort talking about it. What is not okay is shaming Ariana for wanting to talk about it. Male singers talk about sex constantly and no one criticizes them. No one told Justin Bieber to make his songs more kid-friendly as he grew up. The double standard is exhausting. No one is saying men should not embrace their sexuality. They should. But the world also needs to allow women to do the same. 

In the world of social media, people seem to have endless amounts of criticism for people they don’t even know. They think they can tell strangers how to dress, act, and sing- however, if someone did the same to them they would be outraged. Let Ariana be an adult. Let her be whomever she wants to be. If you truly appreciate her as a person, you would not want her to pretend to be someone she is not or ask her to suppress her creativity. Celebrities are humans too.