Here's Why People Think Ariana Grande is Doing Brownface

If you’re like me, then you’ve been turning up to Ariana Grande’s past hit singles side to side, thank u, next, break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored and breathin. But lately, a lot of her haters and even her fans have been noticing her increasingly bronzed skin complexion in both her music videos and in her Instagram posts. Grande’s music has always been influenced by R&B, hip hop, and reggae, but it hasn’t escaped everyone’s attention that she often also uses AAVE (African American Vernacular English) on and off the mic, especially in her latest song 7 rings. Writer Wanna Thompson has stated that Ariana has made a career singing and rapping about experiences from a culture that she knows nothing about. So I have to wonder, is Ariana Grande actually doing brownface?

It’s no question that the past two years have been difficult for her, with the terrorist attack at her Manchester concert in 2017 and the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller in 2018, but we should be able to constructively criticize artists who use their platforms for the wrong reasons. In November of 2018, social media influencers were exposed for “blackfishing” their followers when they presented themselves as black women when in reality they were white.  This thread of tweets openly accuses Grande of darkening her skin, enlarging her lips, and speaking with a “blaccent” in a similar fashion to those social media influencers. This has gotten to a point where she has become so racially ambiguous, that people even believe she’s Latina, partly because of her last name but others say that it is also because of her appearance and mannerisms.

People are upset that she seemingly displays her natural complexion for prestigious magazine covers that she has been featured on, but puts on a different appearance for her music.

Some argue that assuming she’s African-American or Latina based on how she looks or acts negatively stereotypes actual brown women; others say that these accusations are a reach. Her music is infused with R&B and pop music, and fans claim that this is a way of her giving credit to the black artists who influence her. What do you think? She’s not the only artist doing this, but should we be taking a closer look? Is she appropriating or paying homage to the culture? In the meantime, I’ll be bumpin' to my favorite songs...with caution.