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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Since Ariana Grande landed the role of Glinda in Broadway’s Wicked (in theatres Winter 2024), her “fans” haven’t hidden their thoughts on her appearance. I’m not sure if we’ve fully moved on from her trending TikTok video that addressed her weight fluctuations over the past couple of decades since she’s been in the public eye, but regardless I thought I would bring it back to share what it taught me.

Did The Topic Need To Be Addressed?

There was lots of speculation of Ari’s intentions when uploading her video. Comments like “she’s just trying to be relatable” or “she must be unhappy in her marriage” or “she was forced by her management team to film that video” resurfaced all at once—alongside positive messages that encouraged her and others to spread the body positivity message she was sharing. Yes, she’s been bullied online for many years now about her weight. But did she really need to make a video on a concern that is already heavily-discussed in the media? Yes! I think someone in the position that she’s in—being one of the most famous artists and celebrities of our generation—should most definitely speak about their weight journey, the cyberbullying they face, as well as any confidence or mental health struggles they go through. This is because of two reasons:

  • Reason #1: We often view celebrities as being perfect, therefore we sometimes need a reminder that they’re just like us.
  • Reason #2: It leads to open communication about those struggles that many, if not all of us, go through.

Side note: the fact that she had also chosen to publish that video on TikTok, the #1 ranked most-trending and most-used app of our generation, sheds light on what I believe was her only intention—to spread positivity and love to her fans and bullies!

How To Properly deal With Insecurities

I think that there will always be people who see Ariana Grande’s video as a way for her to make more money or to feel better about herself. But with someone who is as successful as her, with or without that video, the engagement of her video would have been nothing but that for her: another form of engagement to promote her craft and talent. With that said, maybe the topic of how to properly deal with one’s insecurities is something that she could have talked more about if she felt comfortable to do so. Since she didn’t, however, ending the stigma around bullying, body insecurities, and mental health starts with figuring out how to effectively overcome or live with it. Stepping stones to make sure that we’re coping with our own insecurities without projecting onto others include…

Taking Time Away

Whatever it is that triggers you to feel bad or disappointed in yourself, find time to take away from it and pamper yourself! Whether that looks like reading your favourite book, watching your comfort show, going on a run, eating your favourite meal, or taking a nap, do something that makes you feel happy and fulfilled with who you are right where you are.

accepting that we’re all the same & all very different

Remember that we are all the same and so different at the same time! Believe it or not, we all have insecurities that we wish we could change, or that maybe we’re actively trying to change… and, yes, we are all made differently, carrying different beliefs, values, and experiences that shape who we are. And how fun is that!

Believing you are perfect the way you are & on Your own Journey

Lastly, forget focusing on where everyone else’s decisions are taking them and focus on yourself. The truth is that putting others down won’t make you get further in life or feel better about where you are at in your life. So really, the best way to overcome your insecurities is to be grateful for what you have and own it—because you really are right where you’re meant to be, and doing great with where you are!

Ariana Grande may have ended body shamers for the time being with her TikTok video, but insecurities and the repercussions of those insecurities don’t just go away. So while this may be an unpopular opinion, I learnt that maybe her video was just what we all needed to come to the realization that being kind to ourselves and others isn’t always easy, especially if we’re not properly dealing with our own insecurities, but is something we all need to do.

Emily Crandall

U Ottawa '24

University of Ottawa Alumna