Regarded by many as a popular music icon with over 90 million records sold worldwide, Ariana Grande has been in the limelight since she was 13 years old performing on Broadway. With time comes experience, and Grande is well aware of the public scrutiny that accompanies fame and fortune. Recently, Grande posted a short video to TikTok addressing people’s overwhelming concern about her body. In it, she addressed how people often compare her current body to the body she used to have, which she mentioned was during a period of her life when she was at her lowest and unhealthiest. While Grande doesn’t owe her audience an explanation, the fact that such a successful artist felt the need to record an explanation is something that her audience should contemplate.
Living as a celebrity and even living as a human being in general brings judgment, whether it be from other people through a screen or from people in one’s daily life, especially in a time where all people have some form of social media, leaving them vulnerable to negative comments regarding their appearance. While the Internet has proven itself to be a positive place where people can come together to discuss shared interests and learn about situations around the world, there’s also plenty of evidence to show how people often feel comfortable body-shaming other people because of the confidence they get from being behind a screen.
Ariana puts it perfectly when she says, “People need to be gentler about commenting on other people’s bodies.” No one is entitled to speak about other people’s physical characteristics, especially when they are unaware of the journey that person has taken to get to the stage of life they’re currently in. Even though celebrities share a large portion of their lives with the media, people need to remember that it doesn’t give them the ability to speak on their personal business or comment on their appearance without knowing what they’re going through physically and mentally, simply because they seem so open.
Every person’s journey with their body is different, and that journey affects them in different ways, good and bad. Even if a comment might be well-intentioned, focusing on people’s bodies reinforces the idea that one’s physical characteristics are a defining factor to who they are, when in reality, one’s character is just as important. Instead of commenting on people’s appearances, people should work to give comments that aren’t appearance-based and praise other beautiful attributes, such as their creativity or their resilience. Positive compliments about a person’s good qualities can brighten someone’s day, rather than a compliment about appearance, which can be hurtful to one’s self-esteem.