Ariana Grande, the pint-sized lady with the powerhouse voice, has come out swinging — and then some — in defense of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. In untypical fighting form, she called out the media’s hounding of the pair and society’s schadenfreude in general.
For months Bieber and Cyrus have hit the headlines with their escapades and kept a 24/7 entertainment news cycle very busy. While some of the reporting on the pair is factual, a significant proportion is negatively skewed or highly speculative.
Opening up in a interview with Reuters, Grande declared her mission statement, “I’m not going to not live my life in fear of what people are going to say.”
Of previous gossip items scrutinizing everything but her astonishing multi-octave range and music, the 20-year-old said, “For a long time I was like, why are y’all talking about me? Like, I just put out a No.1 album on Billboard, like can y’all talk about that?”
Moving onto Cyrus’ overtly sexualized image upgrade and criticisms hurled her way after moments such as her VMAs twerk-fest with Robin Thicke and more recent “joint” smoking at the 2013 MTV’s EMAs, Grande was emphatic that Miley’s choices were hers to make.
“She’s an adult. She can do whatever the hell she wants, honestly,” the Nickelodeon star insisted. “And she looks amazing. Like, she looks gorgeous, she looks stunning. And she’s having so much fun.”
Bluntly, Grande said, “If her choices aren’t for you, don’t look at it. Like, move on. Like, talk about something else, worry about bettering your life, not hers. Cause she’s fine, her life is the best it could be right now, you know.”
“That’s what bothers me about people and about society,” she went on. “Like, shut up. Like, shut up.“
On the subject of Bieber, who she supported briefly on his Believe tour, the petite singer was even forceful about the inherent wrongness of the hyper-critical momentum surrounding him.
“He can do whatever he wants,” Grande said, her voice rising as she spoke. “He’s doing the same thing as every other boy in the world right now.”
“He’s just under a microscope and he’s being scrutinized by people who don’t know him. I know him and he’s a good person. He really is. He’s a nice person.”
Visibly frustrated near the end of the sit-down, Ariana — who shares a mutual manager in Scooter Braun with Bieber — mimicked the “Heartbreaker” star’s detractors briefly, before stating firmly,
“He’s a good guy, and he doesn’t deserve what he’s going through.”
Meanwhile, Bieber will shortly wrap the South and Central America leg of his tour in Mexico City on Nov. 18-19 after his current break.
The pop prince is coming off a controversial leg, that produced acres of media comment on items such as his visit to a Rio brothel, “vandalism” charges for graffiti in Brazil, paparazzi accusations of attacks by his security team, cutting short two shows, food poisoning, and “outrage” after footage of the teen accidentally mishandling two Argentine flags at a Buenos Aries concert last weekend.
He has since apologized.
As Complex notes, and we agree, Ariana’s view that relentless focus on Bieber, Miley and others in the fame game makes for unbalanced perspectives and carries more weight precisely because she isn’t a polarizing artist, although a hugely talented one.
Will Grande’s defense change anything? Doubtful. The point is, she spoke up.